Maytag recalls 1.6 million refrigerators

Recall is due to a potentially serious fire hazard; company received dozens of customer reports that part of the appliance ignited.

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By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

maytag_recall1.03.jpg
An electrical problem in some refrigerator brands could cause the relay to overheat and start a fire.
What would happen if the government let some big banks fail?
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Maytag Corp. is recalling about 1.6 million refrigerators because of a potentially serious fire hazard, after receiving dozens of customer reports that part of the appliance ignited, a government agency said Tuesday.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall after Maytag discovered an electrical failure in several refrigerator brands.

The electrical problem could cause the relay - which turns on the refrigerator's compressor - to overheat and start a fire, the release said.

Maytag, based in Newton, Iowa, said it received 41 reports of refrigerator relay ignition, including 16 reports of property damage.

The recall includes certain Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa by Maytag and Crosley brand side-by-side and top-freezer refrigerators. Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom are not included in the recall, the release said.

The affected appliances were sold in department and appliance stores - and by homebuilders - from January 2001 through January 2004 for between about $350 and $1600.

Consumers should immediately contact Maytag to determine if their refrigerator is included in the recall and to schedule a free in-home repair. Customers should should not return the refrigerator to the store where it was purchased.

Customers can call Maytag at (866) 533-9817, or visit www.repair.maytag.com for more information about model numbers and serial numbers of the recalled refrigerators.

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