A faulty heating element led to the recall of 1.7 million Maytag dishwashers. In extreme cases, dishwasher use led to fires and one household reported extensive kitchen damage, while 12 others reported less severe damage.
What can these 2010 recalls teach us about safety in 2011? Consumer Reports recommends monitoring online alerts like ClickCheckAndProtect.org, a coalition of agencies and school boards keeping families updated on the latest recalls. Starting in March 2011, the CPSC and other safety and consumer groups will launch a Consumer Product Safety Information Database at SaferProducts.gov.
“I think that you have to be a little bit on guard,” says Donald Mays, senior director of product safety and technical policy at Consumer Reports, the consumer watchdog based in Yonkers, N.Y. He adds, “I truly believe that the marketplace is going to be safer in the future.”