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Defective AFCIs Square D

Square D = AFCI Recalled

November 3, 2004

Release # 05-035
Firm's Hotline: (877) 202-9046
CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC, Schneider Electric North American Division Announce Recall of
AFCIs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces the following recall in voluntary cooperation with the firms below.

Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)

Units: About 700,000

Manufacturer: Schneider Electric North American Division, of Palatine, Ill.

Hazard: An AFCI is an electrical circuit protection device (circuit breaker) that detects electrical arcs from cracked, broken or damaged electrical insulation and shuts off power to the circuit before the arcing leads to a fire. An electronic component failure inside the AFCIs can cause the devices to not detect an electrical arc. Although the AFCIs will function as regular circuit breakers, they may not detect an arc fault, posing a safety risk to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Schneider Electric is investigating one reported fire during a new home construction that may be related to this problem.

No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled Square D QO(r) and Homeline(r) Arc Fault Interrupter circuit breakers are used with 15- and 20-amp branch circuits. They are required to be installed in bedroom circuits in accordance with the 2002 National Electrical Code. The recalled units were manufactured after March 1, 2004, and have a blue test button. The AFCI circuit breakers have one of the following date codes - CN, DN, EN, FN, GN, HN, or JN - stamped in red on the breaker label located just above the wiring terminal. The recalled units also have one of the following catalog numbers printed on a label on the front of the breaker: QO115AFI, QO115AFIC, QO120AFI, QO120AFIC, QOB115AFI, QOB120AFI, HOM115AFI, HOM115AFIC, HOM120AFI, HOM120AFIC, QO115VHAFI, QO120VHAFI, QOB115VHAFI, or QOB120VHAFI.

Sold at: Electrical distributors and retailers sold the AFCIs between March 2004 and September 2004 for between $30 and $130.

Manufactured in: Mexico

Remedy: Installed AFCIs will be replaced free of charge through electrical contractors. Consumers can return uninstalled AFCIs to the retailers or distributor from whom the unit was purchased for a free replacement unit.

Consumer Contact: Consumer should call Schneider Electric toll-free at (877) 202-9046 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or log on to the company's Website at www.us.squared.com

View this recall online at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml05/05035.html

Mike Holt's Comment: Amazing, Square D was one of the greatest pushers of AFCI's and now we find out their product was defective. I wonder how many of these defective AFCI's will actually be replaced…


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