The use of portable dehumidifiers poses a significant fire risk, as almost every major dehumidifier brand has been recalled in the last 10 years. Approximately 10 million dehumidifiers have been recalled in the last 10 years. Most recently, on August 16, 2023, Gree, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a recall of 1.56 million Gree-manufactured dehumidifiers. This recall is in addition to the September 2013 recall by Gree of 2.2 million dehumidifiers.
The August 2023 Gree recall involves dehumidifiers manufactured between January 2011 and February 2014. Many major brands are implicated, such as GE, Soleus Air, and Kenmore.
In many circumstances, it can be difficult to determine the brand and manufacturer of a dehumidifier because the fire destroys the identification markings, and the insured did not retain a receipt or an operator’s manual. However, Gree dehumidifiers have unique designs that, in most situations, allow attorneys and experts with experience with dehumidifier fires to identify the manufacturer solely from the fire-damaged remains of the dehumidifier. Thus, only rarely should a subrogation file be closed because the insured cannot identify the dehumidifier.
Nor should a dehumidifier claim be closed merely based on the age of the dehumidifier. While many states have statutes of repose for products, many statutes have misrepresentation and fraud exceptions that should be explored before closing a file based on a perceived statutory bar.