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Major recall of Maytag dishwashers for fire hazard

Whirlpool Corp., the world's largest appliance maker, has issued the biggest U.S. dishwasher recall in three years to fix 1.7 million of its Maytag models with a fire hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The dishwashers have a faulty heating element that can short-circuit and ignite, the agency said Thursday in a statement. Consumers should stop using the dishwashers immediately and disconnect the power source, the agency said.

Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., received 12 reports of fires with the plastic-tub models, including a blaze that caused extensive kitchen damage, the agency said. No injuries have been reported.

Maytag sold the recalled dishwashers at department and appliance stores and home builders from February 2006 through April 2010 for $250 to $900.

A company spokeswoman says Whirlpool has set aside $75 million to cover the costs of the recall.

The recall is Maytag's second of more than a million major appliances since last year. It recalled 1.6 million refrigerators because of fire risks in March 2009. In February 2007, it recalled 2.3 million dishwashers after 135 fires were reported.

Maytag will repair the appliances in customers' homes without charge, the agency said. Consumers who prefer new dishwashers will get a rebate of $150 or $250 toward a purchase of one of seven new Maytag stainless-steel tub models.

Maytag dishwashers sold with Amana, Jenn-Air, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa and Crosley brand names are covered by the recall. The model and serial numbers are listed on a label inside the plastic tub on a tag near the left side of the door, the CPSC said. For additional information, consumers can call 800-544-5513 or visit the Maytag website, the agency said.

- Combined news services

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