General Electric Making Voluntary Recall of 181,000 Washers

General Electric is recalling about 181,000 washing machines under an agreement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

GE Washer
Source: GE
GE Washer

The voluntary recall is based on the fire and electrical shock hazards of a front-loading washing machine. GE, which is the partent company of CNBC, said it is aware of "seven incidents in which flames escaped the units and caused minor smoke damage" but no injuries have yet to be reported.

The voluntary recall was announced by the company and the CPSC this morning.

The machines were manufactured by GE Appliances & Lighting under the model number beginning with WBVH5 between December 2006 and February 2010 and sold through May of this year.

GE spokeswoman Allison Gatta said, "We've asked our retail partners to remove the machines and there should no longer be any units on the floor." She added the problem had been corrected and an updated version of the machine is now being sold.

For more details on the machine, check the CSPC statement on the recall.

"Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled washing machines, unplug them and contact GE for a free repair," said Commission spokesperson Patty Davis

In the past week, the CSPC announced two additional high-profile cases. On June 3, the commission and Maytag, a subsidiary of Whirlpool, announced the voluntary recall of 1.7 million dishwashers, of various models, sold between February 2006 through April 2010, which because of an electrical failure in the heating element can lead to a fire.

In the other case, some 12 million promotional cups at McDonald's

were to be recalled. "Shrek Forever After 3D” Collectable Drinking Glasses, distributed by the fast-food giant to coincide with the film's release, were deterimed to contain cadmium in their external designs. The commission says long-term exposure can cause "adverse health effects." The cups, which were sold nationwide between May and early June, were manufactured by ARC International of Millville, N.J.

The Commission now handles about 500 recalls a year, all voluntary, covering a wide range of everyday products, such as toys and appliances. In most cases, consumers should stop using the recalled product and contact the firm for a free repair or replacement, or refund.