Maytag Corp recalls 1.6 million refrigerators due to fire hazard

Newton, Iowa-based appliances manufacturer Maytag Corp. and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on Tuesday announced a voluntary recall of about 1.6 million refrigerators because of a fire hazard.

Maytag, which was bought by Whirlpool Corp. in 2007, said the recall affected Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa and Crosley brand side-by-side and top-freezer refrigerators. Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom aren't included in the recall. They sold for between about $350 and $1600.

The company said an electrical failure in the units' relay, the component that turns on the refrigerator's compressor, can cause overheating and a fire hazard. It said it has received 41 reports of relay ignitions, including 16 reports of property damage, including smoke damage.

Maytag said the refrigerators, which were made in the US, were sold between January 2001 and January 2004. The company said consumers should contact it to determine if their refrigerators are affected and to schedule a free in-home repair.

Maytag and Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. had to recall about 270,000 front-loading washing machines in 2007, also because of a fire hazard.