TYLER, TX — In cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), seven companies have announced a voluntary corrective action program to repair or replace certain furnaces manufactured by Consolidated Industries, Inc. and sold in California under several brand names. The units involved in the program are gas-fired, horizontal furnaces equipped with steel "NOx" rods installed above the burners and are commonly called NOx rod furnaces.

CPSC issued a Safety Alert that some of these furnaces present a risk of fire. The program offers free inspection and repair of these furnaces. As an alternative to a repair, consumers also have the option of requesting a new furnace, free of charge except for installation costs.

The participating companies believe that consumers opting for a new furnace instead of a furnace repair will recoup installation costs through future energy cost savings. In addition, the companies will repair related property damage associated with the models identified in this corrective action program.

Consolidated Industries, which is being liquidated under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy laws, manufactured approximately 140,000 of these furnaces, sold in California between 1983 and 1994 under a variety of brand names. CPSC has received about 50 reports of fires and/or overheating related to these furnaces, although no injuries have been reported. Most of the furnaces were manufactured and distributed under the Premier/Consolidated labels, and the furnaces can be identified by the steel rods installed above the burners. These steel rods were required to satisfy California air quality regulations for nitrogen oxide emissions. The seven companies participating in this voluntary corrective action program sold approximately 30,000 of these units in California. This corrective action plan does not cover any of the Premier/Consolidated brand furnaces, or units labeled by any other private labeler. However, there is ongoing private litigation in which some California consumers are seeking to recover costs associated with repair and property damage allegedly caused by Consolidated-manufactured furnaces sold under other brands.

The companies participating in this voluntary corrective action program are Amana, Bard Manufacturing, Carrier Corp., Goettl Air Conditioning, Goodman Manufacturing Co., Heat Controller, Inc., and The Trane Company, a division of American Standard Inc. Consumers can determine if their furnace is involved in the voluntary corrective action program by visiting the website www.furnaceinspect.com to view a list of the affected models and model numbers, company names, and trade names.

Consumers should first identify the brand name, model number, and serial number of their furnace, which are located on a label on an outside panel of the furnace. If consumers find their brand and model number on the list, they should contact www.furnaceinspect.com or call toll free 877-347-6456 to arrange for a free inspection.

Consumers should provide the brand name of their furnace, and its model and serial numbers, as well as their name, address, and telephone number. While the voluntary corrective action program applies only to California, consumers in other states who have one of the listed units are also encouraged to call the toll free number or access the website for further information. Consumers may also review the September 27, 2000, CPSC Alert and January 25, 2001, update on these furnaces at www.cpsc.gov (website).

Publication date: 08/20/2001