Over 8300 consumers at risk
Concern over RVs with deadly heaters
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AUSTRALIA'S consumer watchdog has again
issued an appeal to caravanners who could have a potentially lethal water heater in their recreational vehicle.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
urges them to check for dangerous Suburban-branded dual fuel gas/electric heaters
before setting off on post COVID-lockdown
It is concerned that more than 50 percent of the units could emit deadly
odourless carbon monoxide if used in gas mode.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause death, and short-term exposure can
cause serious long-term injuries.
There are still over 8300 consumers who have not registered their water
heaters for a free inspection.
As the risk of failure is so high, the ACCC is concerned the owners might
not be aware of the recall and may use their caravan or motorhome without
checking if they are safe.
"Consumers should not use the affected water heaters in gas mode under any
circumstances, even if they have a carbon monoxide detector," ACCC deputy
chair Delia Rickard said.
"It's very important to check your recreational vehicle or caravan's water
heater as soon as possible as there is a significant risk of injury or
death from this product."
Carbon monoxide is invisible, has no smell and can be highly flammable and
explode on contact with a spark or flame.
The water heaters were supplied either new with vehicles between May 1,
2018, and September 25, 2019, or bought separately online and installed
Consumers can check if their heater is affected by opening the exterior
access door to the hot water service and checking the model and serial
number located on the right-hand side.
Owners with an affected heater should urgently contact Coast to Coast
Caravan and Leisure on 02 9645 7685 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org who will arrange for a licensed gas fitter
to inspect it free of charge.
Every unit must be inspected.
Consumers will not have to cover any costs related to the supply and
installation of the new water heater.
Owners who have difficulties obtaining a timely remedy should contact
Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure, their state or territory gas regulator
or complete an ACCC online report.
Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure notified a recall for Suburban dual
fuelled water heaters in November, 2019,
due to this deadly hazard.
A total of 18,139 heaters were sold by these
retailers nationally, with most being installed in caravans and motorhomes,
and some in horse float campers.
There are 9600 recalled units still to be inspected and of these, 1241 are
registered to be inspected and 8359 are not registered for inspection.
The affected products are the Suburban Recreational Vehicle Water Heaters
with model numbers SW6DEA, SW6DA, SW4DEA, SW4DA, SW4DECA, SW6DECA and
SW6PA that have serial numbers between 181315552 and 193002648 (some
serial numbers may end with a 'D') and between 8183311827 and 8190201139.
They were manufactured between April 4, 2018, and August 1, 2019.
The Office of the Technical Regulator (SA) is the responsible regulator
for this product.
It is a member of the Gas Technical Regulators Committee, which icomprises
gas technical and safety regulators across Australia and aims to apply a
consistent regulatory approach to improve gas safety, measurement and
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