Many American homes prefer air fryers as they promise oil-free cooking as an advantage. Even health-conscious people can enjoy crispy and crunchy treats without feeling guilty about eating oil-soaked food. You are happy with your favorite kitchen gadget as it helps you cut down a few calories. But what if a product recall includes your kitchen mate?
The recent air fryer recalls from some famous air fryer brands like, Insignia, Cosori, Emeril and Secura, alarm the warning bells of fire and burn hazards. This blog analyzes the nuts and bolts of the air fryer recalls and the brewing air fryer recall lawsuits.
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Before delving into the specifics of the recall, let’s know how the modern day air fryers are invented and evolved.
Story of Air Fryer
Thanks to an American, William Maxson, whose arduous efforts that resulted in the development of “a large, multi-layered oven that used a fan to blow hot air onto the food.” As he served in the army, he shared his innovative idea to the U.S. army to help the pilots and army men have hot meals even in the air.
According to the New York Times write-up, the modern day air fryer was invented by Fred van der Weij, a Dutch inventor in 2005. Developing on the basic technologies of Maxson, Weij sowed the seeds for the modern air fryer. Partnering with Philips, he laid the path for air fryers into home kitchens in 2010.
Soon after Philips, many other kitchen appliance makers like Cuisinart, Instant, Cosori, and Ninja caught the market with their own models. Many microwave ovens, pressure cookers or instant pots came with air fryer options.
Though it was invented earlier, only after 2017 and during the Covid-19 pandemic period it found a boom in its sales, as the home bound cooks and others found it a boon in cooking healthy meals in a whizz. This boom made it cross more than $1 billion sales in the U.S. market alone in the recent years.
Now, air fryers have become inseparable parts of more than forty percent American households, freeing up the people from sweating in the kitchen for long. They also satiate the crunchy cravings of health-conscious individuals.
How does an air fryer work?
Air fryers have a heater and fan on the top. A removable tray will be at the bottom to collect the dripping liquids. It will also have a filter and an exhaust system. The fan distributes the heat generated by the heating elements throughout the air fryer evenly to cook the food.
When the food is placed in and the switch is turned on, the hot air embraces the food and makes it golden and crispy. Fatty foods need less or no oil to cook to turn tasty.
Air Fryer Recalls
When the air fryer sales sky rockets on one side, the air fryer recalls due to fire hazards fill news headlines. Let’s see the different air fryer brands that recently recalled their air fryer units from the market due to fire and burn risks. The air fryer recall list 2023 include COSORI and Secura brands. Let’s plunge into the air fryers on recall so far here.
Insignia Air Fryers Recall
According to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, around 635,000 Insignia air fryer units sold in the U.S. and 137,000 in Canada were recalled on April, 21, 2022. The recall included Insignia Digital Air Fryers, Insignia Analog Air Fryers, and Insignia Digital Air Fryer Ovens.
This recall was initiated after Best Buy started receiving reports of fire and burn hazards from the consumers in the U.S. and Canada. The reports stated that the Insignia air fryers caught fire, burn or melted even when they were not in use. Among these 68 reports from the U.S. consumers and 36 from the Canadian consumers, property damage and injuries were there. A child encountered burn injuries in the leg. The consumers were given refund in return.
Magic Chef Air Fryer recall
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 11,750 Magic Chef Air Fryer units were recalled on October 13, 2022. The recall was initiated after issues of overheat, fire and burn hazards were detected. The importers, Newair.com LLC recalled this Chinese air fryers for a $50 credit. The recalled air fryers sold from July 2018 to September 2020 include model numbers MCAF56DB (black) and MCAF56DW (white).
COSORI Air Fryer Recall
As per the reports of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, around two million COSORI air fryers were recalled on February 23, 2023. In addition to that, more than 250,000 air fryers sold in Canada and 20,000 sold in Mexico were also recalled.
The issue behind the COSORI recall was that the air fryers posed overheat, fire, melting and burn hazards due to a defective wire connection. Vesync, the Chinese based owner of COSORI received more than 200 reports of fire, burn and smoke hazards including 10 burn injuries and around 20 cases of property damage.
The COSORI air fryer recall list included models CP158-AF, CS158-AF, CAF-P581-AUSR and CAF-P581S-AUSR (Light Gray).
Secura Air Fryer Recall
As per the updates of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 6,400 Secura air fryer units sold in the U.S. and 680 units sold in Canada were recalled on September 28, 2023 for a defective wire connection causing overheat and fire and burn hazards. Nine reports of fire and smoking hazards were reported to the company.
The recall assured a Secura product replacement or an Amazon gift card for all the consumers who bought those recalled units.
Notable Air Fryer Issues Reported
Though considered a safe and easy cooking option, the air fryer health risks from fire and burn hazards and PFAS chemicals cannot be overlooked. Let’s see the risks below:
- Melting plastics
- Frying getting overheat when not is use
- Leaking oil, liquids and other drippings
- Excessive smoke sets off fire alarms
- Catching fire
- Causing burn injuries
- Malfunctioning fan or exhaust
- Presence of excessive forever chemicals in the non-stick coating
Can air fryers explode?
As we have seen above, the air fryers work on rapid air technology. Therefore, if not handled carefully as per the instructions, they can explode.
Common causes of air fryer explosions include using the air fryer outside its specifications, overfilling the fryer, which blocks air circulation, adding too much oil, improper space between the heater and fan, and exposing the fryer to water or other liquids.
The malfunction or blockage of the air fryer’s exhaust system, traps air and leads to explosions.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Class Action Lawsuit
A proposed class action lawsuit filed on January 22, 2021 alleges that the defective Cuisinart air fryers produce excessive heat and damages the surfaces surrounding like the countertops, cabinets and kitchen walls that and pose burn risks.
Despite following the instructions in the user’s manual, on June 15, 2020, the plaintiff, Michelle Gonsalves noticed excessive heat emanating from the air fryer damaging the wall behind where the air fryer was placed. The fryer was installed only on May 1, 2020.
As the Cuisinart failed to compensate for her property damage, the plaintiff pursued this class action on behalf of her and others who experienced similar incidents against the defendant Conair Corporation. Cuisinart was the subsidiary of Conair Corporation.
This class action lawsuit was dismissed on May 31, 2021.
Emeril Lagasse Class Action Lawsuit (Tristar)
A class action lawsuit was filed on November 5, 2021 by Robin Velez and Karen Burke on behalf of themselves and others against the Tristar Products, INC., on their Emeril Lagasse air fryers in the Southern District Court of Florida.
The Emeril Lagasse Power Airfryer 360, 360 XL, Deluxe and Plus models were alleged to cause overheat, fire and burn hazards even during the regular use. These air fryers overheat to reach temperatures more than 537°C (safe air fryer cooking temperature is 310 to 360°C.
As the dripping tray was advised to be placed just below the heating elements, the fatty liquids from the food drips over the heating sources and caught fire. Many of the plaintiffs experienced uncontrollable smoking while the fryer was in use.
Some plaintiffs purported that the fan in the air fryer did not function properly. The lawsuit alleged that the company made a defective product and tried to conceal the fire risk deliberately from the consumers.
However, this class action lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed on February 23, 2022 by the plaintiffs.
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Class Action
A proposed class action was filed against Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pros on December 7, 2022. The lawsuit alleged that the air fryers window could explode and the explosion could launch the shattered glass fragments high as 15 feet. It posed fire risks and even could melt the sealants on countertops.
The plaintiff, Zane Trans’s air fryer caught fire and the window glass exploded soon after she started using it. She alleged that the manufacturers failed to warn the consumers of the defects during the marketing or sales.
On March 21, 2023, this class action was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice by the plaintiff.
This image shows how a Breville air fryer had exploded shattering the glass window.
Liability in Air Fryer Lawsuits
Many consumers of the recalled air fryers started filing lawsuits against the manufacturers. These lawsuits hold the manufacturers and distributors for producing defective products and promoting and marketing as safe and convenient.
Liability in defective air fryer claims falls on the designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, and distributors, when they pose fire or explosion hazards.
Air fryer recall lawsuits can be filed under these theories:
- Negligence: In case, the consumers encountered injury or product damage from the defective products due to the negligence of the manufacturer, they can be held liable. Manufacturers are expected to ensure the safety of their products and if any inherent risks are noted, they must provide warnings to the consumers.
- Strict liability: Under strict liability, a plaintiff need not prove that the defendants are negligent and harmed him intentionally. It is enough to show that the air fryer is defective and dangerous enough to cause the injury or product damage.
- Breach of warranty: Every product including the air fryer come with a warranty or guarantee that it will perform to the standards claimed by the manufacturers. When it does not perform as claimed and cause damages, it is considered a breach of warranty.
If the manufacturer had provided warnings about the air fryer’s fire or burn risks, but the consumer still sustained damages due to not following the instructions in the user manual, this could affect the plaintiff’s claim. The fact that the manufacturers had given the warnings would relieve them of their liability.
Consumers can contact efficient defective air fryer lawyers to pursue air fryer recall lawsuits. In case of injuries, a thorough review of the plaintiff’s medical records can come in handy in proving the harm. LezDo TechMed can efficiently review the medical records to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the air fryer injury claim.
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To sum up,
Any innovation can come with its share of dangers as well. The recent air fryer recalls and lawsuits underline this fact. Responsibility from both the manufacturers and consumers can ensure the safety of the consumers.
While air fryers offer a convenient and healthier alternative to traditional frying, potential risks like fire or burns cannot be overlooked. Reading the instructions in the user manual before using the appliance can protect the users from potential harm. Following the instructions as given can prevent most of the adverse incidents. In the case of defective products, even if the victim is careful and follows instructions, it cannot save the victim.
Manufacturers are reminded of their duty to deliver not only innovative but also safe appliances. As air fryer recall lawsuits continue, these cases may set a precedent for future product safety standards and consumer rights protection in the kitchen appliance industry.
As these cases are in the initial stages, we cannot predict their course. These product liability claims may take years to get settlement. Manufacturers may prefer to settle claims before they go for trial. Let’s wait and see how these air fryer recall lawsuits move further.
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