While the U.S. Product Safety Commission-issued recall is voluntary, the company is urging anyone with one of the 107,500 affected units to stop using it immediately. The Lasko Model 5540 and the Air King Model 8540 are the recalled models: both were manufactured in 2002. Call (800) 363-8044 with any questions.
Thus far there have been 36 reports of overheating due to the device, and 18 reports of burns to carpets and floors, but no injuries as of yet.
This is a serious problem for those who depend upon the devices to warm their homes in the midst of a very cold winter. Let us hope that Lasko truly understands the gravity of this situation and the number of people who stand to be harmed by their defective product. If you think that you may own one of the recalled heaters, or know someone who does, call the above number right away. Remember-never leave heater burning unattended, or nearby flammable materials such as curtains. Do not leave portable heaters on while you are asleep-there is a chance that it could start a fire, and you may not wake up in time to put it out.
If you were injured by a poorly-made device, it can be a difficult thing to prove. Large companies are armed with attorneys and agents whose entire job consists of making sure the organization denies fault for its actions. When this happens, contact a qualified attorney of your own to discuss your options.