GE coffee maker recall at Walmart: Can start fires

Walmart recalling GE coffee makers that can catch fire
Walmart recalling GE coffee makers that can catch fire

Walmart has issued a recall of GE coffee makers after receiving more than 80 reports of the machines overheating, smoking, melting, burning and catching fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The retail giant is recalling about 900,000 coffee makers sold under the General Electric brand and sold exclusively at Walmart stores. At least 83 consumers reported the problems to Walmart, the CPSC said, including three who suffered burns. One coffee maker caused a "significant" kitchen fire, the CPSC said, while others damaged cabinets and counter-tops.

Companies are required under federal law to immediately report to the government any time a product defect has been identified as creating "a substantial risk of injury." Many companies wait until dozens or even hundreds of incidents are reported to them before taking any action, while some will notify the government without a single complaint from a consumer.

It is not unusual, however, for some companies to sell all the products before recalling them -- a far less expensive endeavor. A Walmart spokesperson was not immediately available to explain why the recall was not undertaken sooner.