Fire hazard: Walmart recalls another 2.7 million overheating DVD players

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Just over a week after Walmart recalled 1.5 million of its Durabrand DVD players because their circuit boards can overheat and start fires, the world's largest retailer is recalling another 2.7 million of the low-cost machines -- 4.2 million in all, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The Chinese-made DVD players were selling for $29 exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide. Consumers reported 14 incidents of the players overheating and seven fires blamed on the machines.

One reader told AOL that she came home to a strong burning smell and called the fire department. She said firefighters tracked the odor to her smoldering DVD player.

The CPSC told WalletPop that Walmart omitted purple and pink colored players from the initial recall.


UPDATE(9:35 a.m. 9/1): A Walmart spokeswoman told WalletPop the company is committed to making sure it can get as many of the DVD players out of circulation as it can. Kelly Cheeseman said stores have stopped selling the players and if one inadvertently was left behind the cash registers have been programmed to block the sale.

She said any consumer who has the player should bring it to the customer service desk at their local Walmart store to receive a full refund. It is not necessary to have a receipt, Cheeseman said.


Getting consumers to pay attention to recalls and then do what they are instructed to do has long been a challenge. Only a fraction of products in a recall typically are accounted for. It is even more difficult when the recall is issued in pieces.

"It is a positive when a company comes to us quickly to get an expanded announcement out to the public when they learn that not all units have been captured," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told WalletPop. "But we know here at CPSC from decades of experience that the attention of consumers is such that they are most likely to respond the first time that a major recall announcement is made."

Wolfson urged consumers who purchased the DVD players since they were first sold in 2006 to return them. Walmart stopped selling the players in July.

"The recall has tripled in size. This is not a recall without any incidents," he said. "This is a recall to be taken seriously."

The CPSC also is concerned about products that have been on the market as long as these have being resold.

"We remind those who are hosting yard sales; we remind those who are hosting online auction sites to not put this product up for resale," Wolfson said. "It needs to be returned to Walmart for a full refund."

Consumers with questions about the recall are asked to contact Walmart weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern Time at (800) 925-6278.

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