482,000 toasters are toast

HamiltonbeachtoastersIt must be harder than it seems to design and manufacturer small home appliances that are safe and sound.

A case in point is the 482,000 toasters made in China and sold here that have a flaw: The toasters can remain “on” (energized) after popping up and can ignite flammable items covering or in contact with the toaster, posing a fire hazard.

This is according to a recall notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hamilton Beach has received at least 63 reports of toasters that remained “on” despite being in the “up” position, There are no reports of injuries or fires.

If you have one of the Hamilton Beach or Proctor-Silex toasters pictured here (see the list of model numbers), that were sold from August 2007 through February 2008 for $13 to $40, you should contact the company for a replacement.

On a related note, the U.S. Senate just passed a bill on a 79-13 vote that could increase the reach and effectiveness of the CPSC.

According to the L.A. Times article:

The legislation marks a substantial victory for consumer groups, which have waged a long campaign to get the government to more aggressively protect Americans from potentially dangerous products.

And it was a rare setback for a coalition of manufacturers and retailers, led by the National Assn. of Manufacturers, that has been able to limit the agency’s authority for more than two decades.

See products recalled so far this month, and those recalled in February.