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CPSC Reminds Consumers of Prior Warning: Stop Use of Waupaca Elevators Until Overspeed Safety Device Is Installed; One Death Occurred Prior to the 2018 Recall

Release Date: July 28, 2021
  • Recalled Waupaca residential elevator, Custom Lift model with label
    Recalled Waupaca residential elevator, Custom Lift model with label
  • Recalled Waupaca residential elevator, Custom Lift model
    Recalled Waupaca residential elevator, Custom Lift model

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Waupaca Elevator Company, of Appleton, Wis., are reannouncing a 2018 recall and warning consumers not to use  recalled Waupaca elevators until an overspeed safety device is installed by a local dealer. There have been incidents reported of the elevators falling unexpectedly without the overspeed safety device installed, including one resulting in a death.  

Consumers should not use the recalled elevators until the overspeed safety device is installed. Waupaca and its dealers have an extensive backlog of overspeed safety device installations, which may take several years to complete.

The elevators were recalled in October 2018 because the elevator cab can fall unexpectedly to the bottom of the elevator shaft and stop abruptly, posing an injury hazard to consumers inside the elevator cab. As part of the 2018 recall, Waupaca agreed to provide consumers with a free gearbox inspection and to install a free overspeed safety device, and a free gearbox, if the oil sample test shows an elevated level of wear in the oil.  

Waupaca has received 15 reports of the elevator cab falling unexpectedly, including three incidents since the 2018 recall announcement. Two of the incidents involved elevators that had oil samples taken, but that had not received the overspeed safety device. Until an overspeed safety device is installed, all elevators should be placed out of service. Many of those incidents allegedly caused by the defect in the elevator gearbox resulted in injuries. In one of those incidents a consumer in Milbrae, Cal. died. The incident occurred in August 2018. Other injuries caused by elevators falling include broken bones and strained or sprained knees and ankles.

The recalled elevators are Custom Lift 450# and 500# Capacity elevators sold by Waupaca Elevator's dealers nationwide from 1979 through 2008, for between $5,000 and $14,000.

Contact Waupaca Elevator toll-free at 833-850-7981 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, via e-mail at info@WaupacaElevator.com, or online at www.waupacaelevator.com and click on the “Safety” link for more information. 

Consumers should report any incidents to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov or to CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.

Release Number
21-170

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

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