FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
August 16, 1979  
Release # 79-040
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 16) -- Intermatic, Inc., a manufacturer and supplier of electrical products in Spring Grove, Illinois, is voluntarily recalling the heating units from approximately 53,000 automatic temperature setback controls, the Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced.

The units are being called back because of an integral carbon resistor which may overheat and start fires.

Approximately 3,000 of the units are believed still to be in consumers' possession despite the firm's attempts to recall the product since October, 1978.

The setback controls were sold as a two-piece kit under Intermatic's private label, "Temperature Tender." The kit includes the heating unit and an electric timer, which enable residential heating and cooling systems to operate automatically at pre-set temperatures in order to conserve energy.

They were sold at retail prices of approximately $20 to $25 nationwide.

Commission staffers have been informed of 14 unit failures causing 11 minor fires in similar thermostat control devices.

In conversations with CPSC staff, Intermatic officials have said that they are aware of one fire resulting from failure of their product. No injuries have been reported.

Subject to the recall are the models FSl00 and FSl "Temperature Tender" heating units. The units are an off-white color and measure approximately 1% by 3 inches. They were manufactured between September, 1976 and August, 1977, and between November, 1977 and May, 1978.

The faulty units bear a manufacturer's date code within the following range: 396 through 526, 017 through 327, 427 through 527, or 018 through 218. A date code of 396, for example, designates manufacture during the 39th week of 1976. The date code and model number are on the back of the unit.

In addition, only those units containing a brown-colored carbon resistor (visible through the key-hole slot in the back) are being recalled. Units with a resistor of another color are not subject to the recall, even though they may bear a date code which corresponds to one listed above.

Consumers who own one of these heating units should return it to their retailer for a full refund. Anyone who needs assistance in determining whether their unit is being recalled should write to Department PAS, Intermatic Inc., Intermatic Plaza, Spring Grove, Illinois, 60081.

To check date codes and model numbers, consumers should contact CPSC's toll-free Hotline at 800/638-2772.