Release # 86-053  

Washington, DC -- In cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Echo Incorporated of Lake Zurich, Illinois today announced the voluntary recall of all model 500VL gasoline powered chain saws manufactured from 1979 to 1980.

Some 8,500 Echo model 500VL chain saws with flywheel problems are being recalled voluntarily by the company and replaced with a new solid- state magneto chain saw at no cost to the consumer.

The firm said a special tool is required to remove the flywheel during routine chain saw maintenance, but some flywheels have been removed by consumers without aid of the tool. If the flywheel becomes distorted as a result of such removal, the flywheel may be subject to stress and vibration. Pieces of the flywheel may fly apart and strike the operator as was the case in the three accidents reported to Echo, which resulted in lacerations, fractures and amputation to the fingers of the operator's left hand.

Consumers should discontinue using the Echo 500 VL chain saw immediately. Owners of Model 500VL chain saws with serial numbers inclusive to 0023000 should contact their Echo Dealer to arrange for replacement of the saw at no charge. The new Echo saw, model 510 EVL, comes equipped with a solid-state electronic magneto which is not removed during routine maintenance.

Consumers desiring more information about the product recall should write to Echo, Incorporated, 400 Oakwood Road, Lake Qurich, Illinois 60047, or call Echo's Service Department at (847) 540-8400.