March 04, 1987  
Release # 87-014

WASHINGTON, DC -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Whirlpool Corporation of Benton Harbor, Michigan, today announced a modification program involving numerous Sears Kenmore canister vacuum cleaners.

The motor in some of these cleaners has an opening which exposes moving parts when the canister is opened, the motor filter removed, and when the motor is running. These moving parts may cause severe lacerations or amputations to fingers placed in the opening. There have been 19 serious injuries involving these motor openings.

Since 1976, approximately 1.3 million of these canister vacuums were sold nationwide through Sears, Roebuck & Co. stores and catalogs under the Kenmore name and model number. Models with various features sold for between $50 and $280.

An easy-to-install, stick-on motor safety screen kit which covers the opening on top of the motor is being provided free of charge to owners of affected models. However, not all Sears Kenmore canister vacuum cleaners sold since 1976 need the kit. Whirlpool is informing known purchasers by direct mail. Consumers who bought canister vacuum cleaners at Sears since 1976 can find out if their vacuum motor requires a safety screen and receive additional information by calling 800-654- 1820 toll-free (have the model number from the bottom of the canister ready) or by visiting the customer service counter of the nearest Sears store.

Article on Sears Canister Vacuum

Consumers are warned to take extra care in handling their canister vacuum cleaners until the safety screen is installed. Whenever using the cleaner, unplug it before opening the canister lid.