Faulty water heaters warning for grey nomads

Consumers are urged to check their caravans and recreational vehicles (RVs) for dangerous Suburban-branded water heaters which may emit deadly carbon monoxide.

Of the 18,000-plus heaters sold before the recall in November 2019, only 210 units have been remediated or scheduled for inspection.

Consumers can check if their heater is affected by opening the exterior access door to the hot water service and checking the model and serial number located on the right hand side.

They should then enter the serial number at the Coast to Coast website.

The affected products are the Suburban Recreational Vehicle Water Heaters with model numbers SW6DEA, SW6DA, SW4DEA, SW4DA, SW4DECA, SW6DECA and SW6PA that have serial numbers between 181315552 and 193002648 (some serial numbers may end with a ‘D’) and between 8183311827 and 8190201139. They were manufactured between 4 April 2018 and 1 August 2019.

Replacement models initially proposed by Suburban, the overseas manufacturer, also failed testing. A safe model was finally produced, and approved for use in July 2020.

The supplier then needed to import sufficient units from the US manufacturer, at a time when their supply chains were impacted by the pandemic situation.

The supplier advises stocks of replacement units are now in hand and they are keen to get remediation happening quickly.

“Do not use the affected water heaters in gas mode under any circumstances,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“We are concerned that a large number of deadly heaters remain in caravans and RVs because owners have not yet contacted Coast to Coast for an inspection.

“Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure has recalled these heaters due to the serious hazards they present. Owners should not take this issue lightly and act quickly.

“Anyone with an affected water heater should urgently contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure on 02 9645 7685 who will arrange for a licensed gasfitter to inspect their water heater free of charge.”

Consumers will not have to cover any costs related to the supply and installation of the new water heater, or any required associated work, such as the modification of cavity and gas and/or water lines.

Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure will check every unit, after being contacted by consumers, to ensure the water heater is properly installed and if needed, will replace the unit through a licenced gasfitter free of charge.

Consumers who experience difficulties obtaining a timely remedy should contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure, their state or territory gas regulator or the ACCC online.

More information is available at Product Safety Australia.



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