61,000 Vacuums Sold at Walmart Recalled After Fire Reports, Officials Warn

The battery pack can overheat and smoke.

Whether you find cleaning to be cathartic or just a chore, it needs to get done. That means picking up odds and ends, scrubbing nooks and crannies, doing laundry, and yes, getting out the vacuum to attack the dirt, dust, and pet hair you'd otherwise miss. Before you pull out your vacuum, however, you should double-check to make sure it's not going to pose a fire hazard. Read on to find out more about a major recall that affects 61,000 vacuums.

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You could have purchased a recalled vacuum in stores or online.

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In a Jan. 12 recall notice, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Bissell is recalling select models of its Cordless Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuums. According to Bissell's website, unlike standard vacuums, these appliances can be used to clean both dirt and liquid messes, combining the functionality of a vacuum and a mop.

Approximately 61,000 units were sold in Walmart stores nationwide, as well as online via Bissell, Walmart, QVC, Amazon, Costco, Fingerhut, Ace Hardware, Kohl's, and Wayfair between Jan. 2019 and Nov. 2022. An additional 4,300 units were sold in Canada.

Recalled vacuums, which retailed for about $360, include models 2551, 2551W, and 25519. "Bissell" is printed on the foot of appliances. You can check for the model number behind the clean water tank or on the black bar on the product information sticker.

There's an issue with the battery pack.

bissell vacuums at store
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According to the CPSC, the circuit board inside the vacuum's battery pack is at the root of the problem, which poses a fire hazard when it overheats and smokes.

"In rare instances, some battery management circuit boards may be susceptible to localized hot spots, posing a risk of overheating and possible risk of fire," Bissell's recall page states. "We hold the quality of our products and the well-being of our consumer to the highest standards. To minimize any potential hazard to consumers, BISSELL is conducting a voluntary recall of the product."

To date, Bissell has received 66 reports of smoking and burning odors from vacuums, as well as five serious instances where the battery pack caught on fire. Three fires caused minor property damage, while one led to a burn injury.

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Stop using the vacuums until a repair is performed.

vacuum on hardwood floor
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If your Bissell vacuum is part of the recall, you should stop using it immediately. This applies to you even if your vacuum appears to be functioning without issues, according to Bissell, and recalled models shouldn't be used again until the battery pack is replaced.

To do so, you can take your vacuum to a Bissell Authorized Service Center or contact Bissell directly to schedule time for a service technician to perform a free in-home repair. Bissell's recall page confirms that you shouldn't try to repair the vacuum yourself, and will instead need an authorized technician.

Consumers can contact Bissell directly at 855-417-7001 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), Monday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. To submit a recall request online, scroll to the bottom of Bissell's recall page and fill out the necessary information.

Washing machines were recalled for a similar issue last month.

top load washing machine
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In late Dec. 2022, over 650,000 Samsung top-load washing machines were also recalled due to a fire hazard. According to the recall notice from the CPSC, the washing machines could short-circuit and overheat, and Samsung had received 51 reports of smoking, melting, overheating, or fire involving the appliances

Ten incidents cause property damage, while three led to smoke inhalation injuries. The machines were sold at Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Costco, and other appliance stores, we well as online at Samsung.com, between June 2021 and Dec. 2022. Customers were asked to check for a software update that rectifies the issue.

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