Walmart and Target Shoppers Warned to "Immediately Stop Using" Recalled Vacuums

Roughly 142,000 units are being pulled due to a potential fire hazard.

Finding the right vacuum to keep your house clean can be more complicated than it looks. The seemingly infinite number of options on the market can make it hard to stay on budget while still getting a model that works well. But if you've recently upgraded your home appliances, you might want to take note: Officials warn that vacuums sold at popular stores, including Walmart and Target, have been recalled over a serious safety issue.

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On Feb. 1, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Bissell was recalling several versions of its "Multi Reach Hand and Floor Vacuum Cleaners." The affected models are 1985, 19851, 19859, 1985T, 2151, 21512, 21513, 21517, 21518, 21519, 2151A, 2151T, 2151W, and 2151V, and the item numbers can be found printed on the back of the product's dirt tank. They also have "Multi Reach" printed on the handheld portion of the vacuum.

The move affects roughly 142,000 units sold nationwide in the U.S. at retailers including Walmart, Target, Lowe's, Macy's, Kohl's, and Best Buy, as well as online through retailers including Amazon, the Home Shopping Network, and Bissell directly. The affected items cost between $110 and $270 and were sold in various colors from Aug. 2016 through Dec. 2022.

According to the CPSC bulletin, there have been 17 reported instances of the appliance "smoking and emitting a burning odor." In six of the incidents, the battery pack caught fire—including three fires that caused home damage and two that resulted in "minor burn injuries."

The agency warns that any customers who may have purchased the recalled vacuums should "immediately stop using" them. They should also contact Bissell for more information on how to fully deplete the battery packs and receive a free replacement vacuum.

The notice specifies that anyone who owns any of the recalled vacuums should not throw their batteries directly into the trash or deposit them in battery recycling boxes at stores or in public. Instead, they should follow state and local ordinances for disposing of damaged or defective lithium batteries.

The CPSC directs all customers with questions to Bissell's recall website. They can also reach the company by phone or email contacts posted on the notice.

This isn't the only recent instance of home items being pulled from the market due to safety hazards. On Jan. 18, the CPSC announced that Home Design was recalling over half a million of its Upholstered Low Profile Standard and Platform Beds sold online via Wayfair, Walmart, and Overstock. The company said it made its decision after it received more than 100 reports of the beds breaking due to faulty slats, not only making them uncomfortable but also creating a serious fall hazard.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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