Solar Roof Tile Recall: How It’s Handled Is Key

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Centex Homes recalls its SolarSave roof panels. The company cites a fire hazard for the recall and is replacing defective panels free of charge.

Going solar is a big endeavor for most people, even if they decide to lease rather than buy. There are enough obstacles, whether real or perceived, to keep the barrier to entry relatively high for many people. That’s changing, but amid the stories about solar being a fire hazard and defective panels, promoting solar can still include the need to convince consumers that solar is safe.

In the midst of this, Centex Homes has issued a recall for some of their solar panels, citing a fire hazard. The company said it’s contacted customers directly and replaced affected panels at no charge.

 

While it’s unfortunate that there’s a need for a panel recall, the company’s response is crucial to maintaining consumer confidence. People are used to other product recalls, including those for cars — but they’re also used to cars. As consumers start getting accustomed to solar, it will be especially important to deal with any issues quickly and effectively. We hope that homeowners won’t be dissuaded by an issue with only one specific set of panels.

 

The press release about the panels:

 

Centex Homes Recalls Solar Panels Due to Fire Hazard

Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall Summary

Name of Product: SolarSave® roof panels

Hazard: Fire

Remedy: Centex has contacted directly customers impacted by the recall and performed free installations of new solar panels. Owners of homes with qualifying solar energy systems who have not been contacted by the company should turn off their solar energy systems immediately and contact Centex to schedule the installation of free replacement panels.  

Consumer Contact: Visit www.Centex.com , send an email to NorCalSolar@Centex.com or send a fax to (800) 917-2201.

Photos available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Centex-Homes-Recalls-Solar-Panels

Recall Details

Units: About 240 homes

Description: This recall involves Open Energy 34 watt (OE-34) Solar Panel energy systems sold under the brand name Open Energy SolarSave Roofing Tiles. SolarSave panels replace conventional roof tiles and provide solar power to the building. This recall involves all brown, terracotta and gray OE-34 SolarSave roof tiles installed on new homes sold by Centex Homes (“Centex”). This recall does not include any other solar panels, except for the OE-34 model, installed on homes sold by Centex.

Incidents/Injuries: Two incidents in which roof fires originated in or near the recalled roof panels have been reported. These incidents involve homes sold by Centex. No injuries have been reported.

Installed by: Subcontractors hired by Centex Homes, a Nevada general partnership.

Distributed by: Burlingame Industries, Inc., dba Eagle Roofing Products, located in Rialto, Calif.

Manufacturer(s): Open Energy Corporation, Inc. and Applied Solar, Inc., of Solana Beach, Calif., are no longer in business.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.  Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov , on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC’s free e-mail newsletters .

CPSC Consumer Information Hotline Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime. Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products .

Media Contact Please use the phone numbers below for all media requests.Phone: (301) 504-7908 Spanish: (301) 504-7800 Link Text: View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20030904/USCSCLOGO

SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission