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On March 1, 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of about 104,000 “Instant Pots,” because of a manufacturer defect that can cause the multicooker to overheat and melt on the underside, creating a fire hazard.

Though the Instant Pot is not a pressure cooker, it does present similar fire and burn hazards as many pressure cookers named in personal injury lawsuits filed across the country.

Distributor Recalls Over 100,000 Instant Pot Multicookers

The Instant Pot, which is sold exclusively at Walmart, is manufactured by the Foshan Linshine Technology Company in China, and was imported and distributed by Double Insight, Inc. It was Double Insight that received 107 reports of the pots overheating, with five of those incidents resulting in minor property damage. So far, no injuries have been reported.

“The overheating is the result of a tooling misalignment during the manufacturing process,” Double Insight said on their website, “which created a gap between the bottom of the inner pot and the top surface of the heating plate in the product. This gap can cause the multicooker to overheat and melt on the underside, posing a fire hazard to consumers.”

The recall involves Gem 65 8-in-1 model multicookers, which allow users to perform a number of functions, including roasting, baking, stewing, slow cooking, rice cooking, searing/sautéing, steaming, and food warming. The “Instant Pot” logo should appear on the front of the multicookers.

Only specific cookers are affected by the recall at this time. Consumers can identify them by the code found on the rating label on the underside of the pot. Those included in the recall include:

  • 1728
  • 1730
  • 1731
  • 1734
  • 1746

Double Insight has instructed consumers to immediately unplug and stop using the cookers, and return them to Walmart for free replacements.

Other Cookers Linked with Risk of Burn and Electric Shocks

Because of the many problems and injuries reported with certain pressure cookers, consumers have understandably been somewhat confused over this Instant Pot recall, as there is also an Instant Pot pressure cooker. This recall affects only the multicookers listed above, however, and not the pressure cooker models.

“This has nothing to do with the company’s pressure cookers,” said writer Becky Krystal in the Washington Post, “the whiz-bang, do-everything devices that have gained a cult following.”

William Wallace, however, senior policy analyst for the Consumers Union, has asked the manufacturer to check into their other products to see if they should expand this most recent recall because of safety issues.

In fact, Instant Pot pressure cookers have been recalled in the past. Back in July 2015, Double Insight recalled about 1,000 units because of a defect that presented a risk of electric shock. Again, they advised consumers to take their products back to receive a free replacement.

Other pressure cookers have been linked to serious burn injuries, including the Tristar brand pressure cooker. In 2017, CBS News reported on a case where a woman was helping her husband to make stew in the cooker. She released the steam valve twice to be sure all the steam was out, then turned the lock mechanism, which was supposed to prevent opening if pressure remained in the pot. The mechanism allowed opening, but when the woman pulled back the lid, the contents spewed out, causing her to suffer from second-degree burns on her hands, arms, and chest.

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