Maytag Corp. said Tuesday that it will conduct in-home inspections of thousands of dishwashers that could have a defective electrical component that poses a fire hazard.
The Newton-based company said the problem is in Maytag dishwashers made between March 28, 1994, and Jan. 31, 1995. The problem exists on as many as 231,000 of the 553,000 dishwashers made during that period.
"The potential problem involves a small electrical component in the base of the appliance which, under unusual circumstances, could malfunction and render the unit inoperable," Maytag said in a statement.
"Approximately 140 failures have been reported. The likelihood of a malfunction occurring has been highest within the first eight months after the dishwasher's installation.
"In an extreme situation, a potential fire hazard could result from the malfunction," the company said. "One fire involving minor property damage has been verified."
Maytag said it will begin notifying owners of the appliances this week, using information from retailers' records and warranty cards returned by owners.
The inspections will be made on dishwashers that have been in use eight months or less and that carry serial numbers ending in one of these pairs of letters: KF, KH, KK, KM, KQ, KS, KU, KW, KY, KZ or MB. Serial numbers are located in the upper left section of the tub inside the machines.