Consumer Product Safety

NITE Alert_67

September 15, 2005

Accidents caused by electric refrigerators

The National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) has received an accident report concerning an electric refrigerator (product name: “Horei Ho-onko Duo) imported by K.K. Sunbird Auto Denki on November 4, 2003, in which the PCB conductive pattern component caught fire due to defects in manufacturing.
NITE investigated and evaluated accident causes, and announced the accident information (with company name: K.K. Ams Corporation) on February 25, 2005, after further inspection of the case by the Accident Trend Committee.
In response to the accident, the importer, K.K. Sunbird Auto Denki and the distributor, K.K. Ams Corporation, issued a joint press announcement on April 20, 2004, and launched a voluntary recall. However, K.K. Sunbird Auto Denki has recently been disbanded following the conclusion of civil rehabilitation proceedings and the voluntary recall has been discontinued.
There has so far only been one accident associated with the product. However, it is confirmed that the product has sections which do not meet with technical standards of electrical appliances defined under the Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law, and the safety of the product is questionable even when the users handle the products according to the instruction manual.
NITE has issued this alert to prevent any recurrence of this accident and to protect consumers by providing information regarding this accident and drawing consumers' attention to this matter.

If you have the following product, you should discontinue its use immediately.

(Product details)
Name of Product: Horei Ho-onko Duo (duo)
Model: SC-1113
Country of Origin: China
Importer: K.K. Sun Bird Auto Denki
Distributor: K.K. Ams Corporation
Sales Period: From April 2002 to February 2003
Number of import: 3,000 units
Number of Sales: 2,488 units
Number of Accident: 1


[Labeling on the Product]

(Do not use the contact telephone number indicated on the label as it connects to a different company.)

K.K. Ams Corporation may be experiencing difficulties with regards to the voluntary recall of products due to the disbandment of the parent company, K.K. Sun Bird Auto Denki, and other factors. The contact information on the label had also been changed. See below:

Kabushikigaisha Ams Corporation
1, Kitaishida, Azakitaishida, Shunmei, Ichinomiya-shi,
Aichi Prefecture (c.c. G.N. Kabushikigaisha)

1.Outline of incident

In October 2003, an electric refrigerator installed in the children's area of a large-scale general merchandise store, caught fire and burned out. The fire spread to adjacent cardboard boxes, containing candies, and toy vending machines. The moment the fire broke out, the in-store sprinkler system activated and extinguished the fire. (Although the operation manual states that the refrigerator should not be switched on for more than ten hours at a time, it had been continuously operated for more than four months.)

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2.Cause of accident

The product does not comply with the technical standards of the Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law. It is presumed that dust accumulation on the PCB, with insufficient clearance between heteropolar live parts, caused a tracking phenomenon to occur, which in turn caused the fire.

Fore more information;
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
Product Safety Technology Center, Product Safety Investigation Division

Contact us

 Risk Analysis and Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16, Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 559-0034 Japan MAP