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Home > Large & Small Appliances > Coffeemakers
September 4, 1979  
Release # 79-046

Major Corrective Action Set On Corning Ware Coffee Percolators

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 4) -- Corning Glass Works and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a voluntary action by the company to remove virtually all Corning Ware coffee percolators from consumer use.

Some of these coffeemakers can be dangerous to use because the handle and metal band may separate without warning from the white glass-ceramic pot.

Consumers owning Corning Ware percolators are advised to stop using them immediately. If such a separation occurs on a coffeemaker containing hot liquid, the consumer can be burned.

As part of its voluntary corrective action, Corning has prepared an incentive program to get consumers to stop using these coffeemakers. The company has purchased advertising space in hundreds of newspapers nationwide telling consumers what to do.

The advertisements, scheduled to appear beginning September 10th, will contain coupons through which coffeemaker owners may obtain details from Corning regarding the plan. Consumers also may receive information concerning the program from Corning Glass Works, P.O. BOX 5750, Corning, New York 14830, but are requested to use the coupons which will be appearing in their local newspapers. The Commission has accepted Corning's Corrective action Plan.

Corning has manufactured and sold approximately 18.5 million Corning Ware percolators since they were introduced in 1960. Due to normal product attrition, a smaller number is believed to be still in use.

In 1976 Corning recalled approximately 400,000 electromatic percolators manufactured in 1974. With respect to its other percolators, since 1972 Corning has received approximately 7,000 separation complaints including reports of approximately 1,250 injuries. Corning said these represent approximately 4 complaints and 0.7 injury complaints per 10,000 percolators sold.

Corning said that these rates are low, but it has decided voluntarily to remove the percolators from service rather than risk any further injuries or inconvenience on the part of its customers.

The cause of the separation problem has been traced to the epoxy sealant which was intended to fasten the handle/metal band assembly to the white glass-ceramic pot. This sealant can dry out and become brittle, causing the two parts to separate without warning.

The separation problem does not extend to Corning's "Pyrex" brand clear glass percolators or to any other Corning coffeemakers, and those products are not included in the program, Corning said.

The Commission and Corning request that consumers not return coffeemakers to the company or to retailers. They should be taken out of use immediately and retained until the owner receives instructions on the program from Corning. Corning said consumers should allow at least eight weeks for the company's response.

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