Champion Generators Sold by Costco Recalled for Fire Risk

We recently wrote that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of two Champion Power Equipment generators over fire hazard. The recall involved 8,600 portable generators.

In the wake of superstorm Sandy last week, many residents of the East Coast have been left without power for days and concerns are high that the current nor’easter making its way to the storm-ravaged coast could undo some of the progress made in the area, leaving even more without power. With an increasing number of people relying on generators as they wait days, even weeks, for power restoration—some with no foreseeable end in site—CBS News notes that generators do pose carbon monoxide risks and also questions what caused some New York City hospital generators to fail this week.

Two Champion Power Equipment generator models were recalled over potential fuel leaks from the generators’ carburetors, which poses a fire risk. Both models affected by the recall have a black frame with black and yellow control panels, a bar handle, and two wheels.

The recalled portable generators were manufactured in China by Champion Power Equipment of Santa Fe Springs, California, and were sold exclusively at Costco Wholesale stores, nationwide, from December 2011 through July 2012. The recalled portable generators sold for about $699.

To date, there have been 11 reports of fuel leaking from the generators, including eight reports of the generators catching fire and two reports of property damage.

The generator with model number 41332 is constructed with an open frame and the words “Champion Power Equipment” can be found on the control panel and “8250 starting watts” and “6500 running watts” can be found on the side of the fuel tank. Portable generator model number 41532 is constructed with side panels that cover the long sides of the fuel tank. The words “Champion Power Equipment” can be found on the side panel above the control panel and the words “9000 starting watts” and “7000 running watts” on the control panel.

The model number and serial number are located on the side of the generator with the handle and are located on a tag on the crossbar above the yellow generator end cap.

Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled Champion Power Equipment portable generators immediately and contact Champion Power Equipment for a free repair kit, which must be installed by an authorized dealer. Consumers may also return the recalled portable generators to Costco for a full refund. Champion Power Equipment may be reached, toll-free, at 1.855.236.9424, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific Time (PT), Monday through Friday; by email at; or online at (click on the red “Important Product Recall Notice” link for more information).

Health officials warn that people using generators and other alternate power and heating sources could be at risk for potentially fatal deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, said CBS News, which posted some tips on reducing risks from the devices. For instance, never run a generator where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area or inside a basement, garage, or any enclosed structure inside the home. This applies, said CBS News, even if the windows are open. Also, vents and flues should be kept free of debris.

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