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GE Recalls 1.3 Million Dishwashers on Electric-Fire Risk

General Electric Co. is recalling about 1.3 million dishwashers after electrical failures sparked fires that caused “extensive” property damage.

“Consumers should stop using these dishwashers immediately and disconnect the power,” Inez Moore Tenenbaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said today at a Washington news conference.

The units were sold from March 2006 to August 2009 under brand names including GE Adora, GE Eterna, GE Profile and Hotpoint for as much as $850, the agency said in a statement. It said seven fires were reported among 15 heating-element failures, with three blazes causing “extensive” damage.

Owners should contact GE for free repairs or vouchers toward the purchase of a new unit, the commission said. The company alerted the commission to the fire risk, Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman for GE’s appliances division, said in an e-mail.

GE is investing $800 million to upgrade its appliance factory in Louisville, Kentucky, and revamp product lines such as refrigerators and water heaters. That includes $150 million to redesign dishwashers and buy more parts for the machines from U.S. sources, according to an Aug. 6 statement.

The shares climbed 0.2 percent to $21.06 at the close in New York. Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE rose 18 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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