Google Suspends Nest Smoke Alarm Sales on Safety Concerns

Google Inc.’s Nest Labs, a digital-thermostat maker acquired earlier this year, is suspending sales of its smoke alarm after it determined the unit could be switched off unintentionally.

The company recommends users disable the “Nest Wave” feature on the alarm that enables customers to easily turn off the product with a swipe of the hand, Tony Fadell, chief executive officer of Nest, said in a statement yesterday. The potential malfunction was revealed in a lab test and Fadell said he isn’t aware of any customers who have experienced this problem.

“We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns,” Fadell wrote. “We’re enormously sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue.”

Google, the world’s largest online digital-advertising provider, bought Nest for more than $3 billion in February as the company looks to expand into hardware sales. While the push beyond core digital services gives the company more access to users, it also raises new business risks.

The glitch could take two to three months to correct, Fadell said. Nest is offering users the option of a complete refund.

“The entire Nest team and I are focused on fixing this problem,” he said.