May 22, 2014
Nest Labs Issues Recall Of Nest Protect Smoke + CO Alarms
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A smoke and CO alarm that doesn't actually sound off isn't exactly much of alarm. For this reason Google-owned Nest Labs, by way of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, this week issued a recall notice covering all 440,000 Protect smoke alarms as these could fail to sound due to a false triggering of the "Wave" feature. The alarm could be disabled with a gesture accidentally.
The Nest Protect functions as both a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm that offers connectivity to a smartphone.
Sales of the device were halted last month due to a problem with one of the device's features. This included a feature called the "Nest Wave," which allowed users to silence an active alarm by waving one's hand in a certain direction. It was discovered after this implementation of the gesture control that it could completely deactivate the device entirely – and often without the owner's knowledge – by accidentally waving in the wrong direction.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Activity near the product during a fire can prevent the alarm from immediately sounding when the Nest Wave feature is enabled."
CPSC issued this remedy:
"The repair is an automatic electronic update that disables the Nest Wave feature and is delivered automatically to devices connected wirelessly to the Internet and linked to a Nest account. Consumers should take one of the following actions:
"Consumers who have not connected their Nest Protect devices to their wireless network and linked them to a Nest account should immediately do so. The devices will automatically receive the update that disables the Nest Wave feature. Customers should confirm that their devices have been updated by going to Nest Sense on their Nest account mobile or web application and ensuring that the button for Nest Wave is off and grayed out. Instructions on how to connect to a network and disable the feature are available at http://support.nest.com/article/Nest-Protect-Safety or by contacting Nest Labs.
"Consumers whose Nest Protect devices are connected to their wireless network and linked to a Nest account should immediately confirm the receipt of an automatic repair that disabled the Nest Wave feature by going to Nest Sense on their Nest account mobile or web application and ensuring that the button for Nest Wave is set to 'off' and grayed out. No further action is required and consumers can continue to use their devices."
The units were reportedly sold at Best Buy, Home Depot and other nationwide retailers, as well as online, from November 15, 2013 to April 3, 2014.
TechCrunch reported that Nest Labs first identified the problems last month, and disclosed that the Wave feature was not working as advertised. Nest then halted sales and offered refunds for the product.
"Nothing has changed since our initial announcement last month and in fact," a Nest spokesperson told TechCrunch. "We'll be bringing Nest Protect back on the market in a few weeks."
The company has also reassured owners of the device that they can continue to use the Nest Product once the Nest Wave feature has been disabled via the software update.
"Even with the Wave feature disabled, the Nest Protect Alarm will continue to perform its essential safety functions, monitoring for increased levels of smoke and CO, and alerting users via voice alerts and Nest app alerts (if set up) as soon as there is a potential issue," Nest added in its statement to TechCrunch.
Nest also provided instructions on how users can disable the Nest Wave feature in a product FAQ.
At press time Nest Labs has received no reports of incidents, injuries or property damage.