Builders and remodelers whose customers use refrigerators from Maytag or its sister brands will want to check their refrigerator's serial numbers in the face of a widespread recall from the appliance manufacturer. Maytag announced today that it is recalling 1.6 million refrigerators across seven of its brands due to an electrical issue that could pose fire risk.

Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa by Maytag, and Crosley brand refrigerators are affected by the recall. An electrical failure in the relay, the component that turns on the refrigerator's compressor, can cause overheating and pose a serious fire hazard. Maytag has received 41 reports of refrigerator relay ignition, including 16 reports of property damage ranging from smoke damage to extensive kitchen damage.

The affected refrigerators are side-by-side or top-freezer units and were manufactured in black, bisque, white, and stainless steel. They have model and serial numbers printed on a label located on the top-middle or upper-left side of the refrigerator liner, and have the following serial number combinations:

Serial numbers ending with AND model numbers beginning with
Side-by-Side Refrigerators AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, CA, CC, CE, CG, CJ, CL, ZB, ZD, ZF, ZH, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY, ZZ ARS, CS, JC, MS, MZ, PS
Top-Freezer Refrigerators AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY, ZZ AT, CT, MT, PT

Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom are not included in this recall.

The affected units were sold by department stores and home builders nationwide from January 2001 to January 2004.

Consumers should immediately contact Maytag to determine if their refrigerator is included in the recall and to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers should not return the refrigerator to the retailer where it was purchased. For more information, contact Maytag at 866.533.9817, or visit