NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., reportedly one of the most innovative and profitable companies in the world, announced a voluntary recall of more than 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems last month.
“After receiving reports of hot liquid escaping from Mini Plus Brewing System units during use, Keurig contacted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada to begin the process for a voluntary recall,” read a company statement.
“The Company has received approximately 200 incident reports related to the approximately 7.2 million MINI Plus units in the U.S. and Canada,” added the statement.
Nearly half of the incident reports described actual injuries – some 90 people burned by escaping hot water spraying from the brewer.
Health Canada said Keurig had recorded an additional 17 incidents of minor burns.
The “Hazard” in this recall, as stated by the CPSC is that, “Water can overheat during brewing, spray out and burn consumers.”
The recall decision came on December 23, just two days before Christmas. Keurig maintains that the timing of the recall was dictated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
A spokesman for the CPSC told the Wall Street Journal that the CPSC, “encouraged Keurig to announce the recall [on December 23] because families will be gathering for the holidays and are likely to use their brewers more often this time of year.”
He added that: “The agency had waited until it had evaluated the company’s repair program before encouraging the recall.”
Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, expressed concern in an interview with USA Today.
"Hopefully the consumers will have some recourse, especially those badly hurt," he told the nation's largest newspaper.
"My major concern is public safety. Will people know if there are that many millions out there. It is the holidays and people aren't necessarily near their computers."
Keurig says the problem does not affect any of its other brewer models, having released an updated model in July 2014.
“Keurig said an updated version of Mini Plus brewers released in July doesn’t have the water-spray problem, according to tests it has conducted on the new models,” reported the journal.
Suzanne DuLong, Keurig’s vice president of corporate communications, told the paper that Keurig reported the issue to the CPSC and Health Canada in November, ahead of its quarterly earnings report.
The journal notes that Dulong would not say when the company first discovered that the brewer had a problem. However, after news of the recall broke, she said Keurig “recently identified the issue and took immediate action.”
She added that the timing of the recall was determined by the CPSC and Health Canada.
Dulong said that Keurig is working to determine how many of the reports in the U.S. and Canada are related to the problems associated with the recall, according to a subsequent statement.
No lawsuits had been filed against Keurig over injuries associated with the Mini Plus, added the statement.
Media reports following the recall say that consumers should contact Keurig for a "free repair."
However, consumers will have to install the parts included in the repair kit on their own, including a brewer handle attachment, and replacement K-cup holder, and they will take weeks to arrive.
You will need your machine’s serial number in order to receive the “free easy-to-install repair kit,” shipped by Federal Express.
It is found on the bottom of the machine’s metal base.
The phone representative will determine if the serial number you provide is on the list of recalled units (you don't necessarily have to compare your serial number to the list of recalled units, on your own, before calling).
If you own a Mini Plus Brewing System with model number K10, previously identified as model number B31, call for your repair kit toll-free at (844) 255-7886 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., or email [email protected]nmar.com.
It was not hard for New Brunswick Today to find one of the seven million recalled units. We did so, and called the Keurig hotline to see how the recall is being handled.
"Thank you for calling the Keurig Mini Plus brewing line," said the representative.
“What does the repair kit actually include?” asked this reporter.
“What you are getting is a brewer handle attachment and a replacement K-cup holder that’s going to prevent hot water from escaping,” replied the representative.
She then asked, “Do you remember where it was purchased?”
“No, I do not,” said this reporter.
“Okay, don’t worry about it. What is the serial number from the bottom of the brewer please?” the representative asked politely.
After this reporter read the serial number aloud, she confirmed the machine was one of the recalled units.
“So Mr. Schatz, your free repair kit will be sent to you in approximately 4-6 weeks,” she said enthusiastically.
"In the meantime you can continue to use this mini-plus brewer," said the representative. "We recommend, however, that you avoid brewing multiple cups in quick succession."
"So wait several minutes between each brewing, and you want to stand at least an arm’s length away from the brewer during the brewing process.”
Here is the list of Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System serial number ranges that are included in the recall:
- 31.0000.0000001 through 31.0000.0250560
- 31.0001.0000001 through 31.0001.0010328
- 31.0002.0000001 through 31.0002.0081312
- 31.0003.0000001 through 31.0003.0010328
- 31.0004.0000001 through 31.0004.0263772
- 31.0014.0000001 through 31.0014.0001250
- 31.0015.0000001 through 31.0015.0001250
- 31.1000.0000001 through 31.1000.0015984
- 31.1002.0000001 through 31.1002.0002664
- 31.2000.0000001 through 31.2000.1977238
- 31.2001.0000001 through 31.2001.0174310
- 31.2002.0000001 through 31.2002.0745280
- 31.2003.0000001 through 31.2003.0055668
- 31.2004.0000001 through 31.2004.1156585
- 31.2015.0000001 through 31.2015.0081287
- 31.2017.0000001 through 31.2017.0047310
- 31.2019.0000001 through 31.2019.0117035
- 31.2020.0000001 through 31.2020.0019028
- 31.2021.0000001 through 31.2021.0076016
- 31.2022.0000001 through 31.2022.0022444
- 31.2030.0000001 through 31.2030.0032028
- 31.2031.0000001 through 31.2031.0042714
- 31.2033.0000001 through 31.2033.0018685
- 31.2034.0000001 through 31.2034.0016074
- 31.2035.0000001 through 31.2035.0013366
- 31.3000.0000340 through 31.3000.1524059
- 31.3001.0000001 through 31.3001.0021252
- 31.3002.0000001 through 31.3002.0510030
- 31.3004.0000001 through 31.3004.0016532