Caravan and motorhome owners reminded to check for deadly recalled water heaters

29 October 2021

The ACCC is urging consumers who have a dual fuel gas/electric water heater in their caravan, motor home or horse campers to check for the dangerous Suburban-branded water heaters ahead of any post-lockdown holidays.

The ACCC is concerned that more than 50 per cent of these units might emit deadly odourless carbon monoxide if used in gas mode. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause death, and short-term exposure can cause serious long-term injuries.

There are still over 8,300 consumers who have not registered their water heaters for a free inspection. As the risk of failure is so high, the ACCC is concerned that these owners are not aware of the recall and may use their caravan, motor home or horse campers these holidays without checking if they are safe.

“Consumers should not use the affected water heaters in gas mode under any circumstances, even if they have a carbon monoxide detector,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“It’s very important to check your recreational vehicle, horse camper or caravan’s water heater as soon as possible as there is a significant risk of injury or death from this product.”

Carbon monoxide is invisible, has no smell, is lethal and cannot be detected. It is also highly flammable and can explode on contact with a spark or flame.

The water heaters were supplied between 1 May 2018 and 25 September 2019, either new with the vehicle by retailers nationally, or purchased separately online and installed later.

Consumers can check if their heater is affected by opening the exterior access door to the hot water service and checking the model and serial number located on the right-hand side. They should then enter the serial number on the Coast to Coast website.

If you have an affected water heater, urgently contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure on 02 9645 7685 or email recalls@coastrv.com.au who will arrange for a licensed gas fitter to inspect it free of charge. Every unit must be inspected.

Consumers will not have to cover any costs related to the supply and installation of the new water heater.

Consumers who have difficulties obtaining a timely remedy should contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure, their state or territory gas regulator or complete an ACCC online report.

Background

Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure notified a recall for Suburban dual fuelled Water Heaters on 15 November 2019 due to this deadly hazard. 18,139 heaters were sold by these retailers nationally. Most are installed in caravans and motorhomes, with some in horse float campers.

There are 9,600 recalled units still to be inspected, of these, 1,241 are registered to be inspected and 8,359 are not registered for inspection. The affected products are the Suburban Recreational Vehicle Water Heaters with model numbers SW6DEA, SW6DA, SW4DEA, SW4DA, SW4DECA, SW6DECA and SW6PA that have serial numbers between 181315552 and 193002648 (some serial numbers may end with a 'D') and between 8183311827 and 8190201139. They were manufactured between 4 April 2018 and 1 August 2019.

The Office of the Technical Regulator (SA) is the responsible regulator for this product. It is a member of the Gas Technical Regulators Committee (GTRC). The GTRC is composed of gas technical and safety regulators across Australia and aims to apply a consistent regulatory approach to improve gas safety, measurement and quality.

More information is available at Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure — Suburban Recreational Vehicle Water Heaters Model SW6PA, SW6DEA, SW6DA, SW4DEA, SW4DA, SW4DECA and SW6DECA.

Release number: 
167/21
ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

Media enquiries: 
Media Team - 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au

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