It’s official: Nearly two months after Nest Labs — erstwhile Apple demigod Tony Fadell’s home automation company that’s in the business of transforming humdrum household staples into brainy and beautiful design objects — halted new sales of Nest Protect, it is now recalling 440,000 units of the connected smoke/carbon monoxide detector. It's unclear if this figure includes both total units sold to date along with units that have been shipped to retailers but have not yet been sold.
The recall was announced on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website earlier today:
Reads the announcement:
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 athttp://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.
When the aforementioned sales stop was announced by the Google-owned, Palo Alto-based company in early April, Nest Protect owners were encouraged to install a firmware update that disabled Nest Wave, the $129 device’s flawed feature — also its niftiest — that enables users to silence the alarm with a simple wave gesture in non-emergency situations (i.e. burnt popcorn). Internal testing at Nest Labs found that the device’s alarm could also be inadvertently disabled in actual emergency situations, not just burnt pot roast scenarios, prompting the speedy initial halt of sales and immediate release of the firmware update.
Those using the device without WiFi and, thus, unable to receive the Nest Wave-disabling upgrade, were strongly encouraged to stop using the sleek, smart gizmo altogether. Full refunds were also offered by the company to anyone owning a Nest Protect, WiFi-enabled or not.
There have been no reports of the the faulty Nest Wave feature resulting in any real world damage or injury.
Essentially, the recall issued by the US CPSC doesn’t change anything that wasn't already set into motion by Nest Labs back in April — this isn't a typical physical recall — although it does formalize the refund and repair process. As detailed above, Nest Protect users can continue to use their devices with the Nest Wave function disabled.
Related stories on MNN: