Nest recalling 440,000 Protect smoke alarms, providing refunds

Nest App
By Derek Kessler on 21 May 2014 03:53 pm
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Nearly two months after issuing a sales stop of the Nest Protect connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, the product is being recalled. The recall, issued through the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, affects all 440,000 Nest Protects out there, and owners are eligible for either a repair of the unit (in the form of a software update) or a refund.

The recall formalizes the refund process, whereas previously Nest had opted to disable the "Protect Wave" feature they'd found to cause an unacceptable risk via a software update, as well as stopping sales of further units. Nest found during follow-on testing that the feature, which allows a person to wave at an activated alarm to disable it in the event of innocuous activation (e.g. smoke from cooking), was found to be possible to inadvertently activate during actually serious conditions. Realizing that, Nest immediately stopped sales and within 24 hours issued the update.

That was back in early April. The US CPSC recall allows owners of a Nest Protect smoke alarm to now apply for a refund, though they could still just download the update to disable the Protect Wave and carry on. Granted, Protect Wave was something of a flagship feature for the connected smoke alarm, though there is still more that it could offer. Either way, the recall is a continuing blow for Nest.

On a more positive note, 440,000 is many more than we would have expected — though the product's sales in Best Buy and Home Depot, as well as through Amazon.com certainly didn't hurt.

If you own a Nest Protect and want more information on how to apply the update or apply for a refund, check the source link below.

Source: US Consumer Protection Safety Commission; Via: GigaOm

7 comments

fuzzylumpkin

Hmm, home automation and the interconnectedness of smart technology is cool and great, but maybe we should leave stuff like smoke alarms well enough alone.

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Teso Dos Bichos

Disagree. This is precisely where connectivity is required. Having smoke alarms that could automatically inform the owner, nominated other and/or fire service (or even take initial action itself as part of a connected home) is the future. It is far better than the current situation where a large group of people do not bother at all, test nor replace batteries in existing dumb smoke alarms. There will always be teething issues with any new product but the benefits clearly outweigh these.

Gator352

I disagree. Not everything has to be connected to get the experience it is designed for.

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David Lohrentz

Potential here also to notify via text msg or email when battery needs to be replaced.

Gator352

That's the problem. Everyone is being molded to rely on the connectivity of things to keep them going. If it's too much to spend an hour on a Saturday morning once a month to check batteries in various products, then they need to see doctor for the condition of laziness.

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endokendo

Despite the inability to wave off an alarm, I still thinking that the Nest Protect offers value. Imaging having multiple Nest Protects in your home, say one for each room of the house. If a fire began on one corner of the house, wouldn't you want everyone in the home notified immediately? The "walkie talkie / speaker broadcast" system is very smart - earlier detection of smoke leads to earlier notification for all in the home and would be especially useful if all were asleep. On top of that, I would want family members who are travelling or who are not in the home to be notified immediately on their smartphone. So despite the recall and the inability for the wave feature (where waving my hand under the Protect to silence the alarm), I still think the Protect offers value. Connected devices and the Internet of Things....it's only going to get better.

PDeeby

It's a pity this product has hit snags so soon, especially after their recent acquisition. Reading their amazon reviews there appear to be several issues apart from the hand waving cancel alarm debacle. It could be an essential product, but suffers in comparison with much simpler and let's face it cheaper solutions. Hope they can iron out the rough spots.