Instant Pot made a public post on their Facebook group, regarding a small number of their non-pressure multicookers and how they can overheat, melting the plastic base of the unit. The post lists specific batch numbers they believe are affected requesting customers to stop using the affected units immediately.
The post only acknowledges the issue and mentions that next-steps and procedures for returns and exchanges will follow shortly. Specifically, Instant Pot mentioned they are working cooperatively with the Consumer Product Safety Council (CPSC).
Government Process Slow, Obscure
Assuming that Instant Pot is cooperating with the CPSC to make a voluntary recall, even if they used the agency’s Fast Track Recall Process, they would not be able to announce the recall until the process is complete. The CPSC claims to complete the fast track within 20 working days of a manufacturer/distributor submitting their application -though there is no guarantee that this would result in a recall unless and CPSC determines the hazard grave enough to require corrective action.
The recall application process is further complicated by a “confidentiality clause” which prohibits the agency from communicating any details of injury reports or applications until the commission publishes a finding of their investigation. If the investigation finds that a recall is to be had, the CPSC requires the company issuing the recall to have any press releases and even social media communications reviewed and approved before dissemination.
CPSC is first to issue the approved public communication messages and then recalling firm follows with issuance of its approved communication messages. – CPSC’s Recall Handbook
A search through CPSC’s Safer Products database, which includes reports of unsafe appliances and recalls, did not show any recent consumer reports regarding any Instant Pot products. The only result that comes up is Instant Pot’s original recall for a small batch of Instant Pot SMART cookers in 2015-which at the time were only sold either directly by Instant Pot or through Amazon.
Walmart Pulls GEMs Off Shelves
There are unconfirmed reports from consumers who contacted Hip Cooking, Walmart has sent out a “pull and hold” order to all of their stores. This means all GEM non-pressure multicookers off the shelves and put in the storage room until further notice. Should Instant Pot require the retailer to return or dispose of the units, Instant Pot would be required to pay an additional service charge to the retailer.
Consumers Can’t Get Answers
Instant Pot’s Facebook group moderators have turned off comments on the post, likely because they cannot reply without a CPSC-approved message. However, on February 21’st Instant Pot’s Marketing Manager posted an update assuring customers that they are working to share more information as soon as possible.
If you have one of these units and would like to share any additional information or photographs, please feel free to leave a comment below.
We will update this post as more information becomes available.
Official Instant Pot Posts
Consumer Photographs of GEM Issue
Updated 2/24/2018: To include CPSC and Walmart information plus Instant Pot update post.