UPDATE: All Instant Pot SMART currently on sale, with a production date of 06/2015 or later, have had this issue fixed.
Yesterday Instant Pot, a subsidiary of Canadian Double Insight Inc., announced a recall of all SMART Electric Pressure and Multi-cookers sold before today (May 23, 2015). This is a voluntary and precautionary recall that was enacted in less than 48 hours after the discovery of a problem which only affects a small percentage of units. The recall does not affect Instant Pot’s previous Models (CSG, LUX & DUO).
Bob Wang, of Instant Pot, said “We found a problem with IP-Smart’s thermal probe. After extensive usage, an insulating layer could be broken and leak electricity.”
This means that electricity may be transmitted to other metal parts of the pressure cooker. Such as the inner-pot or the pressure cooker’s outer body eventually harming anyone coming into contact with those parts.
This recall was Initiated by Instant Pot voluntarily and involves not only the cost to replace but also the expense returning three shipping containers of product to the factory to fix the problem. Instant Pot triggered this recall out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of their customers. They will provide replacements to customers free of charge. This undertaking is the sign of manufacturer who cares about its customers and wants to keep them.
Upon the discovery of this defect, Instant Pot immediately sent an e-mail to all customers who purchased an Instant Pot SMART through their online store. Customers who purchased their Instant Pot SMART through Amazon were notified separately by the retailer.
The e-mail sent to Instant Pot customers is as follows…
Dear Instant Pot Smart Owner,
Last night, we found out about a manufacturing issue with Instant Pot Smart. After extensive use, this issue may lead to electrical leakage from the thermal probe (the shiny, elevated component in the middle of the heating element). As a result, this may cause an electrical shock. This problem is estimated to occur in only about 3~4 in a thousand units, and only in the Smart model manufactured before March 30th, 2015. No other Instant Pot models are affected.
To avoid any risk, please stop using your Instant Pot Smart. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you. Your Instant Pot Smart will be replaced at no cost to you. On the bright side, this will upgrade the firmware in your cooker too.
We will contact you again via email about the replacement process.
If you purchased the Instant Pot Smart for others, please forward this email to them.
The Instant Pot Team
Instant Pot was alerted to the issue via their customer support and a customer comment on Hip Pressure Cooking’s facebook page. The close collaboration between Hip Pressure Cooking and Instant Pot brought a precautionary recall for this issue within 48-hours of its discovery.
Laura Pazzaglia, founder of the Hip Pressure Cooking website, said “We maintain close relationships with pressure cooker manufacturers to ensure our readers have the latest information. We’re not just a marketing mouthpiece, it’s a two-way relationship. They ask for and we send them our own and relevant consumer feedback to evolve and improve their products. Most of this usually happens behind the scenes.”
Pazzaglia concluded, “I use these products to cook for my family daily so it’s important that they function safely.”
Instant Pot SMART announced their up-coming pressure cooker at CES, Las Vegas last year. It’s their fourth pressure cooker model, and the first electric pressure and multi-cooker to include Bluetooth® technology to communicate with an App.
All available units of the first production were sold out in weeks after it’s debut. But the model received some negative reviews because of the cost and the promised app for iPad/phone and Android devices was not ready for the latter because its release date continued to slip (the latest promise is late June 2015).
The SMARTs flew off the shelves anyway because the SMART (without the app) offers the same functions as the DUO- their previous model which was the No. 1 best-selling small appliance on Amazon online store during the 2014 holiday season. These functions include: Saute’, Slow Cook, Pressure Cook, Steam Cook, Make Yogurt and the ability to keep the food warm. In addition, the SMART comes with an app that allows the cook to program the time and temperature the cooker runs to do anything from sous vide to kefir fermentation, or start something by pressure cooking it and finish it by slow cooking.
The next production of Instant Pot SMART includes one additional functionality in the unit’s firmware. Previously, owners of the 1st production SMART had the option to upgrade the firmware themselves by removing and replacing the front panel o the unit. However, this recall means that owners of the 1st production Instant Pot SMART will have the unit completely replaced. Instant Pot does not plan any additional firmware updates. The corresponding App updates will happen automatically.
Instant Pot gave us an optimistic estimate of replacements units starting to ship late June – but cannot give an exact date until the new units have been produced, shipped and received at a local port.
What to Do
If you own an Instant Pot SMART stop using it. If you have not received an e-mail from Instant Pot, please contact their customer service to be added to the mailing list to receive further information on the free Instant Pot SMART replacement process.
Post any questions, below, in the comment area or in the Hip Pressure Cooking Instant Pot forum.