FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
October 10, 1985  
Release # 85-050
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Tappan Company, Mansfield, Ohio, today announced a repair program to correct a possible fire hazard on certain gas surface cooktops produced between 1971 and 1982 under the Tappan, O'Keefe & Merritt and Montgomery Ward "Signature" brands.

The program will include a notification to more than 7,000 independent Tappan service organizations nationwide and will also include consumer advertisements in Southern California and Neveda, where approximately 65,000 of the 113,000 units produced may be in use, particularly in mobile home applications.

The problem involves an assembly supplied to Tappan by Robertshaw Controls Company of Richmond,.Virginia, in which metal clamps used to secure the top burner valves to the gas manifold may experience excessive corrosion and potential breakage. Should this occur, the gas valve can break away from the manifold, permitting, gas to escape and leading to the possibility of fire.

Approximately 50 incidents of breakage, some of which involved gas leaks and fire, have been attributed to this situation. The ranges involved are all four-burner gas surface units. The Tappan/O'Keefe & Merritt model numbers are: Z-14-3622; 14-3621; Z-14-6311; 14-6311 and 14-3671. The Mongtomery Ward "Signature" models are: KTM-3966; KTM-3963 and KTM-3960. Only approximately 3,500 of the units involved were produced under the Mongtomery Ward "Signature" brand.

Consumers who have one of these units should call Tappan at l-800-624-2209. In California call l-800-841-6243. To find the model number, lift the cooktop; the model number will be on a label at the left rear corner of the burner box (see attached drawing).

Free inspection and repair will be made. Only built-in, four burner gas cooktops are involved. Other Tappan/O'Keefe & Merritt and Mongtomery Ward "Signature" ranges are not involved.

Consumers may call the CPSC toll-free Hotline for information at 800-638-CPSC. The teletypewriter number for the hearing-impaired is (301) 595-7054.

Cooktop