After initially asking customers to stop using their Gem multicookers, Instant Pot has formally started a voluntary recall due to a manufacturing error.
UPDATE: Instant Pot has started a voluntary recall on units of its Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicookers after discovering that a manufacturing error is the source of a safety issue where the product overheats and melts.
After an outpouring of customers warning the public of the malfunction on social media, Instant Pot initially offered a free replacement to those affected—but the brand now says that more than 100,000 units are faulty, after reviewing the case with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The investigation also revealed that all of these affected models were sold exclusively at Walmart stores, according to ABC News.
You can tell if your Instant Pot branded multicooker is affected with the instructions we've previously reported below: but in addition to reaching out to Instant Pot, the CPSC is asking customers to bring their faulty units to Walmart to receive free replacements.
Over the last week, Instant Pot has received 107 reports of overheating, with five cases causing property damage to the homes and kitchens they were used in, according to the CPSC. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
In a newly created website housing FAQ information for the public, Instant Pot says the malfunction causing the slow cookers to overheat and melt has to do with "a gap between the bottom of the inner pot and the top surface of the heating plate." The mistake in production is causing that area to become extremely hot and for the product itself to melt.
For more information, head over to Instant Pot's Gem Multicooker recall website, which you can visit right here.
The original article, from February 22 and with an initial update on February 23, continues below:
02/23/18: An Instant Pot representative has confirmed that the company will offer a free replacement to affected customers. If you own a Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker and discover that your Instant Pot product has overheated and caused the bottom of your cooker to melt, or if your product's batch code is listed below, Instant Pot officials will provide you with a new multicooker at no cost.
When reached for comment, Instant Pot Marketing Manager Anna Di Meglio shared statements with Cooking Light that the company has sent to affected customers.
"We can assure you, you will soon receive instructions on how to receive a free replacement Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker. In the meantime, we again ask that you stop using your Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker," she wrote in an email.
The company still has not initiated a formal recall, but Di Meglio said that Instant Pot is "working cooperatively and quickly with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission" to resolve the issue. The malfunction has not affected any of Instant Pot's core pressure cooker products, as the Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker is the only product reported to be affected this malfunction.
02/22/18: After multiple reports and users calling the company out on social media, Instant Pot is telling customers to check their multi-use slow cookers to make sure that they're not part of a batch of units that are apparently overheating.
If you own a Gem 65 8-in-1 Instant Pot, your pressure cooker could be at risk—the company has taken to its official Facebook page to explain that these models could overheat and experience "melting damage to the underside of the product."
The simplest way to check and see if your machine could be faulty is to take a peek at your Gem 8-in-1 pressure cooker's batch code. According to Consumer Reports, the code is located on the bottom of your Instant Pot on a clear silver label. Check to see if your 4-digit batch code is among the following: 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, 1746.
Instant Pot has yet to voluntarily initiate a recall for those affected, but is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to take next steps—Instant Pot has also said in a public statement that new information would be made available in the coming weeks.
If you do happen to have an affected model, Instant Pot is asking you to reach out to the support department by calling 1-800-828-7280 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They've also advised you to stop using the pressure cooker immediately.
This isn't the first time that Instant Pot has had to deal with recall issues—two years ago, a Bluetooth-enabled Instant Pot model was recalled due to customers experiencing electric shock during use. The possibility of machine malfunction has become a hot topic issue for home cooks, as the popular NBC show This Is Us recently appeared to blame the death of one of it's most popular characters on a faulty Crock Pot.