Most of the appliance stories we publish on ExtremeTech are about various IoT devices. We don’t tend to cover the more prosaic side of the industry, if only because you’ll look long and hard to find a “dumb” appliance manufacturer coating their washer in an interface specifically intended to resemble human skin. Grab a basic toilet at Home Depot, and it probably won’t come with an integrated butthole scanner. Shoes you have to tie yourself might not be very cool, but you also don’t run the risk of bricking your footwear.
But — in this case — we’re going to make an exception.
The Hampton Bay 54-inch Mara Indoor/Outdoor fan sold through Home Depot and manufactured by King of Fans has been recalled. Due to a manufacturing defect, fan blades may not remain connected to the body of the fan while in use. According to the company, this may pose “an injury hazard.”
This is a very mild way of saying “Our ceiling fan may attack you at any moment.” One wonders if the company couldn’t have made more money by selling a “Mara 54-inch Indoor/Outdoor Random Attack Fan.” A ceiling fan that hurls pieces of itself across the room at random intervals is very 2020.
To treat the topic with a very slightly more serious mien, Gizmodo reports that there have been about 88,000 of these fans sold in the United States. Not all Mara 54-inch fans are affected. There’s a manufacturing defect in some fans that left their fan blades attached by just one screw instead of two. The only way to tell if you have an affected fan is to manually examine it:
There have been 47 reports of detaching fan blades, with four reports of property damage and two reports of people actually being struck by the fan blades. While the defect rate appears disappointingly low, the fan appears to strike humans at a satisfactory rate — if, of course, your goal is to create a fan that doubles as a pet threatener/low-key assassination device.
If your goal isn’t to develop an assassination device, well, then, the product recall probably makes sense. The instructions above will show you how to fix the problem, but if you don’t feel comfortable performing the steps or lack the proper tools, you have the option of contacting the company and returning the fan.