Dometic recalls, right and wrong…
As many people have learned, Dometic has been forced to recall something over 900,000 refrigerators for the possibility of a failing cooling unit, which might result in a fire. Norcold recently went through a recall for the same reason- the heating elements installed are just too hot, along with a possibly defective weld, which results in the coolant leaking out.
Norcold did waffle a bit, releasing a recall which simply changed the heating element to a lower wattage model, but finally stepped up to the plate and replaced all of the affected cooling units- at considerable expense.
But… Dometic- as of the latest word that I have (and I have heard nothing through “official” channels) is that the “fix” Dometic is releasing is simply a “safety” fix- a sheet metal shield which will keep the ammonia/hydrogen mixture from catching fire when and if the cooling unit leaks. This meets the letter of the law in terms of safety, but in my opinion it short changes the near 1 million customers who either regarded Dometic as a quality company, or who bout RVs from manufacturers who thought the same. This recall does nothing to actually fix what is a defect in design and construction, it simply makes it so that when your thousand dollar plus appliance fails after a few years, it will not destroy your entire RV…. oh boy… thanks for the concern, Dometic.
I’ve been an RVer since the age of 18 (mumble, mumble- some 30 years now), in the repair business for over 15 years- and Dometic certified for nearly 10, and I have always been comfortable recommending, selling and installing Dometic products. Now I am afraid, unless Dometic changes their position (which, given enough public outrage, they might), I cannot in good conscience do that any more.
The letter of the recall is available here (at safercar.gov)