Nest recalling 440,000 Protect smoke alarms, providing refunds

Nest Protect

Nearly two months after issuing a sales stop of the Nest Protect connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, the product is being recalled. The recall, issued through the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, affects all 440,000 Nest Protects out there, and owners are eligible for either a repair of the unit (in the form of a software update) or a refund.

The recall formalizes the refund process, whereas previously Nest had opted to disable the "Protect Wave" feature they'd found to cause an unacceptable risk via a software update, as well as stopping sales of further units. Nest found during follow-on testing that the feature, which allows a person to wave at an activated alarm to disable it in the event of innocuous activation (e.g. smoke from cooking), was found to be possible to inadvertently activate during actually serious conditions. Realizing that, Nest immediately stopped sales and within 24 hours issued the update.

That was back in early April. The US CPSC recall allows owners of a Nest Protect smoke alarm to now apply for a refund, though they could still just download the update to disable the Protect Wave and carry on. Granted, Protect Wave was something of a flagship feature for the connected smoke alarm, though there is still more that it could offer. Either way, the recall is a continuing blow for Nest.

On a more positive note, 440,000 is many more than we would have expected — though the product's sales in Best Buy and Home Depot, as well as through certainly didn't hurt.

If you own a Nest Protect and want more information on how to apply the update or apply for a refund, check the source link below.

Source: US Consumer Protection Safety Commission; Via: GigaOm

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, occasional web designer, Army musician, armchair pundit, news addict, all-around nerd, professional ranter, and user of many phones.

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Reader comments

Nest recalling 440,000 Protect smoke alarms, providing refunds


Refund? Feh.
If they spam you with ads, the f-ing smoke alarms should be free.
Isn't that Google's business model? Free stuff if you can tolerate ads?

Targeted ads, e.g. real estate agents nearby, could be quite handy though.

Seriously, a deactivation feature, unless it is a hardware solution like a pin with a big red flag/tail attached, does not belong into a smoke detector ever. Most $9.95 devices would make me feel safer than that.

You do realize every smoke detector has a deactivate feature right? And none of them have the big red flag you talk about. That was seriously a convenient feature to have. With young chefs in the kitchen at my house it went off more than once. But nothing we couldn't just wave off.

Sent from the iMore App

Yes, but certainly not without requiring physical contact and only once an alarm goes off (at least the ones that can be certified here). None of them could be deactivated unintentionally or permanently (unless you take the battery out).

The problem usually starts with putting the wrong types of detectors in the wrong place. There are different detectors for different rooms and also mixed smoke and heat detectors with adjustable sensitivity setting to cater for e.g. kitchens, bath rooms and rooms where smoking is allowed. With a proper deployment there should be almost no false alarms ever.

The very idea of having such a feature software based, user-maintainable and contact free scares me as much as a fire. Any public building here having such detectors would be closed down, so why have something like that at home?

So... The smoke alarms so you with ads? Is that the kind of BS you google haters are spittin out these days?

Sent from the iMore App

440,000 faulty units were sold, but zero deaths have been caused. That would be great figures for fully functioning units. It is great to see products like this hitting the mass-markets, rather than only being available from door-to-door salesman.