When you read that smoke detectors are being recalled in the wake of the General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s ignition switch problem you are likely to think the worst. “Uh-oh, how many people died?” I muttered to myself as I came across the news this morning. The answer is a resounding NONE.
Nest Labs, which was purchased by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) in January for $3.2 billion identified an issue with its Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (alarm) in early April. CEO Tony Fadell recently wrote about the problem in a blog post and explained that it was due to an issue with the Nest’s Wave feature that allows users to turn off the alarm with a wave of the hand. Apparently, the alarm wasn’t just deactivated by a wave but could be turned off inadvertently as well.
Nest labs voluntary halt of sales
As a result, the company voluntarily stopped sales of the device last month as it looked into the Nest Wave algorithm that analyzes motion detection data. The recall is not a recall in the true sense as Nest has fixed the problem. It’s simply a formal acknowledgment of the problem (and solution) by the company for the benefit of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
In order to remedy the problem, users who own the Nest Protect who have yet to connect the device to the Internet via there WiFi network are asked to do so in order to receive a software update that disables the Wave function built into the detector. Users who have already connected to the Internet are simply asking users to verify that the Nest Wave feature is disabled by looking in the Nest Sense section of their Nest account either via the Web or Nest Labs’ mobile application. Done and dusted.
No word was given by the company on when it will return to the shelves of Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY), The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) and other retailers. The Nest Protect was priced around $130 and was also available direct from the Nest Labs’ website as well as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and other online retailers.
Recalls occur at a rate of around 80 per quarter according to the CPSC. This is, however, something new for Google who only got into the hardware market two year ago.