February 7, 2002                  

Applica Consumer Products Inc. Announces Recall of Black & Decker® Brand VersaToast™ Toasters


Applica Consumer Products Inc., of Miami Lakes, Fla., is voluntarily recalling about 2.1 million VersaToast™ wide-slot toasters. Applica made and sold these toasters under the Black & Decker® brand. The heating element in these toasters can continue to operate after use, posing a fire hazard. Applica is aware of nine reports of fires associated with these toasters after a period of non-use, resulting in minor property damage to kitchen cabinets. One minor injury was reported to the firm, but it has not been confirmed and is under investigation.

The recall includes both two-slice and four-slice Black & Decker® brand VersaToast™ wide-slot toasters. "BLACK & DECKER®," "VersaToast™" and "WIDE SLOT" are written on the side of the toaster near the cooking controls. The toasters have either white or black plastic enclosures. They have model number T1200, T1250, T1400 or T1450 written on the bottom of the toaster. Discount department stores, including Wal-Mart, Service Merchandise, Kohl's Department Stores and Bradlees, sold the toasters nationwide from June 1999 through January 2002. The two-slice toasters sold for between $10 and $20. The four-slice toasters sold for between $18 and $30.

Consumers should unplug and stop using these recalled toasters immediately. For more information on receiving a refund, consumers should call Applica Consumer Products Inc. toll-free at (866) 264-9230 anytime, or go to the firm's web site at http://www.householdproductsinc.com/safetyrecall.htm. Applica Media Contact: Chris Mitchell (203) 926-3000 Ext. 3412