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Old 07-02-2014, 07:43 PM   #29
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Interesting

does it mean that due to the Norcold panic they get blamed for all fires?

I think it's probably so.

A lot of numbers get thrown out as facts, yet when asked to substantiate their claims it always turns out to be heresay, something someone said with no statistical foundation.

1 a day? Laughably ridiculous. (But even it true it would be statistically insignificant given the number of refers in use.)
15-20 a week? Even more absurd.
8,000 since 2007? More of the same.

Who you gonna believe? I choose to believe the numbers that can be verified AT A REPUTABLE SOURCE. Hint, a website named 'I Hate Norcold.com' is not reputable. NHTSA and the like is.

NHTSA lists a minuscule 78 complaints against Norcold. All models. There are almost that many complaints against Samsung Microwave but nobody's paying attention. And that's just one brand of microwave! What about the junk brands that so many RV's have in them.

You're right, Dometic has many more complaints. One particular model has 259 of them. But drilling into it only returned 9 fires.

The last time I looked there were 250 claimants in the class action suit against Norcold. It's a safe assumption that anyone who's had a fire would be added to this list as quickly as possible. The law firm handling the suit actively seeks them.

The reality is that this issue is so emotionally and politically charged that the truth is lost in the hyperbole.

I prefer numbers.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:55 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivraton View Post

I realize this is an old thread, but reading through it prompted me to do some research because I am considering the purchase of an A.C.E. 27.1 with a Norcold refrigerator.
I checked on the NHTSA site (Vehicle Owners | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to see what was reported there that prompted the recalls, what I found was that nearly 3 times as many RV refrigerator fires were reported on units with Dometic refrigerators as there were with Norcold. It must be the type of system more than the manufactureer.
If the RV is what you want and if fits your criteria and you can afford it, then by all means BUY IT!

Just make sure it is fully insured, that's all you have to worry about. Then if something happens you just replace with another one.

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Old 07-03-2014, 03:07 AM   #31
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Following Norcold failures I installed a halogen fire extinguisher in the rear of the fridge as an added precaution.
Don't want to be asleep and die of smoke inhalation.
By definition the absorption fridge is an accident waiting to happen if something goes wrong.
For less than $1000 you can "upgrade" your absorption fridge to something statistically less likely to fail.
Residential fridges statistically don't cause fires.
Don't bury your head in the sand about these fridges, just take every precaution to give you peace of mind.
This is a biased report as I now have a res fridge in my current motorhome.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:43 AM   #32
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a side track - may i ask where you get halogen (or halotron?) fire extinguisher? i have been trying to buy it but neither home depot nor lowes has it. thx
They are available from a few different places on the Internet. I have listed three popular ones below, FireFight Products, The Cooling Unit Warehouse and Mac The Fire Guy.

The correct term is HALON.

However, do NOT put all your faith and confidence in having the Halon FE put out a fire that starts in the rear fridge compartment. There have been documented fridge fires where the Halon was mounted too low for it to go off. And I know of one where it did go off but did not extinguish the fire.

Truthfully, I think Halon would work great in a small confined compartment such as where my Inverter and transfer switch are located. I have one in there now. It also would work great in a compartment where the Aqua-Hot lives. However, since the fridge compartment has vents both bottom and top to allow for proper airflow, once a fire starts in that compartment it performs like a fireplace chimney and the Halon has very little chance of putting that fire out.

My suggestion would be to use an AFFF Fire Extinguisher tank with a remote head where you can place the remote head in a convenient location towards the top of the compartment. Also use a 165F degree trigger head like what comes on the Halon tanks.

I use an AFFF in my engine compartment where that head is a 286F degree trigger head.

Fire Fight Supplemental Halon Fire Suppression Systems

Fire Extinguishers - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse

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Old 07-03-2014, 01:11 PM   #33
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Pretty amazing! Just because you “think” something, that doesn’t necessarily make it correct, or true. While you many have spent a few moments perusing information on the NHTSB website, you’re now obviously certain that you have all the answers to be judge and jury on the subject. What a shame!

The reality is that in your “extensive” research effort you might just have missed a few of the facts of the matter – like more than a year’s worth of discovery documents, depositions, expert witness and engineering reports and reviewing fire incident logs of the thousands of Norcold owners who have had their refrigerator cooling / boiler units rupture and become defective, explode and / or catch on fire. It isn’t too surprising that you haven’t spent time perusing these incident logs of these Norcold refrigerator failures – Norcold obviously doesn’t make such information widely available to the general public. But just because you didn’t, doesn’t mean that the information doesn’t exist – it does and it is just one piece of the massive amounts of evidence in a lawsuit against Norcold regarding this product!

The FACTS are that Norcold has produced in excess of 1,000,000 N6, N8 and N1200 gas absorption refrigerators since 1999. They have known for more than 12 years that the boiler / cooling units in these refrigerators had a serious, potentially DEADLY design defect associated with the tubing in their boiler which causes those units to rupture, leak, become defective, potentially EXPLODE and / or catch on FIRE.
You probably didn’t see (or understand) that rather than FIX and REPLACE the defective units when Norcold first discovered and documented the design defect more than a decade ago, instead Norcold instead CHOSE to continue to produce and sell hundreds of thousands of additional defective units to unsuspecting RV owners when they KNEW with certainty that this inherent design defect was still present and could occur on any one of their units at any time in the future. (Ref – CPSC / Norocld Recall – October 18, 2001 - https://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2002...Refrigerators/).

I’d wager that you probably didn’t speak last week to a RV owner who’s husband almost died as a result of a Norcold refrigerator fire in the middle of the night that totally destroyed their RV just a couple of years ago. If you had, that person would have also told you how just weeks ago sitting in a campground another RV owner told them how their coach had also burned to the ground as a result of a Norcold fire. Or how surprised they would both be the next day to learn that another coach down the road at a campground caught on fire and burned that very evening.

You probably didn’t have the chance to speak with fire suppression guys at a FMCA rally who recounted how that they had just been to another FMCA rally out in California where during the course of the rally 3 RV’s had their Norcold cooling units rupture / explode and one catch on fire during the course of that four day event.

You probably weren’t aware that instead of fixing the problem with the design problem with the cooling unit which would preclude the boiler / cooling unit tubing from failing in the first place, Norcold instead chose a nickel and dime solution to attempted through their high temperature sensor recall kits only to AFTER FAILURE OF THE BOILER UNIT OCCURRED to attempt to shut down the boiler unit so that it didn’t explode and / or catch on fire. Instead of fixing the problem, they chose to implement a band-aid approach, not a cure for the actual problem. Based upon the fact that there have been six (Rev A, B, C, D, E, and F) different recall kits that all have failed and required additional recalls, their recall kits obviously were not successful at doing so. IT IS A DOCUMENTED FACT THAT MANY COACHES STILL HAD THEIR BOILER UNITS RUPTURE AND FAIL, AS WELL AS CATCH ON FIRE AND BURN AFTER THE RECALL KITS WERE INSTALLED. And you probably haven’t spoken to owners who have had four and five of the recall kits fail within minutes of having them installed on their coach and then having their cooling units rupture and leak out all of the fluids and gasses.

I imagine that your exhaustive research didn’t involve personally calling and speaking with numerous municipal fire marshals in multiple locales across the country to be told that yes their fire department was aware of the danger of fires resulting from Norcold refrigerators on RV’s and have them acknowledge this was a nationwide problem that they were more than aware of. Had you done so, you probably would have been as surprised as I was when one fire marshal from a small rural area in central Texas informed me that his department had investigated probably 20 Norcold fires in RV’s in just the prior few years.

You probably didn’t see the RV dealer website that deemed Norcold units “Rolling Hydrogen Bombs” and declared that they wouldn’t work on or allow a coach with a Norcold unit on their lot as a result of a fire they had experienced. From their website:

Billy Thibodeaux’s Premiere RV website (Refrigerator Replacements page)

Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc.

To Our Valued Customers & Friends,

For over a decade, Norcold and Dometic RV Absorption Refrigerators, have been burning down travel trailers, motorhomes and buses. Since fire is indiscriminate, damage is often not limited to the RV. The flames also destroy everything surrounding your RV; garages, homes, automobiles, collectibles and life itself. Although both manufactures have taken steps to prevent these mishaps, fires still occur on a very regular basis.

On July 14, 2010 a 2005 Newmar Essex, a very expensive motorhome, burned on my lot. Fortunately quick response from my neighbor, who noticed the smoke, saved an entire row of motorhomes from being destroyed until the fire department arrived. Inevitably I, along with everyone else who has ever touched this motorhome, will be sued by the customers’s insurance company. Years of expensive litigation will follow even though it is clear-cut that failure of the Norcold refrigerator was the direct cause of the blaze that totally destroyed the coach and this is the process every time someone’s coach burns due to a refrigerator fire, tying you up in court for months if not years before they ultimately settle out of court.

In lieu of these rolling hydrogen bombs, I personally recommend that you allow us to remove your absorption type refrigerator, dispose of it properly and replace it with a conventional household 110 volt refrigerator.

And you probably haven’t read any of the publicly available investigative reports on these fires. For instance:

Investigation Absorption Refrigerator Fires Report (Part 1)
Application Engineering Group, Inc. website

http://www.aegiforensics.com/library...ires-Part1.pdf

Or seen the photos and reports regarding Norcold refrigerator fires done by fire experts like this - RV Appraisals & Investigations of America.

Maybe your research over looked the fact that numerous people have been severely injured as a result of their Norcold refrigerators catching on fire, and that at least one person has died as a result.

$7 Million Products Liability Settlement In Arkansas

$7 Million Products Liability Settlement in Arkansas — Maryland Injury Lawsuit Information Center
An Arkansas woman whose husband died of smoke inhalation and burns in a camper fire resulting from a refrigerator defect settled her lawsuit against Norcold Refrigerators and a camper dealership for $7 million last week.

The cause of the fire was cracked tubing in the camper’s Norcold refrigerator, which resulted in the leaking of flammable hydrogen. Norcold apparently knew of the potential fire hazard as early as 1999 and notified federal officials that it would be recalling more than 40,000 refrigerators. Much like the “FDA approved the drug” defense I have been blogging about in recent months, Norcold contended that it followed federal regulations in conducting the recall.

Or that numerous insurance companies have sued Norcold as a result of their product failures and the resulting damages (e.g. RV’s burning to the ground, houses and garages burning down, etc….

Court of Appeal of Louisiana,Third Circuit.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al. v. NORCOLD, INC., et al.
No. 11–1355.
Decided: April 4, 2012
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY v. NORCOLD INC - FindLaw
In the early morning hours of December 4, 2008, a motor home caught fire due to a defective refrigeration unit.   The fire destroyed the motor home and adjacent building, together with all contents therein, all of which were owned by Ronald and Dolores Semar.   The Semars' insurers, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (collectively State Farm), paid the Semars' property damage claims pursuant to their respective policies.   State Farm filed this subrogation claim against Norcold, Inc. (Norcold) and Newmar Corporation (Newmar), alleging that the fire was caused by the defective refrigeration unit that was manufactured by Norcold and installed by Newmar.

This the simple fact of what the Norcold Class Action lawsuit is all about. There are hundreds of thousands of people who own these Norcold units. The problem isn't a matter of someone not maintaining their unit properly, or doing something that causes it to rupture, explode and / or catch on fire. IT IS AN INHERENT DEFECT THAT IS PRESENT IN EVERY UNIT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT HAS HAD THE RECALL KIT INSTALLED OR NOT. As long as those refrigerators have that defective cooling / boiler unit installed, there is a chance that the boiler will leak, rupture, explode and catch on fire.

You stated that you like facts - well those are the facts and they are supported by reams of documents gathered from more than two years worth of research, depositions, discovery, etc....
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:31 PM   #34
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Geeeze JIE, I think you are pretty much the winner of this discussion. You are either one of the attorneys in this lawsuit or you've done a lot of impressive research on the Norcold problem. Personally I also think there is a lot more fires than we are led to believe and unfortunately the only winners in the end will be the attorneys.

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Old 07-03-2014, 01:34 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by jackrobinryan View Post
Huh?? Where do you get these "facts"?



I "believe" that would trigger a huge outcry on this and other sites, not to mention something in the regular media.



J

Good Job

Fear is a powerful emotion that causes people to act in irrational ways. You will hear all sorts of hyperbole and ludicrous claims about the amount of fires that have occured. When asked to provide "proof" all you will get is crickets chriping.

As you point out the media would be all over this story, but not only them but our RV insurance carriers would be increasing our rates or making us carry a "norcold" waiver but they don't. I always suggest that RVers talk to owners of campgrounds and ask them how many RV's have they seen explode and burn to the ground because of a "proven" Norcold fire. I have been doing this for years and have yet to run into any campground owner that knows of one. This is impressive since I have stayed in quite a few mega RV campgrounds (300,500 and even 800+ units) with constant turnover. And yes, they have seen fires but so far there has been only one that may have been "attrbuted" to the Norcold.

I think if everyone took a step back and engaged their critical thinking skills about this problem and asked for empirical evidence rather than internet rumors and fear induced innuendo we would be able to have some rational discourse about this problem rather than absurd claims that have no basis in reality.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #36
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Keep in mind that switching to a "Residential" refrigerator is NOT a cure all.

There are 100's of home fires caused by refrigerators and other home appliances. See chart at the end of this article.

Kitchen Fire Safety - Consumer Reports
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:09 PM   #37
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Oh yes they do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSkinner View Post
Following Norcold failures I installed a halogen fire extinguisher in the rear of the fridge as an added precaution.
Don't want to be asleep and die of smoke inhalation.
By definition the absorption fridge is an accident waiting to happen if something goes wrong.
For less than $1000 you can "upgrade" your absorption fridge to something statistically less likely to fail.
Residential fridges statistically don't cause fires.
Don't bury your head in the sand about these fridges, just take every precaution to give you peace of mind.
This is a biased report as I now have a res fridge in my current motorhome.
Fact:

Residential refrigerators are the 4'th leading cause of appliance related fires in the home.

Multiple sources report the same statistic. Consumer Reports, CPSC Ect.

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Old 07-03-2014, 05:25 PM   #38
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We take calculated risks in life like x-ing the road, flying single engine planes.
I chose to mitigate the risk of a Norcold fire with an extinguisher which was aimed at the boiler.
Rightly or wrongly I slept much better.
I don't have a fire extinguisher at home for the same reason I don't have a gun for protection ( not to change the topic)
I'm happy having a res fridge in my motorhome.
Every electrical appliance surely is capable of failure and fire - just to varying degrees of risk.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:12 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
They are available from a few different places on the Internet. I have listed three popular ones below, FireFight Products, The Cooling Unit Warehouse and Mac The Fire Guy.

The correct term is HALON.

However, do NOT put all your faith and confidence in having the Halon FE put out a fire that starts in the rear fridge compartment. There have been documented fridge fires where the Halon was mounted too low for it to go off. And I know of one where it did go off but did not extinguish the fire.

Truthfully, I think Halon would work great in a small confined compartment such as where my Inverter and transfer switch are located. I have one in there now. It also would work great in a compartment where the Aqua-Hot lives. However, since the fridge compartment has vents both bottom and top to allow for proper airflow, once a fire starts in that compartment it performs like a fireplace chimney and the Halon has very little chance of putting that fire out.

My suggestion would be to use an AFFF Fire Extinguisher tank with a remote head where you can place the remote head in a convenient location towards the top of the compartment. Also use a 165F degree trigger head like what comes on the Halon tanks.

I use an AFFF in my engine compartment where that head is a 286F degree trigger head.

Fire Fight Supplemental Halon Fire Suppression Systems

Fire Extinguishers - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse

My Business - Products

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richard, thanks for this awesome info... installing auto deploy halon extinguishers in those critical areas is no doubt one of the best strategies, if not THE best strategy, to protect one's investments.

additionally, i am thinking to install an ip monitor system with cameras in engine compartment and behind the fridge. when i am driving i would like to monitor those areas in real time so to take actions accordingly.

also i found this product (halotron replacing halon 1211) Buckeye 70510 Halotron Fire Extinguisher 5 lb. Fixed Nozzle
this might be handy...
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:18 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
richard, thanks for this awesome info... installing auto deploy halon extinguishers in those critical areas is no doubt one of the best strategies, if not THE best strategy, to protect one's investments.

additionally, i am thinking to install an ip monitor system with cameras in engine compartment and behind the fridge. when i am driving i would like to monitor those areas in real time so to take actions accordingly.

also i found this product (halotron replacing halon 1211) Buckeye 70510 Halotron Fire Extinguisher 5 lb. Fixed Nozzle
this might be handy...
Besides the auto deploy halon extinguishers, my buddy pulled his unit out and lined the enclosure with automotive fire wall material ... so the pine wood kindling and paneling wouldn't ignite back there.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #41
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Besides the auto deploy halon extinguishers, my buddy pulled his unit out and lined the enclosure with automotive fire wall material ... so the pine wood kindling and paneling wouldn't ignite back there.
good idea, bill. although mine is not a not-so-cold, a late model of dometic ndr1292, it still posts a serious fire hazard. looking up nhsb websites, there are many complaints on dometic fridges for my model - recalls/but manufacturer dodging responsibilities/fires... i know i know statistically it's not a big number, but for any owner, one is too many.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #42
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I think that's a good idea regardless of what kind of refer you have!
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