Putting the freeze on unsafe bathroom heaters – Voluntary recalls on Serene S2068 heaters

Published: 26 March 2024

Retailers are voluntarily recalling unsafe wall-mounted bathroom heaters.

“The Serene S2068 heaters which were manufactured in March 2021 have a manufacturing defect which can cause harm to people or damage to property”

Ian Caplin, Business Specialist at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

WorkSafe issued a prohibition of sale and use notice on Serene S2068 wall mounted bathroom heaters in February 2024. Now the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment has worked with several retailers to issue voluntary recall notices.

Unsafe Serene Classic S2068 wall mounted bathroom heaters prohibited(external link)  — WorkSafe

“We are aware of at least 15 fires or overheating events associated with these heaters and want to encourage anyone who has these heaters to contact the retailer immediately” says Ian.

The manufacturer of this heater closed their business in New Zealand, which has changed the usual path of voluntary recalls.

“Instead of the actual manufacturer issuing a recall, retailers who sold the heaters have been encouraged to voluntarily recall them” says Mr Caplin.

“Even if the retailer that sold the heater hasn’t yet issued the voluntary recall, New Zealanders can reject the goods under the Consumer Guarantees Act and ask for a replacement or a refund.

Mr Caplin explains that retailers in New Zealand have a responsibility to provide consumers with a remedy when a product is deemed unsafe.

“If the heater was wired directly into your house rather than plugged into a wall socket, you can also require the supplier to arrange for its removal by an electrician.”

WorkSafe is investigating 2 other Serene bathroom heaters, models S2069 and S207T. Under recent testing these did not comply with required safety standards. Once these investigations are complete, MBIE will decide if further voluntary recalls should be asked for.

Information on recalled heater:

The prohibited S2068 heater is described as:

  • wall mounted fan heater with step-down thermostat with pull-cord on-off switch, for fixed-wired installation in bathrooms and similar locations
  • mirror polished stainless steel metal shell or white shell with die cast grille
  • dimensions: 300 mm wide, 210 mm high and 110 mm deep.

The prohibited S2068 heaters have a serial number in the following ranges:

  • VH145173 – VH147003
  • VK154294 – VK160567
  • WF167045 – WF168874

Further information on the voluntary recall and information on the suppliers can be found on the Product Safety website.

Serene Classic Bathroom Heaters(external link)  — Product Safety

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz