Elyria couple copes with hazardous recalled gas dryer for 5 months, LG agrees to replace unit

Natural gas leaks into home, clothes singed

ELYRIA, Ohio - Janet and Jim Leopold are worried about the safety of their children. The Elyria, Ohio couple has been dealing with a recalled dryer that's been leaking natural gas for the past five months.

The Leopolds showed NewsChannel5 how some of their clothes and the dryer drum have been left singed due to the gas leak and open flames.

"It's been very nerve-wracking to live with a gas leak in your home; there could be a fire or an explosion," said Janet Leopold. "We haven't been able to use our dryer for months, and all repair attempts have failed."

The Leopold's say repairs teams have been to their home six times, and replaced a faulty gas value twice.

"Right now I'm scared for my family's safety because of that natural gas that's coming through the dryer, and they haven't been able to fix it," said Leopold. "At this point I'm afraid to take another chance at another repair."

The LG dryer, Model DLG2051W, is the subject of a recall issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission back in August 2012. According to the CPSC, 21,000 units are involved in the recall, and need to have gas valves replaced as soon as possible.

The CPSC report states: The gas valve in the recalled dryers can fail to shut off properly, continuing to heat the dryer and its contents after the drying cycle is complete. High temperatures inside and on the exterior surface of the dryers can scorch the drum, as well as burn or damage the dryer contents, posing a risk of burn, fire and smoke inhalation.

The Leopold's LG dryer was purchased at Sear's, which made initial attempts to repair the unit.

"How long do we have to deal with such a potentially hazardous problem, before LG finally agrees to replace our dryer?" asked Jim Leopold. "We shouldn't have to deal with risk over a $600 dryer."

"As we approach the winter months, I'm very concerned with the furnace going on and off. I have a water tank heater, I have a natural gas furnace, and with live flame down there and natural gas emitting from the dryer, I am concerned."

The Leopolds told NewsChannel5 LG requested to have the gas valve replaced a third time, but said LG told them it didn't have repair technicians in the Elyria area.

The couple was then instructed to hire a service technician from Mr. Appliance in Lorain County.

The Leopold's showed NewsChannel5 a written evaluation of their dryer from Mr. Appliance, the evaluation clearly recommends the unit needs to be replaced.

The technicians report stated; "found unit has had gas valve changed two times and bulk head is scorched, tech contacted LG tech line tech."

NewsChannel5 contacted LG headquarters about this case. The company responded quickly and agreed to replace the dryer.

John Taylor, Vice President of LG Public Affairs issued the following statement in response to our story:

"Thank you, Mr. Pagonakis, for bringing the Leopold's dryer situation to our attention."

"We understand there were earlier service calls by Sears before the customer contacted LG last week to arrange service.  In light of the attempts to get this resolved through Sears and now LG, LG Electronics is replacing the Leopold's dryer."

"Product safety is a top priority at LG, and we appreciate for your efforts on behalf of the Leopolds and for assisting us in resolving this for them."

Consumers can easily check if an appliance they own has been recalled by going to recalls.gov.

 It's important consumers register their appliances with the manufacturer so they'll receive recall notices.

It's also a good idea not to run your dryer overnight or when you're away. And as always, make sure you have working smoke alarms.

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will continue to follow up on this developing story as soon as new information is available

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