Google’s Nest, by way of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, has issued a recall notice covering all 440,000 Protect smoke alarms sold over fears that the alert will fail to sound due to a false triggering of the “Wave” feature, which disables the sound with a gesture.
The recall was detailed on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website this morning. Though the report states that “about” 440K units will be recalled, it also says that “this recall includes all Nest Protect Smoke + CO alarms.”
This marks the culmination of a process that began back in April when Nest first disclosed that the Wave feature was not working as advertised. At the time, Nest halted sales and offered refunds, while instituting a plan to update existing Nest Protect units to disable the Wave feature automatically.
A Nest spokesperson told TechCrunch that “nothing has changed since our initial announcement last month and in fact, we’ll be bringing Nest Protect back on the market in a few weeks.”
Nest notes that current customers can continue to use their Nest Protects once the Nest Wave feature has been disabled via software update, as was the case initially.
“Even with the Wave feature disabled, the Nest Protect Alarm will continue to perform its essential safety functions, monitoring for increased levels of smoke and CO, and alerting users via voice alerts and Nest app alerts (if set up) as soon as there is a potential issue,” says Nest.
Nest would not comment on the number of Protects sold so far.
“At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality,” said Nest CEO Tony Fadell at the time. “During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated.”
In a related FAQ, Nest provided instructions to disable the Wave feature for users whose Protect smoke alarms were not connected to the Internet.
So, this is not a physical recall so much as a software update alert, but the CPSC filing formalizes the fact that people can get their updates or full refunds as they choose. Both of those options were originally offered by Nest in April.
Nest made other news today: A Google filing in December hinted that the company could be looking at ways to show ads on devices like thermostats. Google later responded to a TechCrunch inquiry, stating that this filing did not reflect the “current roadmap” for Nest or other Google products.
Title updated to clarify that today’s notice was in reference to an existing recall.