Google Inc (GOOG) Nest Labs Recalls 440,000 Smoke Alarms

Nest Labs, one of the fast-growing companies in the emerging smart home sector recalled 440,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to fix a certain feature that might cause potential safety risk. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion earlier this year.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recall involves all of the Nest Protect Smoke + CO alarms. Nest Labs did not receive any report of incidents, injuries or property damage involving the recalled products.

Nest Labs recalled all of the Nest Protect Smoke + CO alarms to fix a feature in the device that could prevent the immediate activation of the alarm during a fire.

The Nest Protect Smoke + CO alarms have a Nest Wave feature that allows users to temporarily silence some alerts or cancel a manual test by vigorously waving an arm near the device to trigger the alarm. The device came from the factory with the Nest Wave feature enabled. Consumers can control and enable the alarms using their computers and smartphones over the internet.

In a statement, Nest Labs CEO Tony Fadell said, “At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. 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 could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire.”

Fadell said the company identified the problem and it is extremely important for him to resolve it immediately. He added, “Once we have a solution that ensures Nest Wave works as intended, we will update our software to turn this feature back on. This will only happen after extensive testing and once we have received approval from safety agencies in the US, Canada and UK. We expect this to take at least two or three months and we’ll continue to update you as we have more information.”

The company said the Nest Protect + CO alarms that are connected to a Nest account via WiFi will receive automatic updates. Consumers do not need to do anything and the device will continue to work effectively even if the Nest Wave feature is disabled.

For consumers whose Nest Protect + CO alarms are offline, they are advised to immediately connect their devices to their Nest account and remotely disable the Nest Wave (the feature’s button must be set to off and grayed out). For those who are unable to immediate connect to a Nest account, they are advised to discontinue using their device and Nest Labs will give them a complete refund.

Last December, Fadell was quoted in media reports stating the “tens of thousands” of Nest Protect devices were activated during the first nine days of its availability in Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States. Nest Labs is the second largest acquisition of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in the history of the search engine giant.