Google's Nest recalls almost half a million fire alarms

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

PALO ALTO, Calif.—Google's Nest Labs is recalling 440,000 smoke detectors, Reuters news service reported this week.

The $130 smoke/CO detector, called Nest Protect, is so smart it can talk to home residents to warn them if there’s a fire or dangerous levels of CO.

The 440,000 number comes from a U.S. government recall notice and gives an indication of how many of the smart home appliances Nest has sold since sales started in November, the Reuters report said.

“Nest, which Google acquired earlier this year for $3.2 billion, shipped 440,000 of its smoke alarms in the United States between Nov. 15 and the beginning of April, according to figures contained in a [May 21] notice by the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” the report said.

Nest stopped selling the smoke alarms in April after it discovered a defect that made it possible for users to deactivate it without meaning to do so.

Nest said a feature allowing users to switch off the device with a wave of the hand could result in the alarm being inadvertently turned off.

Reuters quoted Nest spokesperson Ha Thai as saying the company does not disclose sales figures and that the Protect product will be available again "in a few weeks."