BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of vinyl covers attached to SunSetter brand motorized awnings that have been linked to 14 reports of incidents, including one report of a death and six reports of injuries.
The CPSC said in the announcement that a 73-year-old man was killed when the motorized awning opened unexpectedly and struck him while he was removing the bungee tie-downs used to keep it closed, tossing him from a ladder and over a balcony.
The product poses a risk if power is activated on the awning while it is still being prevented from expanding outwards by bungee tie-downs used to keep it closed. As those bungee tie-downs are loosened and the vinyl cover is removed, the awning can open unexpectedly with enough force to strike a consumer standing in its path, causing them to fall and suffer death or serious injury.
About 270,000 recalled products were sold for about $100 or distributed as a promotional item or as part of a package with motorized awnings directly by SunSetter, through independent dealers nationwide, and through Costco Wholesale, between June 1999 and January 2019. An additional 11,000 were sold in Canada.
Consumers are urged not to attempt to install covers for the motorized awnings or remove any installed covers until they have received instructions from SunSetter. Consumers should contact SunSetter for free breakaway safety clips (that replace the bungee tie-downs provided with the cover) and instructions for their use, and instructions on how to safely remove any installed bungee tie-downs by clicking the link here.
Covers for manually operated awnings are not affected by this recall.