The Gizzu portable power station.
- The National Consumer Commission has called for a recall of faulty Gizzu portable power stations.
- Syntech Distribution informed the commission of the precautionary recall of these products following reports of fire hazards.
- The commission estimated 3 500 units of the power station were sold.
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Gizzu 300Wh and 500Wh portable power stations distributed by Syntech Distribution are being recalled due to reported faults of overheating, presenting a fire hazard, and possible combustion while charging.
The National Consumer Commission spokesperson, Phetho Ntaba, urged people in possession of Gizzu 300Wh and 500Wh portable power stations to immediately stop use and return these to the supplier.
“The importer and distributor, Syntech Distribution … informed the commission of the precautionary recall of these products following reports of fire hazards. These devices combusted while charging,” she said.
Ntaba said the portable power stations were imported from China and distributed through multiple South African outlets including Takealot.com, Builders Warehouse, Makro, Incredible Connection, and HiFi Corporation.
“The affected devices have a battery manufacturing flaw which presents a possibility of the product self-combusting and melting when charging. In cases where the product’s battery does self-combust, a non-toxic cloud of smoke is released, which may present a fire hazard to nearby furniture,” said Ntaba.
Ntaba urged consumers to look for the product description to determine whether the products in their possession form part of the recall.
Products that could be part of the recall have the following codes:
- GPS30011220071 -GPS30011221170
- PPS30001230001- PPS30001230502
- GPS30012220801 -GPS30012221600
- GPS50011220701 -GPS50011221700
- PPS50001230001 -PPS50001230502
- GPS50012221171 -GPS50012222340
Syntech Distribution said it was recalling “a limited batch” of its portable power stations following a “temporary battery manufacturing flaw that may have affected a small number of units in one particular batch of these models, produced between 1 November and 31 December 2022”.
Acting National Consumer Commissioner, Thezi Mabuza, said while the supplier stated that the recall affected a small number of units, the safety of South African consumers was always of utmost importance.
“This recall comes at a time when South Africans are grappling with the effects of rolling blackouts and trying to circumvent the effects of load shedding,” she said.
“We call upon producers and importers of goods to prioritise the safety of consumers by doing everything in their power to ensure that they produce or import goods that are safe and fit for purpose,” Mabuza said.
Mabuza said the commission is monitoring the recall based on its recall guidelines.
It is estimated that 3 500 units of the Gizzu power station were sold.
Syntech said it had engaged its relevant retail and distribution partners to stop the sale of this limited batch of products. “This will allow the company to retrieve, test, and replace any affected units in this batch,” it said in a statement.
Ryan Martyn, director and co-founder of Syntech Distribution, said: “The safety of our consumers is, and always has been, our first priority. Even though this issue only affects a very small number of units in a particular batch manufactured in the last two months of 2022, we want to be absolutely sure that there is no safety risk for any of our consumers. As a responsible distributor, voluntarily recalling this batch is the right thing to do.”
Syntech said it had developed a dedicated online tool to help consumers determine if their unit is impacted.
“Consumers who have purchased GPS300 and GPS500 Gizzu portable power stations should visit https://www.syntech.co.za/gizzu-power-station-query-tool/, and enter their serial number to determine if their unit is affected. If it is, the site will provide guidance on how to proceed safely, and how to obtain a replacement or refund,” the company said.
* This article has been edited to include comment from Syntech.