Nest CEO Tony Fadell has sent an open letter to customers as well as a separate letter to resellers halting all sales of the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm immediately.
In the notifications, Fadell says the company, which was recently purchased by Google for $3.2 billion, discovered via ongoing laboratory testing that the smoke alarm can be inadvertently deactivated.
“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. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately,” he says.
“We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.
“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 U.S., Canada and U.K. We expect this to take at least two or three months and we’ll continue to update you as we have more information.
“We’re enormously sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue. The team and I are dedicated to ensuring that we can stand behind each Nest product that comes into your home, and your 100 percent satisfaction and safety are what motivates us. Please know that the entire Nest team and I are focused on fixing this problem and continuing to improve our current products in every way possible. If you don’t want to keep your Nest Protect smoke alarm, we will give you a complete refund.”
Simultaneous to this announcement, Nest notified its distributors to stop all sales of the product, canceling all orders of the product and offering refunds for an inventory. The notification says: “We would also ask that you not sell any units you currently have to customers.”
The $129 Nest Protect hit the market in November 2013 and was the company’s first foray beyond its wildly popular Nest thermostat with sleek industrial design. Besides the “Wave” feature, the combination photoelectric smoke sensor/CO sensor/heat sensor/light sensor/ultrasonic sensor/activity sensor unit can integrate with mobile devices to send out alarms, as well as send reminders when the system’s batteries are running low. Other features include a built-in nightlight, vocal alarms, and support for multiple languages.