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Warning! Check the date on your unit if you bought it from Amazon
on November 20, 2012
Word of warning! We purchased 3 of these units from Amazon a year ago, and one failed recently. (The digital display showed an "err" message, which indicates the unit is not working, often because it has reached the end of its life.) The unit has a 5 year warranty and 5 year expected use life, so I called Kidde customer support. Their representative was very helpful and asked me to check the date of manufacture on the back of the unit. I did, and was dismayed to find a unit I purchased from Amazon in Oct. 2011 was manufactured in Feb. 2005! It was therefore way past it's expected use period - and out of warranty.
Kudos to Kidde customer support. Even though the unit was out of warranty, and the company was therefore not legally responsible for the problem, their rep. asked if I had the purchase receipt. When I said "yes" she said they would send me a replacement unit. She also commented they have had problems with Amazon shipping such items that were already past their 5 year service life when they were sold.
We buy a lot of items from Amazon, so this was disappointing news. Although I can't confirm if the sale of "expired" merchandise is the fault of Amazon or their supplier, this was a lesson learned. Two of the three such units we bought from Amazon were current products. If you buy one of these units from Amazon (or elsewhere) my advice would be the check the sticker on the back of the unit as soon as you receive it, and verify that the manufacture date is reasonably current.