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Nearly two months after issuing a sales stop of the Nest Protect connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, the product is being recalled. The recall, issued through the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, affects all 440,000 Nest Protects out there, and owners are eligible for either a repair of the unit (in the form of a software update) or a refund.

The recall formalizes the refund process, whereas previously Nest had opted to disable the "Protect Wave" feature they'd found to cause an unacceptable risk via a software update, as well as stopping sales of further units. Nest found during follow-on testing that the feature, which allows a person to wave at an activated alarm to disable it in the event of innocuous activation (e.g. smoke from cooking), was found to be possible to inadvertently activate during actually serious conditions. Realizing that, Nest immediately stopped sales and within 24 hours issued the update.

That was back in early April. The US CPSC recall allows owners of a Nest Protect smoke alarm to now apply for a refund, though they could still just download the update to disable the Protect Wave and carry on. Granted, Protect Wave was something of a flagship feature for the connected smoke alarm, though there is still more that it could offer. Either way, the recall is a continuing blow for Nest.

On a more positive note, 440,000 is many more than we would have expected — though the product's sales in Best Buy and Home Depot, as well as through certainly didn't hurt.

If you own a Nest Protect and want more information on how to apply the update or apply for a refund, check the source link below.

Source: US Consumer Protection Safety Commission; Via: GigaOm


Reader comments

Nest recalling 440,000 Protect smoke alarms, providing refunds


I still don't get it why people buy this expensive crap. What's wrong with the normal thermostat? You actually want ads and your data mined in everything you do in your house?

I'll take the bait. I bought a Nest thermostat because I like being able to control the temperature remotely (turning the AC on while I'm on the couch, in bed, etc) and between the auto-away detection and schedule learning it legitimately saves me money. I previously had a programmable thermostat but trying to keep up with the rapidly changing weather in Maryland meant it was almost never set up right, and eventually we disabled it. I regularly pay a few hundred for a phone that I will replace in a year or two; I have no problems paying $250 for a device that will last significantly longer and have a positive ROI.

The Nest Protect, on the other hand, I never saw a use case for. My smoke alarms really don't go off often enough to cause me trouble, and they're something I'd rather have turned to the little-too-sensitive side than not enough.

I've got a 120V Nest Protect in the basement mostly to use as a sensor for auto-away. That way the thermostat doesn't set itself to away when we are hanging out down there.

I won't be returning mine, but I do think there should be some compensation for the removal of this feature.

Dude most thermostat already regulate temperature automatically on the temp you want. Human beings already move in the room they want at a particular temp.

How else would Google pay for all it's free services? A thermostat connected to your google account so it knows when you are on your way home would be awesome. I am completely fine with what Google is doing, as long as it's a private company doing it, and not the government or being done under a government mandate. If you don't like it, don't use it.

Yes, I'm sure they will be displaying ads on the smoke detector's nonexistent screen in the future.

Is it connected? I would imagine all 440,000 of those people also have a nest. You will be seeing your protect ads on your $250 nest thermostat.

"nest senses you recently had a smoke alarm go off. Do you need SERVPRO services?"

People love talking without knowing the facts. Why don't you do yourself a favor and read what Google actually said before jumping to conclusions.

Posted via Android Central App

I did. They said future products may include ads.

Quoted for those of you who didn't read it.

"For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities."

If they do like Amazon does and sell a regular retail version of their products without ads, and a cheaper ad supported version, I wouldn't see the harm in that. It would be the choice of the person buying it then. Ads can be done in a way that are helpful. What if a future refrigerator can scan barcodes and keep track of when your food will expire? I think it would be pretty useful to me if the screen on the fridge would notify me of that. At the same time, a small ad could be displayed that shows a local sale of those products at a local store. It's only when ads get in the way of your overall enjoyment or the functionality of your devices that they become a bad thing.

As a matter of fact, I can't even get stuff in or out of my refrigerator. I have to rely on my caregiver to do that for me and keep track of it all. Any tech that makes my life easier and helps me be less reliant on other people, I'm okay with. My post was mostly related to ads anyway. Reading the label on the milk carton isn't going to tell me there is a sale on milk at a different store than the one my caregiver usually goes to. And I guess you have never had something go bad and unnoticed in your fridge for an extended length of time. Well, there are plenty of other people who have. I'm sure many of them would appreciate a reminder before that happens. It would help keep a lot of food from going to waste.

Ok. And what does that have to do with anything now? Currently I have no ads and I'm also saving money. So you can continue talking and I'll continue saving. :)

Posted via Nexus 5 Android Central App

Dude. Don't even bother arguing with them. Google is their almighty god that never does anything wrong. Google could sell them a brick and they will still get hard ons because google made it.

And what's the problem with that if it did recommend them? What if you really needed it and didn't know what to do?

Go move into the woods of you don't like the future technology

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Haha so true. Those people got gimmicked. It reminds me of I think was an SNL skit making fun of Google with ads that would play during phone calls based on what you say.

Posted via Android Central App

Since no Nest owners are seeing ads, your speculation is completely irrelevant. If a future product actually *does* show ads on a premium device like this, then go right ahead and wave that Google-hate flag all you want. Nobody will be able to argue with you.

But since this isn't the current reality, kindly go crawl back under your cave and STFU.

I'm sure Nest makes awesome products. I personally don't own any, but after seeing a report like this, I'm not necessarily sure if I want to.

I'm fine owning a smartphone or tablet that has bugs and doesn't function exactly as stated. Fire alarm though? I'd rather that it just work 100% of the time. I understand the work and time that goes into testing products, and I know bugs will always be present. But if your product or service's main function is rendered unusable, there's no excuse.

In this case, you can't expect your customers to be the beta testers.

Overall the nest thermostat is Great and to have the fire protection also was even better but as of now it's probably better to have regular smoke alarms till they get the bugs out. Maybe have a nest protect near the kitchen and at least have one linked smoke alarm if you don't have an alarm system that offers similar protection.

Posted via Nexus 5 Android Central App

I have 3 of these in my home. Its nice to know if there is smoke in your home while away that was one of the primary reasons I bought it for. However one of them constantly gave me false alarm and had to exchange it for another one. Fortunately I was home and there was no fire, now imagine being away and being notified of a false alarm that would be scary. Recently I notice my a flaw in the next protect, it thinks steam is smoke. I have one in my hall way by a bathroom and whenever you take a hot shower, depending on how hot the water is, when the steam comes out it thinks its smoke and starts to scream. I hope they fix it, cause it has so much potential.

Maybe I'm not understanding some of the arguments out there about Google Nest and ads.

Have anyone of you who say they wouldn't buy one because you will get ads on your thermostat actual seen one in real life? Do you know what a beast actually does?

1. The screen is so small that ads wouldn't work.
2. This is an almost program and forget home automation thermostat. I don't think I actually look at mine more than one every 2-3 weeks and most of the time is through the nest app and not the actual unit.
3. If you think Honeywell (or insert company here) doesn't track usage patterns your crazy. More than likely they sell that info to the energy or energy related companies.
4. Get over yourselves. If you online you are being watched. Your data is being recorded. It's being sold to companies willing to buy it so they can advertise and sell you something. Anyone on sites like should be smart enough to know that.

So no one on this site has a problem with Google Sony Samsung etc tracking data based on you using your phone but you have a problem with a thermostat?

No matter what any of you think your nest will never shut off and refuse to work until you watch a YouTube advertisement for a product that you used Google Chrome to search.

Posted via Android Central App

No, it's really a full-blown CPSC recall. The Wave-disabling update is already out and has been for a while now, but that was initially a voluntary repair program done. The big difference is that it is now a federal crime (no joke) to sell an un-updated Nest Protect smoke detector, even on the secondary market now that it's been labeled "dangerous."

This is not good for Google. Anyways, I don't see how they can't keep the feature. They could just make some changes, like, a verification, wave to stop alarm initially and then type in a 4 digit verification code within say 10 seconds or the alarm will go off again. Something like that would work.

Posted via Nexus 7 Razor Rooted (nexogen)

Type a 4 digit code into what? There's no real user interface besides the motion sensor, and the smoke detector is probably mounted on/near the ceiling. I'd rather just keep a magazine nearby and wave it madly at the the smoke detector, which seems to be the normal way of dealing with these things.

Does the Nest smoke alarm alert the fire department? If not then I see no value to the Wave feature other than convenience. If the you have a falso alarm, can't you just press the button on the unit to disable it?

I have a SimpliSafe alarm system, which also uses a smoke alarm. It seems to be very accurate, and has a button for testing and false alarms. However, false-alarms would alert the monitoring center which would call the Fire Department so accuracy is key.