Harbor Freight, a tool and auto parts retailer based in California, is recalling as many as 35,000,000 fuses which it has sold. The fuses were made in China and do not break the fuse wire when the stated amperage is exceeded. This leads to overheating in the vehicle’s wiring and can cause a fire. The defective fuses were sold in fuse sets and have property damage, but reportedly no personal injuries. General Motors has also complained about the fuses and has issued a warning bulletin to its dealers cautioning against using the fuses.
Harbor Freight has declined to identify the Chinese supplier. Though it did inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the problem, it has not informed NHTSA of the supplier’s identity, either. Reportedly, the company is investigating further, in an attempt to limit the size of the recall. Harbor Freight initially attempted to prevent public disclosure of the problem, asking NHTSA to decline to disclose the information provided to it by Harbor Freight, even if it were requested under the federal Freedom of Information Act. According to a Harbor Freight spokesperson, the company is no longer seeking confidentiality.
According to AutoInsider, part of the Detroit News website, the defective fuse sets are still being sold on eBay.

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