Kohler Company has announced a recall campaign to address potentially fatal exhaust system failures involving certain models of their gasoline marine generators. The recall offers to replace free of charge the black iron wet exhaust pipe assembly on units utilizing L600 or L654 gasoline engines, which were manufactured from 1950 to 1989 under the following model numbers: 2R, 2A, 2.5R, 2.5A, 3.5R, 3.5A, 4R, 4A, 5R, 5A, 6.5R, 6.5A, 7.5R, and 7.5A. Failure of the exhaust pipe due to corrosion can result in carbon monoxide poisoning.

     The recall follows a March 2003 judgment of $25 million against Kohler in a lawsuit involving the deaths of 4 people aboard a vessel equipped with one of the above generators. Randolph and Lois Anderson of Joplin and two guests died on the Andersons' boat in 1999 while moored on the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued Kohler used inferior metal to make the exhaust tube, which leaked, and that the company failed to recall the part even though four other people had died in similar incidents in 1986 and 1995.

     The black iron exhaust is being replaced with a stainless steel assembly under the recall. Boat owners who believe they have one of the affected generators should contact an authorized Kohler dealer or the company direct at (866) 866-4933. Information is also available at www.kohlerpowersystems.com.