Solar Powered Umbrellas Sold at Costco Have Been Recalled Because They Can Burst Into Flames

Solar Powered Umbrellas Sold at Costco Have Been Recalled Because They Can Burst Into Flames
The SunVilla umbrella was sold at Costco between December 2020 and May 2021. (Image: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

A new product recall is here to put a damper on your summer get-togethers: a light-up patio umbrella powered by solar panels and sold by Costco has been recalled following reports of the umbrella’s panels catching fire.

There is nothing quite like a relaxing summer kick-back with your loved ones — that is, until the party is interrupted by your umbrella bursting into flames. SunVilla’s Solar LED Market Umbrella, which was sold at retail giant Costco, was recalled in a joint filing by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Government of Canada on Thursday.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that the lithium-ion batteries in the umbrella’s solar panel unit can overheat to the point of combustion. The solar panels and batteries power a series of LEDs on the arms of the umbrella. This overheating has been reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission six times, with two of these reports documenting the umbrella itself catching fire. The umbrella’s solar panels caught fire three times, according to the recall notice. 

Image: U.S. Consumer Product Safety CommissionImage: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

“Consumers should immediately stop using the umbrellas, remove the solar panel puck containing a lithium-ion battery from the top of the umbrella, store the puck out of the sun and away from combustible material, and do not charge the puck with the AC adaptor,” the commission said in the recall notice. Costco and SunVilla did not immediately return our request for comment.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 400,000 units have been recalled in the U.S, 33,000 in Canada. The product was sold by Costco online and in its warehouse stores between December 2020 and May 2022 for $US130 ($180) t0 $US160 ($222), and purchasers are eligible for a full refund. Costco and SunVilla say they are reaching out to all customer who have purchased an umbrella.

This appears to be the first time an umbrella like this has been recalled in over a decade. Bed Bath & Beyond sold a similar solar-powered umbrella in 2010, which was recalled not because of a fire hazard, but because a plastic connector could break, causing the umbrella to collapse.