Nest Labs, the Internet-connected thermostat and smoke-detector startup Google Inc. bought earlier this year for $3.2 billion, announced it is stopping sales of its smart smoke alarms because of a defect that can cause owners to inadvertently turn them off.

The Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarms have a feature—Nest Wave—that allows users to turn them off by waving their arms. However, it’s been discovered that the feature can sometimes be accidentally activated via inadvertent motions, thereby delaying the alarms’ response to a fire. In a statement, the company claims it identified the problem and is not aware of any customers who experienced the accidental shut off.

As a result, Nest is disabling this feature and has halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms. The company anticipates fixing the issue with a software update, and says that could take two or three months.

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Wayne Thorp
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is editor of Computerized Investing and a vice president and the senior financial analyst at The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). He is also the program manager for AAII's Stock Investor Pro fundamental stock screening and research database program and is on the advisory boards of AAII's Stock Superstars Report and Dividend Investing newsletters. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a 1997 honors graduate of DePaul University in Chicago. Wayne's interests include stock screening, technical analysis and charting, social media and tech gadgets. However, in the summer he'd prefer to be hip-deep in northern Michigan's Manistee River fly-fishing for rainbow trout.

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