WASHINGTON - General Electric Co. is recalling 2.5 million dishwashers because of a wiring problem that could cause fires.

The recall, government regulators said yesterday, includes dishwashers sold under the brands Eterna, GE, GE Profile, GE Monogram, Hotpoint and Sears-Kenmore.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers should stop using the devices immediately and contact the company for a free repair or a rebate toward a new dishwasher.

GE has received nearly 200 complaints of overheating, including 12 fires caused by the washers. The machines' wiring is susceptible to shorting out or overheating if liquid rinse solution leaks out of dispensers, the agency said.

Customers with one of the affected models can receive a $150 rebate to buy a new GE dishwasher or a $300 rebate toward the purchase of a new GE Profile or GE Monogram dishwasher.

For information, contact GE at 1-877-607-6395 or visit the company's Web site at www. geappliances.com. Look for the Dishwasher Recall link on the left side of the home page.