Do you have a dangerous appliance?

June 7 2007 by Ellen Roseman

Your dishwasher can be a lifesaver when you have lots of people to feed. You don’t want to stop using it, but you may have to start washing dishes by hand if you have a machine that’s a fire hazard.

Maytag had to recall 2.3 million dishwashers in February because liquid rinse-aid could drip onto the wiring and ignite. The problematic appliances were sold between July 1997 and June 2001. Maytag’s new owner Whirlpool Corp., prodded by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, offered a free in-home repair or a $75 rebate on a new dishwasher.

General Electric had to recall 2.5 million dishwashers, also sold between 1997 and 2001, last month for the exact same reason.

The Maytag recall has been a mess, resulting in requests for help from frustrated owners. Some are getting new dishwashers because the parts are on back order and not available. So far, I haven’t had any complaints about the GE recall.

Talking about dangerous appliances, I’ve helped a few owners of LG refrigerators that were leaking water all over the floor. (I bought that brand myself last year after an enthusiastic sales pitch.) This Korean manufacturer seems to provide spotty service and needs a lot of nudging to get complaints resolved. “Life’s Good” for LG owners? Not yet.

17 comments

  1. PM

    Jun 27 2007

    I cannot believe it… you’ve managed to move mountains at record speed. The day after I sent you an email, I received a call from a senior staff member at Whirlpool Canada. They had a repair person at our door within a few days and our dishwasher is now fixed and running better than ever.

    I cannot thank you enough for following up — whoever you sent this along to, it made all the difference. I’ve been trying since February to sort this out, and you managed to have the problem taken care of within a week!! I am in awe.

    If there is anything that I can do to repay you for ‘being on our side’ please don’t hesitate to ask. It’s an amazing thing you are doing for us average consumers.

  2. amy

    Jun 30 2007

    This is my letter to Maytag;
    I am writing to let you know the dishwasher that has always given me trouble from day one now has a recall.

    I purchased a Maytag dishwasher because the commercials sold me on the reliability of Maytag. From day one the jet dry was going on the dishes as they were drying.

    I had Sears come out and they kept telling me nothing was wrong. Now to find out this problem has been the cause of fires, I let Sears know I was not pleased that they told me back when it was new nothing was wrong with the dishwasher. That could have cost me my house if I kept using the jet dry. I called Sears, but they put all the blame on the Maytag people, taking no responsibility for the servicemen they sent (the ones that said nothing was wrong years ago).

    It is bad enough my K-Mart stocks are worth nothing but now my loyalty to Sears is down the tubes too.

  3. Andrew Martin

    Jul 10 2007

    I wanted to chime in with my experience with Maytag. I have been out of a dishwasher for over 45 days. With my recently broken back, it is terribly painful for me to lift anything in front of my body.

    I have spoken to Maytag escalation on five different occassions now. Each time they have sent emails to the exchange department — and still, I have had no contact with the exchange department. I have been told that the exchange department has no telephone number and no way of being contacted by any Maytag employee.

    Clearly, Maytag is avoiding the customer with regard to this recall. It is highly unfortunate that a company of such a stellar reputation has chosen to allow its reputation to be irreversibly damaged.

  4. Raymond Cartwright

    Jul 20 2007

    I shared Tony’s experience with the control board on my LG TV.

    The TV comes on by itself and runs through the channels. Only unplugging stops it. Repairman looked and said they would have to replace control board, “week to 10 days,” in a machine less than 3+ weeks old. Dealer says he can’t do anything about it. HELP!!

  5. Sheila Rose

    Oct 1 2007

    I am so annoyed with Whirlpool Canada. I have an entire kitchen of KitchenAid appliances. When my oven was first installed, it was not working properly. I had to call their service centre, which is handled by Whirlpool. They sent over an extremely rude serviceman who basically accused me lying about how the oven part was broken. Then he accused my contractor of lying about how it was installed. My contractor is a man of utmost integrity.

    Now 3 years later, I have another problem with the oven. I had a polite serviceman come over and check the problem. There was a part to be ordered. After 2 weeks I called the service centre. Only then did they make an appointment. Unfortunately the fellow called and spoke to my husband, who did not tell me of the call and the appointment until several hours later. As this was exactly when I had a doctor’s appointment, I called the service centre and asked if I could contact the serviceman directly. I was told they cannot provide this personal information.

    The man has a cellphone. I could have rearranged things easily with him, since he has my cellphone number. But no, they have a policy, which makes no sense, as they ask me for personal information and will not give the serviceman’s number. I call other service people and they don’t seem to have the same problems.

    Has anyone else run into problems with Whirlpool? I paid a lot of money for the appliances and feel the service just stinks.

  6. Melissa

    Dec 13 2007

    We purchased all Maytag appliances 2 years ago. Now our stove randomly turns on to max heat…big fire hazard.

    The Maytag repair guy was aware of the problem, but Maytag says too bad, your bill. We don’t even want the damn thing in our house, putting lives at risk.

  7. Servicer

    Nov 16 2008

    Hello there, we have done 35 Maytag units under recall. Maytag (AKA Whirlpool) was very specific about how to remove connector on the boards and switches…making it very plain that rough treatment would cause damage.

    Most likely your servicer didnt read the instructions and yanked the leads off without using the proper tools.

    BLAME THE SERVICE COMPANY, NOT MAYTAG

  8. Michael

    Feb 6 2009

    Porcelian-coated grids on Maytag stoves are very dangerous. When a pan or pot is on top of the stove cooking, it is very slippery and can slide off the stove easily.

    I called Maytag a couple of times to explain my concern about the danger, but I got no real response. I also tried to get uncoated grids over the burners, but that is not an option from Maytag.

    There are other brands of stoves that coat the grids also. It is very dangerous, especially if a kid runs into the handle of a pan on the stove.

    A hot pan on a coated grid is like one being on ice.

  9. Jane Russell

    Jun 13 2009

    The electric heating element on my Maytag electric oven caught on fire last week (that was fun). It is a piece of junk.

    I have replaced the drip pans 3 times and the bottom of the oven door is rusting out.

    I had 2 Maytag washers, each lasting 20 years. So i asumed their stove would be good also. Boy, was I wrong.

  10. SYLVIA

    Nov 29 2009

    AFTER 6 YEARS OF OURCHASE OF MY STOVE I WENT TO PUT POT ON BURNER TO HAVE GLASS TOP STOVE CRACK VERY DANGEROUS I COULD HAVE LOST MY EYES PUTTING NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS I HAVE BEEN IGNORED SAYING I DO NOT HAVE A WARRANTY IT NOT THE WARRANTY IT THE DANGEOUS POSTION I WAS PUT IN LEGAL ACION WILL BE TAKEN IF NO RESPONSE IS MADE A S A P

  11. SYLVIA

    Nov 29 2009

    Six years after purchasing my stove, I went to put a pot on the burner, only to have the glass stove top crack.

    This is very dangerous. I could have lost my eyes.

    After putting in numerous complaints, I have been ignored. Whirlpool said I didn’t have a warranty.

    It’s not the warranty I’m concerned about, but the dangerous position I was put in. Legal action will be taken if there’s no response ASAP.

  12. Oven repair

    Jan 16 2010

    News of appliance recalls really make me nervous. Questions like “What if I had bought a defective or a failed product and it self-destructs on me even before I hear about a recall?” keep popping into my head and I get really paranoid.

    Good thing there are blogs and sites like yours that keep me informed about these things, and I can feel myself relax a bit.