Kitchenaid/Kenmore/etc. DW fires

lynn_r_ctFebruary 7, 2012

Local (CT) NBC station reported on the Kitchaid DW that have been smoking and/or catching on fire due to the melting of the computer board. Apparently hundreds have reported this across the country. They interviewed local people in tiny CT, (so this is not an isolated issue) who also had the same problem.

The general concensus is that Kitchaid/Kenmoore/Maytag/etc. said they would not be responsible for any of the fires as the warrenty period had expired, even though many of these were fairly new. Customers and reporters also asked the Consumer Protection Agency if they were involved in the issue. It was reported that the while the CPA admitted they had received reports of the issue, they COULD NOT admit if there was any ongoing reviews of the problem.

When I "googled" the info, I find that there is an attorney who is trying to have people join a class action suit. I don't know about anyone else, but every time I have done that for one reason or another - the only one that makes money is the legal firm and I got nothing, so I have no intention of doing that. I still want something done though.

The information shows that it is not just one model # but many. It also indicates that Kitchaid knew of this problem for some time but did nothing and continued to use the same control panel in their machines.

There are requests for videos that show this problem i.e. smoking/fires. I start my dishwasher before I go to sleep. Do I, or anyone else, have to wait until something disasterous happens before they can have this issue resolved? Any what is proper compensation? New dishwasher? New computer board? Opinions and advise please.

Xpost on kitchen board.

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Called Kitchaid and the very nice customer service rep said that was not her area of expertise and then read me a letter obviously written one of their cororate legal people. Something to the effect of 1)we are aware of the 'isolated' and very rare problems (is over a hundred known considered to be 'isolated') that have occured. If we find that your model is one of the ones that are having this issue we will contact you blah, blah, blah. Basically the same information in the news report I have linked below. And again, from the info I have, it is not just one brand and not just one model #.
One correction on my part - I thought it was the CPA reviewing this, apparently it is the Consumer Product Safety Agency, who said they have received numerous reports.

I stressed that I did not want to wait until there is a fire and someone is hurt but my concerns fell on deaf ears (not the rep but the co.) What was disturbing is that at the end of this prewritten spiel they said that if we had any more questions, we should call 800-422-1230 (same # on the news report). Well, that was the phone number I had dialed originally, which lead me to her. When I mentioned this to her she said there was no one else I could talk with about the matter.

P.S. Not that I have a huge house but my bedroom is on a different floor at the opposite end of the house. Everyone else closes their bedroom doors and have slept through fire alarms caused by my cooking. For what it is worth I mentioned Garden Web and that I posted the information on the kitchen and appliance threads. I have attached the news report from the CT NBC station. Xpost - Kitchens

Here is a link that might be useful: Dish Washer Fires

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:13PM
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How frustrating for you. Our GE refrigerator just caught fire. I am waiting for GE to respond and I filed a report with CPSA. Luckily we were home, smelled it and were able to put it out before there was damage to the home or us.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:35PM
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This seems very similar to a different recent thread here, "Kitchenaid dishwasher fires and class action suit", which I've linked below.

You (and others) may want to see if your model is listed on the website given in that other thread (even if you don't want to participate in a class action suit); that could give some sense of fire risk for particular brands / models.

Seems like we're getting a lot of reports of appliance fires, lately. Its sad, and scary, to hear about this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchenaid dishwasher fires -- GW thread

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Whether or not your particular DW is likely to catch fire, it's still not a good idea to run it after you go to bed. What if it leaked? You wouldn't realize it until morning - much better to catch it when it happens.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 3:29PM
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I cannot believe the response I have received as to the number of instances they or someone they know has had a similar incident yet the companies do not seem to want to acknowledge any responsibility, and it appears not to be limited to DWs. There are many links for me to research so I guess I have a lot more reading to do.

Meanwhile, mistakes happen and if Kitchaid were to advise me that my DW is defective and dangerous I would welcome a fix. Taking everyone's advise I will not run the DW if I am not close to the kitchen. Re: the leaks, the reason I bought this dishwasher is because my last one leaked and damaged the finished basement. Homeowners covered it minus my $1K deductible so it was not a cheap fix but my main concern is still with loss of life or limb.

To "shappy" - I am far from being anti-corporation. The first thing I say when I call a service center in the country is "I am happy to be talking to someone stateside, we need to keep our jobs here". But think about how many people died in Pintos before Ford acknowledged they knew about the problem. Xpost Kitchen

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:05AM
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A primary reason why I do not want my dishwasher to be silent during operation is so I can hear ASAP if it stops or doesn't "sound" to be running properly during use. The best way to be aware of malfunctions is by hearing the unit from the next room ... otherwise I'd have to sit in the kitchen and watch it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:20AM
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"reason why I do not want my dishwasher to be silent during operation'

Some models have hidden or visible status lights that can alert you to trouble.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:37PM
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IIRC, Consumer Reports just did an article about this. not just KA, but GE and others. DWs and microwaves, etc. The Maytag stove that would turn on by itself.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Some models have hidden or visible status lights that can alert you to trouble.Yeahbut that still requires looking at the unit ... doesn't help if I'm in the family room watching a movie or office room doing computer work or bedroom resting or ...

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:29PM
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true, I just prefer not hear my DW.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:23PM
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