Call Collett: Ovens exploding across the US

Call Collett

“I thought someone was shooting into the house,” Johnsie Mason told News 2’s Rebecca Collett during an interview at her home on Wadmalaw Island.

The surprising source of the loud boom was actually her oven.

After baking a pizza in her bottom oven, Johnsie flipped on the self-clean cycle and went about washing dishes. Sometime between the end of the clean cycle and the cool down, the oven exploded and projected glass across her kitchen.   She took pictures to document the experience with the maker,  Electrolux.

This isn’t an isolated case, and there have been injuries. Though a check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we learned since 2015, CPSC received more than 700 reports of oven doors shattering or exploding.  The incidents involved many manufacturers. 

 “There are standards in place for consumer products that use glass which should lead to the glass breaking into nuggets and not shards,” a spokesperson wrote via email.

As long as the glass shatters into tiny nuggets, the oven glass meets safety standards. 

“Often there will be a crack that indicates it’s about to break,” Ofer Hubara, owner of Aviv Service Today, explained.  He’s been in the appliance repair business for three decades.   

“Once the door starts to have the slightest crack, during the self-clean which gets up to 1000 degrees, it can easily shatter the rest of the glass,” he explained.

Responding to a request for comment on the situation, a spokesperson for Electrolux wrote:

“We have worked with Ms. Mason to try and resolve the situation.  Even though her stove is 10 years old and she is the second owner of the appliance, we wanted to support Ms. Mason as best as possible and offered her a discount on replacement parts and on a future stove. Unfortunately, she declined both offers.

Johnsie said the offer wasn’t a true make-good.   

“Ten percent off of a product they don’t make any more is nothing,” she explained, appalled no one seems to be worried about the exploding glass and the potential for injuries.

Repair experts say the number of glass shattering cases is relatively small compared to the millions of ovens in kitchens across the country. But, given the pages of incidents reported, Johnsie wonders why there have been no safety alerts. 

“More than anything I think about the safety had a young child or our pets been right there,” she said.

So what can you do?

  • Regularly inspect your glass
  • Don’t slam the door or rest dishes on it
  • Use only approved cleaners

The company reported the average life span of the product is eight to ten years. The warranty lasts one year.   

“You buy a higher end appliance hopping that you get more than 10 years out of it,” Johnsie told News 2.  Her oven is a decade old.

 
Consumers are urged to report all safety related incidents involving glass doors to CPSC by logging on to SaferProducts.gov. The consumer’s report will be reviewed by CPSC staff and will be posted on their public database for other consumers to see

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