Whirlpool Kenmore Brand Dishwasher Caught Fire!
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Our 4 1/2 year old Kenmore dishwasher is apparently manufactured by Whirlpool, serial number FR3305103, Model 665.17483300, Type No. 577-0.
Last night, acrid-smelling smoke started coming from the front door, and now the dishwasher does not work.
This first link is for an official recall of dishwashers similar to this one, but with a plastic body (ours has a metal body and a stainless steel front):
Original; see modified release: Whirlpool Corporation Recall of Dishwashers
This link is for Whirlpool's official recall:
Apparently, even though our dishwasher's serial and part numbers fall within the range given on both pages, it is not covered in the recall, perhaps because it has a metal body.
The defect with our dishwasher seems exactly like the one described in the recall. We are going to attempt to have Whirlpool repair or replace ours for free, since this is not a natural malfunction due to the age of the appliance or for any other reason.
We just had a Whirlpool affiliated technician come over (this Kenmore is really just a Whirlpool with the Sears brand name). The service call was $118, non-refundable. Our dishwasher originally cost us $1,048.10, including all taxes, and delivery. I know, that's expensive, but we thought we were getting the best, something that would last for a while, maybe ca. 10 years. We bought this on 9/11/04, it lasted four years, four months. Little did we know...
The technician's tally for replacing the parts comes out to ca. $400. After calling Sears, they said that they could either offer Service Parts up to $100 OR Service labor up to $150, One or the other, but not both. Obviously, this is not cost efficient.
I am attaching a picture of the burned out inside of the electronics panel on the front door of the dishwasher. Notice the charred insides.
What have we learned from this?
1. As the technician recommended, ALWAYS purchase the largest warranty, and then when it's about to expire, purchase an extension. Once your warranty expires, you have absolutely no recourse whatsoever, even if your place burns down.
2. Both Whirlpool's and Sears's service is abysmal, and they don't back their own products, even when there is a life-threatening malfunction.
3. Whirlpool products are cheaply-made, and according to the Whirlpool affiliated technician, they are getting worse. (She admitted that she's so dismayed by the quality of modern dishwashers that she doesn't even own one, she washes by hand.)
4. It's a crapshoot purchasing what you think will be a top-of-the-line, excellent appliance. As they say, they just don't make them like they used to.
Finally, if there are others out there who purchased the same dishwasher and had the same problem, PLEASE post here. If enough people have this problem, there will inevitable be a recall of this batch of serial numbers in this model.
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