OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Michelle Wheat said tiny shards of glass landed everywhere in the kitchen of her home after the glass window on her oven door shattered.
Although she’s grateful none of her four small children were injured, she said she’s still baffled how the glass in a three-year-old Frigidaire range could suddenly break and why it would be her responsibility to pay for the repair.
“(The oven) was not on at the time,” said Wheat, shaking her head.
Wheat immediately called Frigidaire to report what she assumed had to be an obvious manufacture defect.
But Frigidaire told her that since her one-year limited warranty had expired, there was nothing it could do.
With a family of six to feed, Wheat needed her oven and asked Frigidaire what to do next.
They told her to call a certified Frigidaire technician to schedule an appointment. That visit cost Wheat nearly $100.
Here’s what the technician told her: The glass was broken and needed to be replaced.
“Yeah, I know,” Wheat said she told him.
Replacing the glass cost her another $319 and took another five days. An already frustrated Wheat grew even more so when Frigidaire suggested she buy an extended warranty – so that she’d be covered should this happen again.
“This should not have happened,” Wheat said. “That was the point I was trying to make to them.”
She even posted a complaint on Frigidaire’s Facebook page. That’s when she discovered she wasn’t alone. Other Frigidaire customers shared their stories.
“It was the same thing,” Wheat said. “They even posted photos.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission told FOX4 Problem Solvers that it’s received 450 reports of exploding glass oven door since 2019. The CPSC said the complaints were about multiple brands, not just Frigidaire.
So what the heck is happening? Chicago glass expert Mark Meshulam said many oven manufacturers have switched from borosilicate glass to tempered glass to save money.
The problem is tempered glass is not as sturdy as borosilicate which is the same type of glass used in laboratory beakers.
“Because it’s tempered it can tolerate a lot more stress, a lot more,” Meshulam said. “Nonetheless, there are times it can be pushed beyond its endurance and it will break.“
Frigidaire would not tell Problem Solvers what type of glass was used in Wheat’s range.
But Meshulam said the only logical explanation for glass shattering on a three-year-old range that wasn’t even turned on, would be the existence of flaw, such as a tiny chip at the edge of the glass. He said it would be the type of flaw that would most likely occur during the glass manufacturing process.
FOX4 Problem Solvers asked Frigidaire why it would be Wheat’s responsibility to pay to replace glass that under normal usage should never have broken? Frigidaire never contacted us back. But here’s the good news. Frigidaire did contact Wheat. The company never admitted fault, but has reimbursed her for the entire cost of the repair.
While working on this problem, we also heard from a metro man whose glass top on his Frigidaire range shattered. Although the range was still under warranty, it’s been five months and Frigidaire has yet to replace it.
Problem Solvers asked Frigidaire for help resolving this problem, as well. But true to form, Frigidaire has never contacted us back. We’ll let you know what happens.