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Cooking Up A Disaster

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Ginger Allen
Ginger is the Senior Investigative Reporter of the CB...
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(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Rhonda Wheeler says baking has become a guessing game.

“Probably add three-more minutes. It’s a guess,” says Wheeler staring at her oven which she says hasn’t worked right since May.

She shows us how difficult it is to cook a small pizza. The instructions say cook at 450-degrees. Wheeler hits the bake button. The digital display on the oven shows 350-degrees. Wheeler pushes the up arrow to increase the temperature, but the temperature goes to 345-degrees. She pushes it again and it goes to 340-degrees. She pushes the up arrow again and the display reads 335.

“It does the opposite,” says Wheeler talking about the up arrow on the oven.

Wheeler says her Kitchen Aid Whirlpool oven has not worked right since she used the self-cleaning mechanism four months ago.

Wheeler says the timer will not come on at all. And, the broiler is fickle.

But, after searching the internet, Wheeler decided she was one of the lucky ones. Other consumers have blogged about their self-cleaning cycles causing their ovens to “self-destruct.” Customers write “Each time I use it, it breaks.” “The panel is completely dead.”

Some consumers have even filed lawsuits against Whirlpool claiming it “had knowledge of the defect…since 2006.” But, the lawsuits say Whirlpool continued to sell the oven and promote the self-cleaning mechanism as a “notable feature.”

Kristine Vernier, a spokesperson for the Whirlpool Corporation sent the I-team this statement:

“Whirlpool has made quality, reliable appliances form more than a century. All Whirlpool Corporation appliances are subject to rigorous product quality and safety testing prior to marketplace introduction. Although we do not know the particular model of self-cleaning oven our customer in Texas owns, our self-cleaning ovens are equipped with a safety device to prevent excessive temperatures around the oven. In rare circumstances, the heat from the Self-Cleaning cycle may cause the safety device to shut down the oven. If the oven will not operate after using the Self-Cleaning cycle, we encourage consumers to call Whirlpool for assistance to ensure that their oven has been installed correctly and is operating correctly; 1-800-422-1230.”

Wheeler says she will be calling Whirlpool for help. “I just want it fixed.”

The I-team’s research shows the problem may not be isolated to Whirlpool ovens. Self cleaning devices cause ovens to reach extremely high temperatures. We’ve learned it may be damaging to other oven brands as well.

Bottom line, you may want to call your manufacturer before repeated uses.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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