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Frigidaire, Electrolux oven glass unexpectedly bursting without warning, leaving homeowners confused and out of options

Apr 20, 2023

An explosion in the kitchen. Homeowners find oven doors shattered with no explanation as to why.

"We hear this loud explosion. Like, what is that?" Willie Mae Truesdale said. After getting off the couch to check out the noise, she found the outside glass on her oven shattered in pieces. "It was shocking and you had to really see it to believe it. It was like what in the world. Glass shattered, glass was out here on the floor."

What was even more surprising: It happened when her oven was not even turned on.

"It wasn't hot, because the stove was not on but all here this was full of shattered glass," Truesdale said.

Since Truesdale's Frigidaire oven is less than a year old, she called the manufacturer for help. She was told that her stove was still under warranty and would be fixed. However, when the repair technician came out to Truesdale's home, things did not go as planned.

"(The technician) was basically saying that couldn't happen. It was like, 'Well you dropped water, you did this,' and we didn't do anything so why lie? We were just telling the truth," Truesdale said.

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Despite her appliance still being under warranty, Frigidaire would not cover the broken glass, and Truesdale had to pay out of pocket more than $300 for the repair.

"It was a brand new stove. We did not do anything. I could see if we were in here, cooking or doing anything. The stove was off. The stove was cold."

ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson found out that Truesdale is actually not alone in having her Frigidaire oven shatter unexpectedly.

"All of a sudden, I heard, like it was a gunshot," said Raleigh homeowner Connor O'Brien after the glass on his Frigidaire oven also shattered. He also complained to Frigidaire, but the glass wasn't covered either. He was outside of his one-year warranty.

Consumer Product Safety Commission records from 2011 to 2022 show more than 214 complaints about this issue involving Frigidaire or its parent company, Electrolux.

When it comes to Electrolux, in a statement the company says, "Electrolux takes the safety of its products seriously. Although infrequent, glass used in oven doors may break. As a precaution and as required by household cooking standards UL 825 and ANSI Z21.1 with which Electrolux maintains certifications, the glass is designed to break into fragments with rounded edges if a failure does occur. This is in accordance with independent 3rd party certification agencies, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and/or Underwriters' Laboratories (UL), that require tempered or 'safety' glass is used in all Electrolux and Frigidaire ovens. Within the first year of purchase, failure in the glass may be due to imperfections in the glass and would be covered under the manufacturer's warranty. Following the first year of purchase, failure in the glass has been typically due to damage caused during use. Frequently, damage to the glass is caused by using the door to push in the oven rack or by an object accidentally hitting the interior or exterior glass. Both examples may cause a weakness that could lead to failure over time. Electrolux has, and will continue, to research and implement changes in materials, process and design to improve ranges."

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The company did look into Truesdale's case further and claimed the broken glass was not covered under warranty as the outside glass broke while the oven was not in use. It was determined to be a cosmetic issue and not a functional issue with the door.

Exterior glass may break from time to time, often as a result of the glass weakening over time due to an earlier impact. While the company initially gave her a 20% discount to compensate her for the inconvenience, the representative said the company would reach out again and offer a 50% refund.

Truesdale said she wants to warn others as to what can happen, as she said they did nothing to cause the glass to break.

"The good thing was that nobody was in the kitchen so nobody got hurt, but at some point, someone may get hurt. The company may still be saying the same thing. Oh, it can't happen. It can't happen. But it can happen and it did happen."