Kenmoredishwasher caught fire

Review updated:

Our 3 1/2 year old Kenmore dishwasher is apparently manufactured by Whirlpool, serial number FR3305103, Model 665.[protected], 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 will report back after we see what Whirlpool says tomorrow (Monday)...

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.See the Top 10 Worst Complaints in New York, NY 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. Sears service is abysmal.

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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  • An
      May 09, 2008
    Kenmore - Handle comes off
    United States

    When the gas oven is set for 350 degrees for longer than ten minutes the scres that hold the plastic handle heat up and the holes in the plastic handle melt and release causeing the whole door assembly to fall apart. It happen all of a sudden as well as when you pull on the handle. It is a serious design flaw.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
      Sep 01, 2008

    My Mother purchased a hot water tank from Sears about 4years ago with a warranty. As of June 2008 it stop working. She called the repair department they came out and fixed the problem. Two weeks later it stop working again. They came out order a part (heat coil) that took awhile to come back. Put part on it worked soon as the technician left it quit again. Call customer service that lied to us about dates coming back out. Now the technician says it is a bad switch. They scheduled an appt. for August 22 then moved the date to September 2nd. It has been 3 1/2 months without hot water. I was told that it is up to the technician to determine whether she get new tank or not. No one is willing to help you for real, but you will talk to 100 people then the phone hangs up. Why get a warranty and Sears not honor it. WOW !!!

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      Nov 18, 2008

    I am in agreement with this complaint. However, while knowing others have had issues is nice, I want the FIX! Did the manufacturer admit the failure and then build a retrofit for the handle so that competent consumers can fix it? I highly doubt it as in our litigious society they would not want to let us do that for fear of the backlash.

    I refuse to pay $50 plus dollars for another defective part. So I'll keep looking for my own fix, most likely using my local hardware man!

    Thank you American manufacturing! Your products that used to last 30-40 years are now barely able to last 5 of the 10 years that you claim they should (and this is progress)...????!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ho
      Feb 20, 2009

    Our Kenmore dishwasher also caught fire two nights ago (model number 665.[protected]). When I pulled the panel off, all of the wiring and the interior was charred. The smell of burnt plastic has overtaken the house and part of our counter has been burned.

    I have posted the information on the managemyhome-site, but they haven't (and I am sure won't) decided to post it. I have also called- or attempted to call Kenmore, only to get the runaround that they are not Kenmore, they are Sears and the number won't connect directly, even though it should...

    And of course we did not have a warranty.

    Is it treu that even though this product catches fire and causes damage to your home, there is no obligation by the company who produced to be in any way responsible?

    +1 Votes
  • Je
      Jul 31, 2009

    My 9 month old, lightly used Kenmore dishwasher just caught on fire. NOT the wiring - but the plastic spray arm somehow getting burned by the heating element. My repair guy said never to use heat dry when you're going to bed or leaving the house. Who knew? Oh, and by the way, they're ordering new parts which probably exceed the value of the machine and are not sure that the motor will work when they replace the parts but Sears is unwilling to just replace the unit (which is under full warranty).
    I guess next month when I buy my new stove and fridge it won't be from there!

    +2 Votes
  • Pa
      Nov 20, 2009

    I had the exact same problem with the exact same model of dishwasher. I posted a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission ( and hope that you do the same if you've had a similar issue. We can then hope to get this model recalled and get Kenmore (and Whirlpool, the actual manufacturer) to cover our losses. I read on another site of the exact problem posted by a different person, so this problem is definitely due to a faulty design. After calling both Sears and Whirlpool, they both denied any responsibility for this and refused to cover any damages. Hopefully, CPSC will force them to do the right thing. Without any action, it's going to possibly kill someone by burning down their house.

    +2 Votes
  • De
      Dec 10, 2009

    we also had a dishwasher melt down, about 2 years ago, it was 8:30 at night and the cat who was in the kitchen started meowing in a panic tone, i went and checked it out, and i found that there was a heavy smell of burning plastic around the dishwasher, so i opened the door and found a smoking hole burned in the bottom of the dishwasher, so i switched it over to the wash cycle to fill the tub to extinguish anything burning,

    +1 Votes
  • De
      Dec 29, 2009

    Contributed by Derrick

    Our Kenmore Elite dishwasher caught fire yesterday. Model NO. 1595 (665.[protected]), Serial NO. FK4604478. It was an apparent electrical fire inside the door of the unit. Our fire extinguisher put the fire out. Smoke filled the house. A big mess to clean up. Fortunate we do not run the dishwasher if we will be stepping out for a while. Dishwasher no longer works. Would no longer use it even if it still worked. Will need to replace it. It is not part of any recall. I would suggest never running dishwasher if it will not be attended.

    +1 Votes
  • Zs
      May 21, 2010

    Same story for our Kenmore Elite. Model: 665.[protected], Serial: FR3303150, Type No. 577-0. Sears offered to send a technician two weeks from now, only to determine whether there is a problem or not! The attached picture is not evidence enough for them. I should also add that the dishwasher's intake valve failed to close a couple of months ago, the dishwasher finished its cleaning cycle but water kept coming in for about 5 hours, leaking out of the dishwasher and flooding the basement below. Why the pump did not keep on going when water was still in the tub at the end of the cycle is beyond me. Beware of such a risk, and the fire hazard, when you run the dishwasher on the 'delay' cycle as we do.

    Worst part is that it is not obvious what else to buy. GE, KitchenAid, Kenmore, and Whirlpool all look like they are manufactured from the same parts. Kenmore models came highly rated, I shudder to think of what other models would be like.

    +1 Votes
  • Ir
      May 31, 2010
    Kenmore - Rust
    United States

    Sears does not acknowledge poor paint applications. They will say its because you live near the ocean that the rust will show through. This said even as the appliance stands next to one that has been in the home for 15 years and looks new. "Do not buy Sear's appliances if you live near the ocean" should be in their advertising.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
      Aug 31, 2010

    Our Kenmore elite dishwasher 5.5 year old just caught fire on [protected]) Model 665.[protected]

    Fire came from control panel (inside door, upper right corner)

    We could not shut it down. Even with door open, dishwasher continued to work, spraying hot water all over our new kitchen.
    The only way to stop it was to shut off circuit breakers and turn-off water. As of now Dishwasher is disconnected from electrical supply.

    We have contacted Sears. There is no recall on this model as per sears representative.

    They have given us 10% up to $100.00 on the next Sears dishwasher.

    My assessment of the problem - water got inside control panel through cracked water seal.

    +1 Votes
  • Si
      Feb 21, 2011

    Same thing has happened to us: Kenmore Elite dishwasher mod# [protected] Ser # FR 3901388
    Upper part of door started smoking and caught fire. Horrible plastic/electric fire smell. IT WOULD HAVE CAUGHT THE HOUSE ON FIRE HAD WE NOT BEEN HOME.
    After several calls to sears, who directed us to kenmore, who directed us to whirlpool, who directed us back to sears, who tried to direct us back to kenmore (I am not kidding about the phone run around), finally I filed a formal complaint with sears. Our model number is so close to the recall, but is not paqrt of it. Many others have had the same complaint.
    A manager is supposed to call me back with resolution, and a free service visit this week, to assess the problem.
    I for one, cannot believe that this obvious problem has not been addressed on a larger scale with recalls and safety checks- if my house had burnt down or my family been injured or killed, what then?????????? More people need to know of the potential danger involved here!!!
    I will post a follow up when the situation is settled, one way or another.

    0 Votes
  • Vo
      Mar 21, 2011
    Kenmore - Stay away from these guys
    United States

    If your older Sears Kenmore side by side refrigerator section suddenly stops keeping your food at proper 40 degrees. Make sure your intake & outlet vents are not covered by anything. For example a plastic bun bag.

    It would have been nice to be able to check for something this simple in the owner's manual and save the $45 service charge that I had to pay to Sears.

    0 Votes
  • Au
      Mar 30, 2011

    Same here 3/29/2011 control Panel on fire Kenmore Elie Dishwasher Model 665-[protected], Serial # FR 4403519, heavy smoke and smell in the entire house. Did you all know that over 150 Kenmore / Whirlpool Dishwashers control panel caught fire since January 2011! Something has to be done, we paid over $800 for a product which isn't safe! Sign this for record keeping and report to the Consumer Safety Commission

    0 Votes
  • Au
      Apr 02, 2011


    KitchenAid, Sears Kenmore, Whirlpool dishwasher fires (all manufactured by Whirlpool)
    Over 150 Dishwashers caught fire since January 2011 please sign up here if your Dishwasher caught fire too, together we can force a product safety recall and/or class action.

    0 Votes
  • Kr
      Apr 03, 2011

    Well...add us to the list. Our Kenmore dishwasher mode 665-[protected] serial number FR4503868 started billowing out white smoke wednesday night. STRONG electrical smell burning from the upper right side of the unit. Opened dishwasher and it DID NOT STOP..had to unplug it. Terrible smell for days in our house. This was at 1am...had I not heard a "POP" noise and went to check this could have been a lot worse. Getting run around by Kenmore/Sears..will keep trying to get someone to take responsibility for this!

    0 Votes
  • La
      Apr 11, 2011

    Add us too!. DWF - Our Kenmore [protected] UltraWash dishwasher started on FIRE yesterday, April 10th, 2011. Luckily my wife was in the area and shut off the power. Our unit was not included in the "fire hazard" recall per Sears back in 2005 because we have a metal tub, but this fire occurred in the top panel, and is just like all the other fires I've now seen. Sears & Whirlpool have a severe safety issue with these. The unit ages a bit and then the wire size or component wiring is not suitable for the amperage draw and it catches fire. If you think you've smelled something funny check your dishwasher, it is probably about to burst into flames. DWF

    0 Votes
  • Ho
      Apr 22, 2011

    Tonite, April 22, 2011 my Kenmore Ultrawash. model [protected] started making strange sound at 1am. Entire house smells of burnt plastic. My children are asleep breathing in the fumes. Lucky I was still awake. Right top of door has melted and dishwasher is dead. Turned off breaker panel. really upset that such a risk has been put on my family

    0 Votes
  • Rp
      Jun 28, 2011

    Add me to the list. Kenmore Elite Mod#: 665.[protected] Ser#:FR3318038. Control unit caught fire, upper right side. Burn marks on the outside of the unit, most of the electrical connectors inside are melted, even to the point that the back of the control unit is burned all the way through. Whirlpool and Sear both pointing fingers at each other and not helping. CPSC next. Not expecting much help from them as they need numerous complaints to force Whirpool/Sears hand.

    0 Votes
  • De
      Oct 08, 2011
    Kenmore - stopped working
    United States

    I bought a Kenmore microwave last year and after exactly one year and one month it stopped working. What a peice of junk Sears is selling to the public. Calling Sears they would not acknowledge that this is a quality issue rather they try to blame me for not buying the extended warranty!. I will never buy this brand again.

    0 Votes
  •   Oct 12, 2011

    Dear Detroit Customer:
    My name is Susan and I am part of the Sears Social Media Escalations team. I am very concerned about what I have read here. I came across your post and I wanted to reach out and offer our assistance in getting this unfortunate situation resolved. We’re very sorry to hear about the service you have received from our team attempting to repair your microwave and we apologize for the frustration this has caused you and your family. Sears Social Media Escalations Team is a single point of contact for escalated concerns which means we step into a situation and handle it start to finish with one Case Manager.
    At your convenience, please contact our office via email at [protected] so you don’t have to continue to be frustrated by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the microwave was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide the screen name (Detroit customer) you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.
    Thank you,
    Susan R.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    0 Votes
  • Ho
      Jan 27, 2012
    Kenmore - Power Miser water heater
    United States

    I bought a Kenmore Power Miser 9 water heater in 2005. I have had a repairman over to fix it AT LEAST once a year, always for the same problem: bad igniter. Kenmore has refused to replace the appliance, citing the "Lemon Law" which stipulates that the problem need to happen at least five times in one year. To hell with Kenmore and Sears. I will never EVER but another one of their products.

    0 Votes
  • Je
      Mar 19, 2012

    Well our brand new Kenmore 665 did not smoke but it flooded our brand new home. Water just keeps spilling out of the side wall of the dishwasher. We had turned it on and left, came back 5 hours later to a huge splash pad in our home that we had not even been in a month. Everything is having to be replaced. And Sears is not wanting to do anything. Meanwhile we are displaced from our home, and having to pay a huge deductible. Oh and our daughter has Cystic Fibrosis and is not suppose to be around mold or mildew. Loving Sears right now. :)

    0 Votes
  • Kj
      Jul 01, 2012

    KENMORE ELITE model #[protected] Serial#FP5102381
    I had just turned it on and walked out of the kitchen and heard a hissing or scraping sound so I came back to check it out. Our dishwasher was smoking and shooting flames out of the top right corner. I flung open the door to stop the cycle and my husband ran to the electrical box and turned off the breaker. The smell was horrendous and still lingers 2 days later. We are a family of 6 and my daughter had 2 friends spending the night when the dishwasher caught fire. To think what could have happened if we didn't act fast enough, very scary!!! Whirlpool and sears have endangered the lives of 8 people in just my home alone. Needless to say, there are many more incidences with far worse consequences.

    0 Votes
  • Tr
      Sep 04, 2012

    well my Kenmore ultra wash dishwasher Model # 665.[protected] was running and we smelt plastic burning we opened the door to the dishwasher and the whole side of it was on fire and it was still running .luckily we were home. I never leave it on when no one is home.thank god! I have had the dishwasher for 15 years but have never been told of a recall, the ironic thing is that they were just talking about this very issue of the wiring catching fire a week ago on the news and a week later mine does the exact thing.the scary thing is that the dishwasher kept running while it was on fire

    0 Votes
  • Dg
      Sep 26, 2012

    KENMORE ELITE model 665 [protected]
    Same as many others here. Strong smell of burning plastic and smoke. Lucky for us my wife was in the room and killed the power. About half of the control board in the door is charred. It burned a hole in it and melted the plastic box it was in. The connectors of the wiring harnesses are melted.

    0 Votes
  • To
      Dec 27, 2012

    Kenmore Elite model 665.[protected]
    Same as others. Smoke and burt plastic smell. The board in the door and its housing/mount melted along with part of the wiring harness.

    0 Votes
  • Nw
      Jan 31, 2013

    Ad us to the list. Don't have serial number - fire burned the number off. Kenmore Elite 665.1646 model. 6 K of damage to the house. Would have been much worse had we not been home. Purchased in 2004.

    0 Votes
  • Be
      Mar 20, 2013

    Last night I loaded and started our Kenmore Untra Wash QuietGuard dishwasher. Model # 665.[protected]. I happened to be nearby when I heard a loud 'pop'. I went to investigate and discovered smoke coming from dishwasher. We tried to get it to turn off. We could not shut it down. Even with door open, dishwasher continued to work, spraying hot water all over. The only way to stop it was to shut off circuit breakers. When we opened the door of the dishwasher, you could see smoke coming from the door panel still. The house was filled with fumes. It still smells the following day. We were SO lucky that I was near the kitchen when this happened. Our children were in bed upstairs. I am still sick over the fact that we could have had a massive fire during the night while we slept.
    I am going to call Sears where it was purchased. I am not very hopeful that they will be of any help based on the numerous complaints that they have online about this very problem. Shame on all involved if this known issue should have been part of a recall.

    0 Votes
  • Hu
      Apr 16, 2013

    Add us also to the list. Fire in upper right corner of Kenmore Elite [protected] purchased in 2005. Thank God we were home and able to stop it.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      May 24, 2014

    We also bought the Kenmore Elite "Ultra wash" dishwasher. After one year and two months we had the famous F2E2 error code. Turned out the dishwasher had been leaking from the the bottom pump. $142 fix. Two months after that the top rack literally fell off. Plastic wheels somehow broke off. Three days after that we smelled something burning. Opened door and the spray arm, still attached, had melted on one end called Sears AGAIN! Still waiting response

    0 Votes
  • Dn
      Aug 06, 2014

    Our Kenmore Elite dishwasher caught fire last night. Lucky we were home..!!! When I saw the smoke I opened the door to stop it from running. It did not..!!! Water was spraying everywhere and smoke continued to pour out from the control panel. We then turn off the circuit with the breaker (it did not pop when the fire started). We have now called Sears all morning and into the afternoon. They do not help or want to report the problem. They only want to service, sell an extended service agreement, or offer us 10% of the price of a new dishwasher. (You gotta be kidding me) Our house could have burned to the ground, and they are interested in selling something. Not documenting it or seeing if it related to the same problem with others. Corporate agenda, a'la ignition switch on GM cars. We keep getting sent to 800 number after 800 number. No one to take responsibility. Even Whirlpool, who makes the product for Sears, won't talk to us. The dishwasher has failed on us in the past. Seems like every 2 years. Always the same thing. Circuit board fails and needs to be swapped out.. HEY SEARS... you have a problem. Are you even out there?

    0 Votes
  • De
      Oct 12, 2014

    I had a similar problem with the Kenmore Elite dishwasher model 665.1397. I came home to the acrid smell of burned plastic to discover that the lower wash arm had fallen and melted onto the heating element in the bottom of the washer. I also reported this to the Consumer Product Safety Commission This is the third repair in the 1.5 years we've owned the machine.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
      Oct 27, 2014

    Same here... 10-25-14 7pm the reilly family literally dodged a bullet! ----

    You all have written our story!!! Luckily home, horrible stench and smoke, fast thinking to unplug machine, no help from Sears, thankful no-one was hurt. SHAME ON KENMORE/SEARS for no help!!! They need to take responsibility for this hazardous appliance. If anyone gets

    Model # 665.[protected]
    Serial # fr3701485

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      Dec 20, 2014

    Model 665 - [protected]
    Serial # FR 2511 095
    Stainless Steel interior
    Smoke started to billow out of top of the door panel.. My husband tried to cancel but couldn't. Suddenly flames erupted.
    We do not have a cut off switch, thankfully the dishwasher stopped running.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      Jan 05, 2015

    Same here with the control board fire. My story mirrors all the other comments already posted. Luckly I was home and able to shut the power off before further damage occured. I had not heard of these issues until I started searching on the internet. As a licensed industrial electrician with over 30 years of experience in Canada, this problem didn't just happen over a few minutes. The control board was (has been) failing for some time before the problem got bad enough to cause an electric arc & therefore a fire between the components.

    0 Votes
  • Dw
      Jan 27, 2015

    Our Kenmore Ultra wash, model 665-[protected], had a burn in control panel a few days ago. Our daughter was home at the time and she stop the machine before it caught fire. I had to shut the power off to it as it was stuck in the drain mode. We got about ten years out of ours. I thankful it didnt happen when we werent home, or we may not have one. My question is, why didn't the machine shut down? Isn't there a fuse that should have blown to prevent the overload? I'm afraid that most appliances are being made to cheaply and this is the result.

    0 Votes
  • Re
      Aug 17, 2015

    Dishwasher control panel was smoking with sparks and flames coming out. When the door was opened it stopped. Lots of smoke inside machine as well. I disconnected the power supply. Contacted Sears by Email via the Sears website, no response from Sears.

    0 Votes
  • Ge
      Sep 04, 2015

    First, I want to thank everyone for their posts on this issue. My wife and I smelled a stench from our dishwasher while it was running over the past few weeks. We thought that it had to do with the soap. I wasn't convinced after last night that it wasn't the soap after remembering that we had replaced the circuit board under warranty 3 years after purchase. After reading your posts today, I decided it was time to get a new dishwasher and not take the risk of fire while asleep or away from home. With the new Bosch Ascentia being delivered tomorrow (Consumer Reports Best Buy, Aug 2015), I decided to run the Kenmore Elite Model # 665.[protected] one more time but stick around the kitchen while it was running. Good thing I did, and great thing for other posts. Mid-cycle I was on the phone, heard a noise and looked at the dishwasher...smoke, but dishwasher was still running and wouldn't turn off. Went to the Circut Panel and shut down kitchen circuits. Posting a picture of the circuit board. Yes, Kenmore/Whirlpool have a safety issue (2 control panels in 9 years) regardless of age, they should have notified consumers - Shame! George Kuhn [protected]

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Jul 26, 2016

    Our Kenmore Elite dishwasher model 665.[protected] and serial FR1710755 started sparking and smoking last night. Good thing we were home or we could have easily sustained severe damage. The lingering smell is bad enough. Called Sears only to find our choice was to get repaired or replaced. There was no recall or concern on there part. Just have a good day! Okay thanks.

    0 Votes

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