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Kenmore Refrigerator / kenmore refrigerator causes house fire

Hoffman Estates, IL, United States Review updated:
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We own a rental property where we had a Kenmore refrigerator, which we purchased from my daughter, in that house, model # [protected], serial # SL1943508. On Dec. 7, 2007 the refrigerator caught fire and caused a house fire. I have a copy of the North Liberty Fire Department report wherein the investigator determined this to be the case.

Our rental property insurance covered most of the loss with the exception of a $500.00 deductible and the cost of the refrigerator itself which was not covered since it was personal property. The fire was a result of defective product and we sent a letter in January requesting that Sears would reimburse us for our $500.00 deductible and provide us with a new replacement refrigerator.

We never received a reply.

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Comments

  • Ke
      Dec 27, 2008

    We woke this morning at 8am to a smoke filled kitchen and a sharp burning wires/electrical burning smell. It was our 22 cu.ft side by side Kenmore fridge Model # 106.53232300, 22SSA, SR1341088 bought April 2004. It is only 4 years 8 months old! We shut the breaker off to that outlet, unplugged it, opened the windows, turned on fans despite the cold of the Dec.27th/08 day; the compressor was very hot my husband noticed. I called Sears after checking my manual which says the fridge has a 1-year full warranty, and a five year full warranty on "sealed refrigeration system" which is further explained as, "consisting of refrigeration, connecting tubing, and compressor). The woman at Sears crisply told me that the fridge is only under warranty for a year. I asked to speak to the store owner, who has always been so good to deal with, but was told he was away for a week. She implied he could not help me further, and I said, "Well, I would at least like him to check to see if there have been any other problems with this make &model." She said, and I quote, "We have never had any problems with any refrigerator that we have sold." I told her what my manual says about the 5 year warranty and she then said I could calls "parts and service" but if it is not the compressor, then we would be charged". I had a strong internal reaction to this, which could be summed up by saying "the service sucks & I don't trust you". To pay $1298.21 (includes tax) for a new fridge that is only 4 yrs old, and to wake to your home filledwith smoke originating from the fridge, deserves more than a crisp, "the fridge has a 1-year warranty". What if we hadn't been home? Our pets surely would have died, not to mention the loss of our home as my husband is sure that a fire would have resulted. He heard electrical "zzzzttt-zzzzzzzt" sparking noices which stopped when he cut power to the fridge. He could see the smoke hanging in the air under the lights when he awoke. He woke before me.
    After the Sears woman's response, I believed that even if I called Parts & Service that undoubtedly, the problem would "not be the compresser", and that I would be throwing good money after bad.
    I told my husband I was through with Sears and that even if they would repair the fridge, I would not trust it. He said he wouldn't feel safe with it either. We bought a new fridge today actually, but not from Sears, and not a Kenmore. And we will never buy from Sears or Kenmore again based on this experience (ie. the Sears woman's response to our problem of the 4 yr old smoking fridge that we believe could have burned our house down.)
    I expect that a new appliance will work 12-22 yrs. Otherwise, why make it? Why waste our resources or money? If the fridges of my youth lasted 25 yrs, surely a brand new fridge bought in 2004 and properly maintained/cleaned would last longer than 4 yrs 8 months! I would be ashamed to sell a fridge that almost burnt someone's house down! I know our world is changing, but I still believe in honesty, quality, and service. That is why I am making this post.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      Jan 10, 2009

    Our son came into our bedroom at 1:00 am saying he smelled smoke. When we investigated, we saw smoke coming out from behind the fridge and the smell was BAD. We pulled it out, unplugged it and took off the little cardoard backing. I then plugged it in and the little plastic relays (or whatever they are called) going into the compressor sparked and grew hot IMMEDIATELY!! I didn't see any dirt, water, etc - it was simply melting the plastic directly at the compressor.It looked like the insulation was scorched (or maybe black from smoke at this point). I am convinced it would have burned our house down (especially with Cardboard backing!!!)

    Now I don't care about a service call, soemthing "going" etc., (even though yet agian we see how cheap "new" things are compared to years ago!), but this is a safety issue and Sears should respond/take responsibility!

    When I "googled" this issue, this site came up and it sure doesn't look lie they have. Well, I'll take my "shot" and I can be quite persuasive (can someone say class-action lawsuit?) ...

    Dan & Melissa
    Sebring Florida
    (bought at Sebring Sears)
    SOMETHING needs to be done!
    [protected]@strato.net
    863-441-2986


    #106.5323 4300
    Kenmore Coldspot Side-by-side
    Model built 4/20

    +1 Votes
  • So
      Jan 26, 2009

    Same thing happened to me. I woke up at 5am to smoke and a very BAD burning smell. My husband and I searched around the house to see what was burning. We called 911 and the fire fighters came and it is not until they turned the circuit breaker for the Kitchen off and on that they noticed a clicking sound from o ur Kenmore side by side refridgerator.

    This product definetly has issues. Thanks to Dan from the previous posting he gave us a tip on how to deal with the issue.

    Sophie Lancaster
    352-339-4257

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      Feb 10, 2009

    Correction of Model number

    We have a Kenmore side-by-side fridge ( 596.52673201) that also just had an incident with a burning electrical type odor along with clicking noises. The burning odor has not returned but the clicking noise is still present. As far as i can tell, the fridge is still cooling properly.

    Rod Simmons
    334- 270-1437

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Apr 07, 2009

    Our Kenmore Coldspot, purchased in 2002, is now making loud clunking noises that seem to be compressor-related. These short-term warranties are a total ripoff; I grew up in a house that had ONE refrig that lasted about 30 years!!

    People need to be more AGGRESSIVE with Sears or any other company, if you want satisfaction. To call and seek help and accept "It's no longer on warranty" from the person who answers the phone is not going to accomplish what you want. You need to insist on speaking with the manager and bring up the fact that SEARS "guarantees satisfaction, " and use a little more persuasive power than just accepting the first "NO" you receive and going out and buying new equipment, then posting an angry response on some online forum. If more people would DEMAND better service & products, we all would benefit. Don't be docile; it's YOUR money & safety at stake!

    Just a thought. Good luck to all...

    +1 Votes
  • Dl
      Apr 10, 2009

    I woke up to the same burning smell as reported above. With the zzzzzzt zzzzzzt noises as well. My house was full of smoke. All I could do was shut the breaker off and unplug my refrigerator (Kenmore 106.53232300) We bougt it 5 yrs and 4 days ago an it is well taken care of and in perfect condition. I am getting no where with Sears/Kenmore. I am filing a safty report. This is out of control. I found this web site and this product obviously has a problem!! There is still no saftey recall!! My kids were sleeping in the living room right next to the kitchen and they could have been injured or killed!! I will not stand by and allow this company to put families in danger and do nothing to warn them. Anyone want to join me in this please. If we get togther maybe we will be heard!!

    0 Votes
  • Bs
      May 08, 2009

    We have a Kenmore Coldspot #106.53544300 and had a very similar thing happen last Saturday. The fridge is not quite 6 years old and the same thing happened to our next-door neighbors at around the 6 year mark last November.
    Forget the inconvenience of having to evacuate and spend 2 nights with my in-laws (we have a 4-month old baby and didn't want her exposed to the toxic fumes); forget that we had to transfer everything to our back-up fridge in the garage (luckily donated to us only a few months ago); forget having to buy bottles of water in lieu of the water dispenser while waiting for repairs; this thing could have burnt our house down if I weren't at home: a story that seems to repeat itself through most of the comments I have read so far.
    Let's band together and make Sears, or Whirlpool, or whoever is responsible, accountable.

    +1 Votes
  • Jj
      Jun 05, 2009

    Same thing just happened to our Kenmore side-by-side, model 106.53232300 ser: sr0646552, - arrived home to a smoke filled kitchen with strong smell of burnt wires - luckily I isolated the source and pulled out the fridge and removed back panel to find sparks and smoke coming from the relay switch beside compressor. Lack of support from Kenmore not a surprise - got the usual out of warranty runaround - couldn't be bothered to escalate just bought replacement switch and wiring harness and will do a DIY repair - still the out of pocket expense was around $120 for parts. Was quoted $350 for a repairman to make a house call - at this price tag I would have opted to toss the fridge and buy a better brand! Live and learn.

    0 Votes
  • Am
      Jun 24, 2009

    We just had our Kenmore side by side catch fire this week. (2006 model) Smelled awful and filled kitchen with smoke. It was the relay compressor but that melted to the compressor and now we are looking at having to replace both Sears quoted 730$!! Trying to work with customer service they offered us 100 off parts and 150 off labor. BOO!!! I am looking for total replacement, or new fridge. :( GRRR Fire is unacceptable!

    0 Votes
  • Je
      Jun 27, 2009

    I just went into the kitchen, smelled something like burning plastic, and narrowed it down to the fridge, a Kenmore side by side, model no. 106.56249400, serial no. SR1546500, manufactured 2004/04. There was a haze near the ceiling - not sure exactly what that was. I pulled the fridge out and unplugged it, opened the windows and eventually aired the smell out. I had just been about to go to bed when this happened - what if it had started after I did? I have a small pet that would have been killed by the fumes, and since I'm in an apartment, this could have been a major fire.

    I'm leaving it unplugged and calling out a good repairman - not one from Sears (I tried Sears for a minor repair once, and they knew less than I did) - to look at it tomorrow. I think I'll just end up buying a new one, but maybe he'll be able to tell us who can haul this piece of junk away. From what I'm reading online, a lot of refrigerators do this. It's terrifying.

    Not only am I never buying Kenmore again, I'm never buying anything from Sears again, and I'll be sure to share this with everyone I know. It's bad enough refrigerators are designed to fail after a few years so you'll have to do your part to keep greedy immoral people in yachts and summer homes, but to fail in a way that endangers lives and property? I have no words.

    0 Votes
  • Am
      Jun 27, 2009

    We must report these!!! Please report these incidents!!!

    CPSC and Maytag have recalled fridges for the exact same reason of compressor relay fires!

    Kenmore/SEARS need to be held accountable ((Kenmore is Sears brand))

    PLEASE report these fires to SEARS, make them document a safety hazzard complaint.

    PLEASE file an online report with Consumer Product Safety Commission!! It takes 5 min. http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html

    Household appliances should NOT catch FIRE!! It is a huge safety and liability!

    Thank you! :)

    0 Votes
  • Bs
      Jun 27, 2009

    I posted 49 days ago about this and was given the same 'generous' offer by Sears of up to $150 for labor and up to $100 for the part. The 15 minute repair job by Sears chosen service company cost $296, with $220 going to the labor. That's $880/hr! Afterwards, I called around and got various quotes from other refrigerator repair companies: as little as $33 for the part (with an average of around $45), and quotes of $179+ tax for parts and labor, and even $95+ tax for parts and labor. Nice work Sears.
    Anyway, after more e-mails and many calls we managed to get Sears to pay for the entire bill. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. But I suspect this won't be the end of it. With all of the complaints just on this site alone, a recall must surely be not far off. If Sears gets their relay switches from the same place Maytag do, then it's time they bite the bullet.

    0 Votes
  • Am
      Jun 28, 2009

    Great job Bshadlow! So far I have been offered a 500$ voucher toward a new fridge...our compressor relay and compressor burned. $730 bucks to repair but I do not want another potential fire hazzard!

    Bshadlow, please also log on to the CPSC site and complete the complaint form, only takes a few minutes and THAT will be why Sears does a recall. Complaints to Sears alone will not do it, complaints to a governing agency will make it happen.

    thank you so much!
    www.cpsc.gov/talk.html

    0 Votes
  • Lo
      Jul 03, 2009

    Wow! This is amazing! Same thing happened to us yesterday. Kenmore side by side purchased approximately 6 years ago. Can't tell you the model number, as we kicked the piece of [censored] to the curb, and somebody actually took it. At around 10 am yesterday smelled strong odor of burning rubber and discovered smoke in the kitchen. Threw breaker, and tried to find cause of smoke...same complaint as everyone else...capacitor or whatever module it is that is connected to the condenser was fried. We were not taking any chances fixing something that already had an electrical problem, and purchased a new Samsung. After reading all these accounts, I know I will NEVER purchase ANYTHING from SEARS EVER again. They should be ashamed of themselves. Thank God we were home at the time. We just returned the day before from a three day vacation, and our dogs were penned up in the kitchen while we were gone, if it had happened even one day earlier, they and the house would have been gone.

    0 Votes
  • Br
      Jul 07, 2009

    My home also burned down due to a Kenmore Refrigerator I lost my dog, the possesions can be replaced. It is amazing these companies get away with this stuff. Brett (863)859-3236

    0 Votes
  • De
      Jul 18, 2009

    First let me say to Brett I am sorry for your loss and I am shocked by so many of these close call fire stories. I'm another person with a Kenmore Whirlpool (Model # 5959993) purchased in 2001 with a bad relay which we replaced with a genuine Whirlpool relay part. We have been having continuing problems with the unit being hot and now reading these stories will replace this refrigerator as soon as the budget allows. No more Kenmore for us! Ever! I'm certain they are aware this part is defective as they provide a box and postage to return the failed relay in so they can inspect it. Obviously after they inspect it they do nothing to protect their customers! They can be counted on to still pester us with postcards to purchase new water filters for the unit! I'm heading over to www.cpsc.gov/talk.html next! Thanks everyone for sharing your stories.

    0 Votes
  • Bs
      Jul 31, 2009

    I haven't received my phone call yet. If they are recalling the fridge, I hope they notify all of us ASAP.

    0 Votes
  • Sp
      Aug 13, 2009

    I woke up this morning to a kitchen filled with smoke. My Kenmore Coldspot 106.51272201 was burning. I found the problem, the relay device on the compressor melted and was burning. The compressor is destroyed along with the relay box.

    I called Kenmore and they said that I was welcome to pay full price for all the repairs. Nice! It could have caught the house on fire and killed us in our sleep if it had happened in the middle of the night.

    I believe Kenmore knows about this flaw but chooses to ignore it. I am considering a lawsuit to force them into action. Somebody is going to get killed from this defective product if they haven't already.

    0 Votes
  • Am
      Aug 13, 2009

    I still cannot believe Sears lack of resolution towards this serious issue!!! I ended up getting a 500$ voucher (to be spent at Sears of course) but after 4+ weeks with no fridge (ok, I do have a small one in the garage) and with three kids...they wore me down. I was going for a voucher that was equal to the cost of repairs (750!). Good luck SpeedSix, please keep us informed!

    Don't forget to report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (links are posted in my previous posts above).

    0 Votes
  • Gr
      Sep 14, 2009

    I have the same story... I have a Kenmore side-by-side Model Number 106.53232300. It is about 5 1/2 years old. It started with the fizzing and crackling sound, then the next thing I knew there was smoke filling the room. Fortunately, I had decided at the last minute not to go shopping, or else the fridge would have caught on fire while my dog was home alone. Not knowing what caused the problem, I called an electrician. $99 later I found out that the fridge was the problem. After some internet searching I found this page, as well as several others, littered with complaints about this refrigerator. And to think, I bought it only after much product research which all touted this fridge as excellent. I'm interested to hear more about the recall - I haven't heard anything yet from Sears and I can't find anything online about a product recall.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Sep 24, 2009

    This same thing happened to me today. I am going to Sears tomorrow armed with this helpful info

    0 Votes
  • Bi
      Oct 27, 2009

    We have a side by side Kenmore purchased 6 years ago. My wife and I came home yesterday to a house that smelled like smoke. It was traced to the refrigerator. It appears something burned up in it and now we have to go buy a new one to replace it. From what I read so far about others experiences, I will not jeopordize my families safety with this on our house any longer. We were very fortunate that it did not burn down our house. I am really upset that the quality of the parts used in this refrigerator did not last longer than it did. What JUNK! We spent alot of money on it and thought it was good. Someone in the legal profession needs to get ahold of all these complaints and help us all out. They can contact me at 813-855-3178

    Gary & Espy Johnson

    0 Votes
  • Rb
      Dec 01, 2009

    In October, of 2004, we purchased a Kenmore model # 596.52673201 and we will never buy another Kenmore product as long as we live! Needless to say, they do not stand behind their products! We are very disappointed in Sears and Roebuck! This product started falling apart from day one! Gone are the days with the tough metal interior and exterior, but really does the plastic drawers have to be so cheap and shoddy that it can't hold a few veggies and fruit. Additionally, we have had constant problems with the refrigerator keeping it's temperature cold enough for the food. If we turned it up slightly the food would freeze and Thanksgiving day the refrigerator decided it didn't want to make ice or keep anything cold. It turns out that the condenser fan was totally blitzed, no good, vamoose! Mined you, we had just purchased about $700.00 in groceries for the holiday's. I called Sears and of course, even given the problems we had with the refrigerator, they would not stand behind their product. Even so, my daughter had just updated her kitchen and offered to let us use her 25 year old General Electric refrigerator. They just don't make things like they use to!

    0 Votes
  • Va
      Jan 22, 2010

    Looks like same story, different house. Last night I was awoken to a plastic buring smell filling the house. Seems my Kenmore coldspot (106.53582300) decided that 6.5 yrs (manufactured 10-2003) was the most it could handle.

    Sears was completly unhelpful. I can pay for a service tech to come investigate the cause. No warranty, no recall on this model number (although there are recalls for the same issue in similar models).

    Have a feeling I will be buying a new fridge this afternoon, as I don't trust a new part replacement that doesn't correct the problem.

    No longer a Sears fan,

    Valerie W.

    0 Votes
  • Th
      Feb 10, 2010

    Wow. The exact same thing happened to us last Saturday morning (2/6/10). Woke up to a gross burning plastick-y smell, kind of like solder. We looked all over the house for the cause and saw a bit of smoke in the kitchen. Traced the smell and smoke to the refrigerator and immediately turned it off and unplugged it. My husband removed the cardboard and insulation backing (why cardboard and that fluffy insulation and not metal?) and pulled out the smoldering burnt plastic piece and the entire area was really hot.

    Our refrigerator was purchased on 1/2/2003. Model # 46 532393 22. Barely seven years old and looks brand new. Like a previous poster, I have seen perfectly working refrigerators that are probably over 30 or 40 years old (vintage, cool art deco, they say). This kind of thing does not happen. Or so we thought. Then we found this forum and read all the similar stories.

    Tried to contact Sears and all they cared about was that the warranty had expired. Well, OK, it HAS been seven years. Understandable if something just conked out like a light bulb or something but for the appliance to BURN and almost CATCH ON FIRE??? The fumes alone were nauseating. The person we contacted just kept trying to schedule a technician (not covered, we would have to pay of course) to come to the house. I kept telling him that we didn't know our schedule yet to make sure someone was home and two seconds later he would say that he could schedule an appointment for me and would I like to know the available days? Huh? I had to tell him that I would call him back because clearly all he wanted to do was set an appointment for a technician and who cares that the refrigerator almost burned our house down with us in it. I wasn't getting anywhere, so I ended the call. We went to the Sears nearest us (purchased the refrigerator elsewhere) to see if we could just ask questions and of course there are NO service people in the stores anymore and you have to call the service centers during the week.

    We decided that a repair visit wouldn't be worth it because even if it was fixed we would never be comfortable with that fire hazard in our home. We decided to just purchase a new refrigerator. Not from Sears, not a Kenmore and not a fancy-schmancy side-by-side one. Just a regular, plain top-mount refrigerator. And paid less than the cost of the repair (labor and parts - I think someone on here said they paid around $800?).

    Lucky for us we were home when it happened and weren't out doing errands or whatever. Our dog would have been in the house by himself. We also usually go out of town for extended periods of time as well and this could have easily happened during those times as well. The house would have definitely burnt down from this. But who cares about the house and possessions --- this could have resulted in fatalities.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      Feb 18, 2010

    My GOD!!! I'm just appalled at this. This just happened with my refrigerator, Kenmore model 106.50532101 side by side. Purchased April 2002 from Sears. I'm so glad that someone was home. My roommate was in the living room and heard this zzzzzt zzzzzt noise and walked out in the kitchen to a room filled with smoke. He was unable to determine where it was coming from. When I got home from work, I immediately got on my hands and knees and located the problem. The fridge had blackened the wall where the compressor is. It litterally burnt a hole in the wall! We were lucky the wall didn't burn further or my house would have been toast along with my cats and dog! What are they going to do about this????

    0 Votes
  • Ke
      Feb 27, 2010

    I appreciate everyone posting here. I keep checking back in to see if there is a recall, but no. Several of my friends and myself have not bought from Sears again due to this. And even when buying from other companies, I buy low end, not expecting them to last anyway. Eg. Needed a new washes after mine died after 12 yrs. Bought a $399 one even tho I always wanted a front loading, water saving one, figuring, over 2 yrs that is $16.50 (approx) per month, so if it dies, it is still cheaper than the landromat. It has been 2 years now, and my cheapy washer is still going strong. So is my cheapy fridge, which I bought for $600 or so, after my Sears one filled the house with smoke & almost caught on fire. I stand strong that I will never buy from Sears again. I keep forwarding the latest posts here to my friends. I think this is fair when a company does not stand behind its product.

    0 Votes
  • Fo
      Feb 28, 2010

    The same thing happened in my home 0n 2/11. My Kenmore ColdSpot side by side refrigerator Model #10653382300 caught on fire! Thank God my daughter was home from school due to a snow day or otherwise the damage could have been worse. That burning electrical odor was horrendous! Before calling Sears I happened upon this website and was outraged! I e-mailed the person at my local news station responsible for consumer reporting and I received a reply that she would like to interview me. Unfortunately I have not received any further communication from her. Maybe we all should contact the news to see if we can have this problem brought to the public's attention! These complaints have been going on for three years now! How many other people will have to suffer.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Mar 21, 2010

    I was sitting in my kitchen and heard water dripping. After an investigation, I was shocked to see glowing red coils in the freezer of my Kenmore Coldspot 106-57282791 side-by-side. The red burning coils were melting everything in the freezer and water was running down. I noticed that the ice maker was full so I shut it off by lifting the metal arm. Immediatly, the fridge motor turned off and the coils stopped glowing red. The next day, I went to Sears and they were of absolutely no help. I will never buy Kenmore. The salesman was on Google trying to research my fridge issue. He was abolutely clueless, and the manager was no better. I'm appaled to see this site and am really worried about my fridge. I will probably have to spend big money on a new unit, because I want the Kenmore out of my home.

    0 Votes
  • Jd
      Mar 26, 2010

    I just had the exact same problem! My Kenmore is model #106.53582300, it was already in the house when my wife and I moved in about a year ago, so no warranty. I got up this morning to feed the baby, there was a horrible smell in the kitchen and I could see a little white smoke. Not being especially knowledgeable about these things, I thought it was some kind of gas leak/fire from the stove... I didn't see any flames, but the smell was very strong. I opened the kitchen window and the smoke dissipated, but the smell was still terrible. I ended up hurriedly taking the baby over to Grandma's house and then calling the gas company. They sent someone over, but he could find no gas leak. We chalked the smell up to something having burned on the stove/the stove needing cleaning. However, the smell would NOT go away even after a couple hours of the window being open and a fan blowing air around the kitchen. I decided to look it up on the internet and found this thread... which led me to unplug the refrigerator and now I'm calling a repairman!

    0 Votes
  • Sp
      Mar 31, 2010

    Hello,
    I just wanted to post an update about what happened with my situation.

    I first contacted Sears and not only got the runaround but was treated very rudely by pretty much all of the people in the long chain of people I had to talk to. None of the people seemed to care about me, the product or Sears as a company. Sears has really changed. I used to be a loyal customer because they stood behind their products and their products tended to be good values that lasted. None of that seems true any longer.

    I was told that I could pay full price for all repairs and parts because my fridge was out of warranty. It had a 6 year warranty and it burned up just before the 7th year. Amazing how they can time it like that! From the looks of it, most of these fires are happening in the 6th or 7th year. If you have a fridge that is similar to the ones being listed and it is over 5 years old, get rid of it now! I am not joking, this is a real fire hazard and is going to get someone killed. It is not worth the risk.

    I contacted several lawyers and the ones that returned my calls said that because my particular fridge was not part of the recall, they didn't see any point in taking my case. The fact is, even though my fridge was not part of Sear's recall, it was affect by the same problem because I believe it shared the same relay with the one that was recalled. It is the relay that is the fire hazard so any fridge that uses that part is at risk.

    Sears made no effort to stand behind their product, they made no effort to assist me in repairing or replace my fridge or part. They said my options were basically to fix it myself, call a repair man or have parts mailed to me. I chose to have parts mailed because I didn't think I could afford a new fridge after only 6 years and spending $1000 on it new. I felt it was worth fixing.

    The part cost me about $30 and to have it overnighted to me so my food wouldn't rot cost me another $60. So $90 and two days later (so much for overnight), I had a part for my fridge. Too bad for me it was the wrong part! I spent about 30 mins on the phone with the guy reading off all the SN#s and part numbers to make sure I was ordering the right part. I called and they said my fridge used two different relays and the one they sent must have been the wrong one! NO KIDDING!

    I couldn't wait any longer and didn't trust Sears to help me out so I went out and bought a new fridge at a NOT SEARS store.

    Sears was rude, frustrating, expensive and infuriating to deal with on this issue. When I called them back about the part I ordered, they said that I could return it if it was unopened (it was because it was clearly the wrong part so I didn't even take it out of the plastic). They said they would reimburse me for the cost of the part but not the shipping! What a total nightmare the whole situation was!

    I am calm easy going guy but Sears had me pulling my hair out and walking around my house cursing from the frustration. I will NEVER step foot in a Sears store again and I will never buy another one of their products. They sell shoddy junk that catches fire and they don't even care. They make ZERO effort to help customers and they lost a loyal customer in me. All my appliances were Sears, that is all my mother ever bought and all I bought. Not anymore.

    0 Votes
  • Sp
      Apr 01, 2010

    I am certain that Sears is fully aware of this problem and I am also certain they are aware it effects more fridges than what is included in the recall.

    The problem is a faulty relay which initially causes the fire. If not caught in time, it can start to burn the wires, the cardboard back of the fridge and anything else in the area. Most people have dust and papers that get stuck behind the fridge, if this happens, it is a tinderbox. Having cardboard in close proximity to a known fire starter like this faulty relay switch, is a ticking time bomb.

    Someone is going to be killed because of this if it has not already happened. There is no way to tell when it might catch fire so it could happen when you are asleep or when you are away from home. I have two dogs and if this had happened when I was away and my dogs were killed, I would want some answers from Sears.

    Sears knows about this problem but is simply refusing to acknowledge it or issue the recall. They feel a few people's homes, pets and lives are not worth the cost of the recall to replace the relay switch. They are risking human life for profits and when it is found out, they will pay far more than it would have cost to issue the recall. This is the kind of situation that will break a company.

    Sears can no longer be trusted as a company and they no longer stand behind their products. A class action lawsuit is in order at this time. If anyone has any info on one or is thinking of starting one, feel free to contact me at [protected]@netzero.com

    0 Votes
  • Sp
      Apr 01, 2010

    The current CEO of Sears is: W. Bruce Johnson. He was named the 17th most hated CEO in America. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-25-most-hated-ceos-in-america-2009-11#17-w-bruce-johnson-sears-holdings-9
    I was surprised he was not ranked higher since he is basically running a beloved American company into the ground.

    I remember as a kid looking at Sears catalogs and dreaming of which pellet gun or bike I wanted. Now, Sears is a joke. They sell shoddy goods built as cheap as possible and refuse to stand behind them.

    I have been buying Sears tools all my life due to the fact they were built to last and carried a lifetime warranty. Now they built cheap and the "warranty" is a lot more restrictive. I have been denied replacement tools for various reasons. I brought a broken screwdriver in and they told it it looked like abuse or misuse and they would not honor the warranty. I have been given refurbished or returned tools as replacements to my faulty socket wrenches. The socket wrenches appear to have serious quality issues. One summer I returned three in a row after only a couple of weeks of use each. I can't be taking time off work to return tools every week.

    I have a nice old socket wrench from the 1960s that was my father's. I still use it and it still works fine. It is not me abusing the tools, it is the fact that the newer tools just are not built well. I have several other old Craftsman tools which all work great. It is the new stuff that is junk.

    Sears is really going down the drain.

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  • Am
      Apr 01, 2010

    Sorry Speedsix. Hopefully SEARS loses enough loyal customers to feel the hit.

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  • Ke
      Apr 04, 2010

    I appreciated your post Speedsix & totally agree. I have warned all my family/friends who currently have Sears/Kenmore products; I notified our local fire chief so he might think of this when exploring fires where the fire starts by the fridge; many friends who were considering buying new appliances from the glossy attractive ads of Sears have actually NOT because of my experience & I forwarded them the posts here. We bought a $4000 lawn tractor from Sears (on sale for $3000) that stopped working within one month, & altho it was still under warranty w Sears, because of our fridge experience, I took it to a local shop (not Sears). They showed more concern for me the customer than Sears ever did & didn't care that my Sears model tractor was not their store brand. $35 later (includes picking it up & returning it) I was mowing again.

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  • Do
      May 10, 2010

    Will never purchase Sears Kenmore product again! Came home from dropping off Marisa from school and discovered a VERY strong electrical odor AND smoke in my kitchen
    Eventually discovered it was coming from our 5-year old Kenmore side-by-side (Consumer Reports recommended) refrigerator. There were some popping noises coming from inside, also which my 5 year old pointed out.Pulled the plug and immediately called Sears and was on hold for 15 minutes. Wound up speaking to customer service rep. who could barely understand English. Was told they could have someone out as early as Thursday! It's Monday and my refrigerator is/was burning inside with a horrible smell of electrical burning. Sears doesn't consider this an emergency?!! Called a local, family-owned business who will be here early afternoon. Read reviews online about similar Kenmore refrigerators having burned down people's homes. Hmm...I guess Sears doesn't feel it's important to keep their customers safe. The Consumer Product Safety Commission will be getting a complaint on their website along with Sears who will be receiving a letter from me. Yet another incident of big companies/corporations not accepting responsibility.

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  • Br
      May 10, 2010

    My house completely burned down. I live in a republican controled state and becasue of tort reform these companies are able to allow these products to go unfixed. All that we can hope for is a classaction case. I can't sue in my republican controlled state of Florida.

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  • Er
      Jun 14, 2010

    around 10pm on may 27th me and my wife went out for coffee. when we returened about one hour later our kenmore model number 1065051200 was smoking the relays and wires had burnt! this is crazy! whirlpool/kenmore needs to issue a recall

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  • Ke
      Jun 22, 2010

    I too, woke up to burning smell coming from the refrigerator. Unplugged the unit and googled for burning smell from refrigerator and found this site. Using the diagram from SearsPartsDirect, located and examined the relay connected to the compressor. It was burned. The plastic housing melted. See attached photo.

    Rather than get pissed at Sears customer service rep, filed an incident report on Consumer Product Safety site, http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

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  • Lo
      Aug 24, 2010

    My family just experienced the same exact thing yesterday morning! Kenmore Coldspot side-by-side, kitchen filled with smoke and the most horrible odor of burning plastic and other chemicals. There was tiny pieces of ash coming down all around us. We could not determine what was burning (who would think it was the fridge??) so we called the fire department. They were even amazed at the amount of smoke and strong odor. They finally determined it was our refridgerator and advised to unplug and not use again. We had just come back from being out of town for a week - and if this had happened while we were away, we surely would have lost our home. This is ridiculaous and I can't believe how many people have had this same experience. Something needs to be done and Kenmore needs to be held accountable. Our fridge was less than 7 years old.

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