The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Kenmore Refrigeratorkenmore refrigerator causes house fire

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.


  • Pk
    PKim Jan 31, 2014

    Our Kenmore fridge is now sitting out on the curb waiting to be taken by someone or get junked. Our Kenmore fridge, purchased in the fall of 2002, served us well for the past 11 years until it started emitting a very strong smell of burning rubber yesterday and then finally stopped cooling today. Fortunately, we did not see any fire/smoke/ash but, after googling the issue and reading all the posts on this site, we're not willing to repair our fridge and risk a fire in the future. We are appalled at the number of similar complaints that have been posted about this matter. Aren't there any attorneys or law firms that want to take on this issue for a class-action law suit?

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jayfal Sep 19, 2013

    Same experience this weekend. Kitchen filled with smoke after compressor relay caught fire. if it had happened an hour later, no one would have been home and we would surely have had a house fire!

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Beowulf2012 May 06, 2012

    Here is another testimonial. I just experienced the same occurrence with an older model Kenmore refrigerator that I keep in an outbuilding to keep extra food frozen and soft-drinks cold. I walked by the outside of the building yesterday morning and detected an awful burning tar-like smell. Upon entering the building, the air was full of smoke and which I noticed coming from behind the refrigerator.
    I immediately turned off the breaker and pulled the refrigerator away from the wall. The smoke was coming from the bottom of the frig from the compressor compartment. Examination revealed that the starter overlay had been fried with the connecting wires completely burned away. There was considerable smoke and heat damage in the area. Fortunately, there was nothing combustible in the compressor compartment. Certainly there was sufficient heat to cause further damage. Strangely, the light and the fan continued to work and the malfunction did not trip the breaker. I am certain that had the incident gone undetected a major fire could have ensued. Did I mention that I am a 26 year fire service veteran? I know the cause of fires when I see them. Fortunately, this time I was not the victim of one.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    tatersinc Nov 24, 2011

    Same thing just happened to our Kenmore side-by-side, model 106.[protected] manufactured in 2003. Happened November 2011. The relay switch that plugs into the compressor overheated and smoked. At about the same time fridge and freezer had stopped cooling correctly. I pulled relay and it was black with burn marks. Sounds like a lot of people having the same problem. Still looking into repairing it.

    0 Votes
  • Se
    Searsneveragain Sep 07, 2011

    Same thing happened to us yesterday. Luckily I was home with my 3 mo. old and heard the zzzzzzzt noise. Still the kitchen filled with smoke and the smell was awful. Everything in the fridge is a loss because the repair can't be made until tomorrow. I can't believe Sears knew about this and did nothing to warn me. That's the last time I buy anything from them. Thanks Sears for putting my family and home in danger for the few bucks it would have cost you to replace that part. Sickening.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    brian deans May 08, 2011

    hi, this morning we woke up and from our room we could smell that something was burning. we checked everything in the house from heater to gas stove, etc only to find out that the smell was coming from the back of the refrigerator. i believe this is part of the overall relay .

    0 Votes
  • Ct
    ctop Feb 05, 2011

    I have a Kenmore bottom freezer #69272 purchased Jan, 2000 that recently has been emitting a slight external burning smell when running and momentarily when it stops. Coils are all very clean, condenser fan works, and cools properly. There is no odor inside. Not sure if any service technician has the acute sense of smell to recognize it. The back condenser and surrounding area is also clean and nothing looks melted. I was surprised by this blog of the fire hazard. My unit is not on any apparent recall list. Have any others with the bottom freezer had this condition? Is this fixable?

    0 Votes
  • Ad
    Adam DeMars Feb 03, 2011

    I also have a KENMORE refrigerator 106.[protected] that was purchased
    FEB.2004 that on 02/02/11 filled our home with smoke and a noxious smell.
    I can be reached at [email protected] if needed.
    Not sure what I am going to do yet ?????????????????

    0 Votes
  • Kl
    KLEMo Jan 18, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Our Kenmore 106.[protected] just did the same thing that the last 3 pages of commenters have talked about. Thank God we were home and awake; I hate to even think about the other possible outcomes. I have the CPSC website open in another IE tab, and will be filing an incident report with them as soon as I finish typing this...

    0 Votes
  • Bu
    Buster k Jan 15, 2011

    Had same thing happen to our coldspot refrigerator model number 106.[protected]. Fortunately we were home and not asleep yet! Of course Sears was of no help, and I will not be buying any more of their products, and I'm making sure to tell everyone I know of their shoddy workmanship and to not buy anything Kenmore, unless they want to have a chance of a fire in their house. More important, I filed a formal complaint with consumer protection agency.
    If you don't speak up, someone is gonna get killed.

    0 Votes
  • Rl
    R Lyann Dec 31, 2010

    our side by side kenmore model [protected] filled the house with smoke. We weren't home and very lucky it did not burn our house down and kill our cat. Good thing our dogs are oustide dogs... I have been dealing with Sears on this issue, was forced to pay the 99 bucks for thier technician to tell me it is not repairable. The relay melted and actually fused to the compressor. Still no word if compensation is coming but we need to stand up to this corporation and demand results.

    0 Votes
  • Jc
    jcbrull Dec 15, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I came home this evening and immediately noticed a strong electrical / plastic odor. I ran all over the house and pinned the smell down to the main floor. I could not find any immediately discernible cause. While fixing dinner for the kids I noticed the smell was INSIDE my Kenmore Side by Side model 106.[protected] purchased in 2003. Some quick internet research led me to this site where I read all about smoking relays and fires. I pulled my fridge away from the wall, turned it cooler so it would kick on and watched in horror as white, acrid smoke billowed from the relay and filled my house. I IMMEDIATELY disconnected the power. I am amazed that something like this can be so prolific and SEARS has yet to issue any kind of recall. I know because I called customer service [[protected]] to see what my options were and the rep was completely unaware that this could possibly be an issue, but she was happy to offer a technician to come if I would agree to pay for the service call. I asked if the repair would be with the same part or if some change had been made so this problem would not occur again. I was informed that I would need to speak with the parts department in the morning as the customer service rep did not know any details. I know this refrigerator, even if repaired, will not sit in my kitchen. What if I had been on vacation, or even a few hours late from work? From seeing that relay billow smoke, I am sure it was a matter of time before there was a fire. I am very disappointed and find it more than a little disconcerting that there are pages and pages of nearly identical complaints, but no action on the part of SEARS, not to mention any knowledge of this, apparently, common problem. We will be refrigerator shopping tomorrow, and I do not know that any Kenmore will pass through my front door again. This is a serious issue, and has been ignored for too long.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    sadforjoeconsumer Nov 30, 2010

    Our Kenmore Elite side by side french door refrigerator was delivered today, 11/29/10 at 12 pm. (along with a Kenmore Elite double oven) We arrived home tonight at 7 pm to find our house fill with smoke and a very toxic like smell. 1 hour and 4 technicians later, we were told someone would come out tomorrow to see if there is a problem. They had no idea what it could be, and was not sure if we should unplug. Could be cleaning solution burning off (for 7 hours?) Then I went upstairs to computer and found this board. My husband yelled for me to come down right away and I witnessed the smoke coming from the back/bottom left of the refrigerator through the vents. He is on the phone with them now, telling them we just want a replacement refrigerator. I am not sure he will go for returning it and finding another... The smell is awful- and has given me a headache. I am so grateful to God that I still had a house to come home to.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    richatlien Nov 29, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    11/26-11/28 --- During my trip home from the holidays, I came home to my freezer and fridge not working. After some troubleshooting I found that the relay and the relay connector (attached to the compressor) had caught fire at some point. I submitted the gov't form and notified them that I still have the product and electronic pictures available. I'm sure most of you have moved on and purchased new units. Not sure if my fridge is able to be fixed right now, so I'll either be fixing it or buying something new on cyber monday. Ha.

    0 Votes
  • 50
    50calmike Oct 19, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I had a similar problem to all of the others with the relay. I fixed it with a 15 dollar hard start relay kit from a local refrigeration supplier, Aireco. The part is a hard start capacitor/relay that replaces the entire old crap on the side of the compressor. Ask for a 115 volt refrigerator relay and the guy behind the counter will know what you mean. The package has easy to understand directions printed on the side with a diagram.
    If they give you grief, ask one of the guys buying parts in the store to buy the part for you. Most of these stores only sell to contractors, I am one.

    Supco is the brand name that I used.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Shawn Burcham in Indiana Oct 13, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Two weeks ago, I was getting ready to leave for a cook out when I noticed a smell like there was an electrical fire somewhere. The smell would be really strong, then dissipate. At first I was fearful that there was an electrical fire in the wall (I live in a 105 year old farmhouse, so nothing would surprise me.) I walked through the whole house and basement three times and finally determined that the smell was strongest behind the refrigerator. I waited for the fridge to kick on and heard a "zzzt" sound and then smelled the smoke. I located the breaker box switch for the fridge and turned it off because I wasn't about to touch the plug going into the wall, not knowing what was causing the smoke/fire/"zzzt" sound. Thanks to this website, I was able to determine that, indeed, it was the relay switch. My husband wasn't home to investigate further, so I took everything out of the fridge and freezer, put it all in coolers and our spare freezer (NOT a Kenmore, BTW) and thanked GOD that I was home when this happened, because I was literally about to walk out the door.
    The next day my husband pulled the back off the fridge, I turned the breaker back on and he saw the relay switch smoking. It had melted and boy, did it STINK! I gagged at the smell. We found a replacement part at a local appliance part dealer and fixed the problem ourselves for $37 - we got the last one they had.
    Not sure that posting this will do any good, but I figure that by adding my two cents, hopefully SOMEONE at Kenmore/Sears will see that there really IS a problem and alert others to it before it's too late. I was lucky, but leery that it could happen again. Would I purchase another Kenmore fridge? Probably not at this point.
    My model number is: 596.[protected] - purchased in 2005
    The replacement part number is [protected]
    Shawn Burcham
    Jamestown, IN

    0 Votes
  • Mc
    McGilvary Oct 06, 2010

    I just found this site, for two days there has been a plastic burning smell, and I was not able to locate where it is coming from until today my freezer has stopped working. A Kenmore side by side coldspot model [protected], ser SM 3152067 manufactured in 2002. I have had it about 7 or 8 years. I was actually looking for a repair manual and found this site, now I am really concerned.

    0 Votes
  • Gl
    glj Sep 20, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My husband heard crackling noises at 3:30 am and smelled a horrible burning rubber smell. He checked out the house only to discover our Kenmore side by side refrigerator, Model 106.[protected] burning. The start device and capacitor were severly burned and the prongs to the compressor had melted off. We immediately unplugged it. When I spoke with the Sears customer service they passed me onto 7 different people and two put me on hold until I hung up after 20 minutes on hold in which they were supposedly checking with someone on what to do with this complaint. Needless to say they were very rude and it was one very frustrating, aggravating experience ever. I will never own a Sears appliance again nor would I recommend them to anyone. This problem appears to be a common one with these refrigerators and Sears does not want to be held accountable. I too will report them to every agency/and consumer protection agency I can think of before someone loses their life or family.

    0 Votes
  • Ia
    IanC Sep 18, 2010

    We came home to find the house smelling of something burned. and then noticed the fridge was not cooling. We unplugged and called the service tech from sears; he came out pulled the relay and installed a new one.

    After he left, I got to see the relay and saw that it had obviously caught fire. Searching the net to try and find out why it might have happened I found this blog and all the reports. As with the others, ours was a kenmore coldspot purchased in july 2002. (from sears). Attached is a photo.

    I can't believe how close we came to losing our home and pets. :( As an engineer I'm gobsmacked that this was approved by the UL safety inspection. No way it should have been able to fail in this way. Someone should take responsibility here and at the very least send a recall/advisory out before someone loses their life.

    0 Votes
  • Cu
    Cudaman Sep 14, 2010

    Same thing just happened tonight. My wife came home to a house with smoke in it and the smell of burning wires. She called me on the phone as I was still at work and had her shut off the main breaker in the electrical panel. After tracing it to the frig (Kenmore side by side [protected] dated 10/08) I tore it apart and discovered the starter overlay was the cause. After plugging it back in and smoke just started rolling out of it. Plastic was burning and could have burned the house down. My Golden Retriever was in the house alone before my wife got home and I know she must have been going nuts. This is totally unacceptable!!! As an Engineer I know things should be designed with safety first and there should be something in the circuit to protect against this happening. I will be sending a complaint to Sears for what it will be worth and also the consumer agency. Protect your family and have someone replace the relay with a safe one. By the way the starter had a made in Mexico sticker on it. Hey, more jobs out, more crap back in.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    LoraS 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.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    KenmoreSucks 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,

    0 Votes
  • Er
    ericblack 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 [protected] was smoking the relays and wires had burnt! this is crazy! whirlpool/kenmore needs to issue a recall

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brett02 May 10, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    dolphins66 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.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kelly 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.

    0 Votes
  • Am
    AmandaN Apr 01, 2010

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

    0 Votes
  • Sp
    speedsix Apr 01, 2010

    The current CEO of Sears is: W. Bruce Johnson. He was named the 17th most hated CEO in America.
    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.

    0 Votes
  • Sp
    speedsix 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 [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Sp
    speedsix Mar 31, 2010

    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
  • Jd
    jdbaker86 Mar 26, 2010

    I just had the exact same problem! My Kenmore is model #106.[protected], 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
  • Ma
    maybe42 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-[protected] 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
  • Fo
    fortunate in plymouth Feb 28, 2010

    The same thing happened in my home 0n 2/11. My Kenmore ColdSpot side by side refrigerator Model #[protected] 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
  • Ke
    Kelly 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
  • Da
    davewjr Feb 18, 2010

    My GOD!!! I'm just appalled at this. This just happened with my refrigerator, Kenmore model 106.[protected] 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
  • Th
    ThisIsNotOK 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 # [protected]. 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
  • Va
    valW 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.[protected]) 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
  • Rb
    rbennett Dec 01, 2009

    In October, of 2004, we purchased a Kenmore model # 596.[protected] 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
  • Bi
    Bigjohnson813 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 [protected]

    Gary & Espy Johnson

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Mark0732 Sep 24, 2009

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

    0 Votes

Post your comment

    By clicking Submit you are agreeing to the Complaints Board’s Terms and Conditions



    Unhappy consumers gather online at and have already logged thousands of complaints.
    If you see dozens of complaints about a certain company on ComplaintsBoard, walk away.
    One of the largest consumer sites online. Posting here your concerns means good exposure for your issues.
    A consumer site aimed at exposing unethical companies and business practices.
    ComplaintsBoard is a good source for product and company gripes from especially dissatisfied people.
    You'll definitely get some directions on how customer service can best solve your problem.
    Do a little research on the seller. Visit consumer complaint websites like ComplaintsBoard.