Woman's toaster oven caught on fire, Whirlpool told her to take it up with a company in China

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/28/womans-toaster-oven-caught-o.html


Appliances are just the worse.

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Why point to the manufacturing company and not directly to the employees involved in making that particular toaster? /s


This is why we need blockchain. Then we could go directly to the faulty human capital.


I am confused, maybe I missed this part…but she should have contacted her insurance company to have the kitchen fixed. THEY would then go after Whirlpool or whoever else they could.

She should not be asking for that directly from them.


I don’t buy tools from China anymore. If there manufacture is at fault for an injury due to a defect, there is almost no legal recourse. Companies there exist for the duration of a contracted manufacturing run then are disbanded. Saving 50% on a tool but taking on 100% of the liability seems like a bad deal to me.

For appliances, it’s harder. Few are available from a jurisdiction that can reliably be sued. South Korea, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and a few other places still make some appliances. As long as you aren’t too picky on brand or features.


Also, unless she bought it directly from Whrlpool, then her contract was with the retailer, and not Whirlpool. Surely her case is against wherever she bought the shoddy product from.


they paid, so ultimately they agreed it was their problem


I bet this product is certified by Underwriters Laboratories; I wonder if they know it’s been outsourced.


Uh…no (but possibly yes). The warranty for the item is not through Target or Purplecat’s Kitchen Store…it is with the manufacturer. So again…faulty item means calling the manufacturer to get it replaced, home/property damage then would be calling your insurance provider to cover those costs. They then would go after the manufacturer for reimbursement.

The but yes comes in if the fault and damages were caused by installation…then she would still go the same route and her insurance company AND the manufacturer would both go after the installer (Purplecat in this case who didn’t wire the new outlet right).


Point blank…damages to your property means call your insurance company (at least that is how it works in the US).


When I went looking for an air cleaner, there were dozens of companies, none of which I’d ever heard of. Same for pulse oximeters. Isn’t globalization wunnerful? The Earth is turning into Jackson’s Whole.


Yes, unless your deductible is $500 and your claim would be $600, and you’d get an increase in rates. Seems like asking the manufacturer first would make sense. If they say no, you could still go to your insurance.


deductible on home owners insurance? I’ve never had a deductible on that and have never heard of it being a thing. Car or motorcycle…sure. Property no.

Even still…you would STILL go through your insurance. They would give you the amount less the deductible and when they go after the manufacturer, they would reimburse you that deductible.

She’s probably self insured for the first layer up to $1,000. Making the original claim from her not the insurance provider for the layer starting after that.

Side note, $5,000 is closer to 8 times $600 than 6 times.


I find it funny (not ha-ha funny) that the Whirlpool corporation is using its brand recognition to lend respectability to this shoddy product, yet is unwilling to acknowledge its brand’s responsibility when a liability appears due to this shoddy product.

But I’m sure the oven costs a lot less than it would have if it were made in Whirlpool factory in Indiana.

Maybe we as customers need to have a way to accept responsibility for our role in driving our products to this low level of quality? We do seem to choose garbage with a low price enough to make this a regular occurence.


But we don’t need consumer protection laws or watchdogs because the industry polices itself!



Bad PR was their problem, not a bad product.

If only you knew that you actually got something better for a more expensive product, and don’t just pay extra for a fancy label on the same crap.



Very few segments have “cheap crap” “fair trade good stuff” “overpriced stuff” as categories. A lot have the first and the last, but trying to figure out where the “fair trade good stuff” lies is often extremely difficult, as even reputable brands decide to stick their reputable brand name on cheap crap because they want to enter the lower cost market or whatever.

Worse: 1 in 4 Americans is out of work, and even before that, many were living paycheck-to-paycheck. The idea that people should pay more for better built stuff comes from a place where you aren’t already struggling to keep your family fed and clothed in the first place.

The same companies who say they have no choice but to resort to making cheap crap because people only buy cheap crap are the same ones that haven’t increased wages in forever and fight every minimum wage increase, creating the very situations they say they have no choice but to endure.


My guess is that the company that manufacturers that particular oven just licenses the brand from Whirlpool, so Whirlpool is entirely uninvolved in the product development. Really shady thing to do in my opinion, but it’s similar to how Nokia smartphones are made by HMD Global, who just license the Nokia brand.


Very common. Here in UK, anyway. Check your policy for subsidence clauses - those nearly always have a higher excess (deductible in Usian) than the rest of the coverages. Coverage for ‘all risks’ items also usually have a dedicated excess.