Recently, concerns have arisen over the potential fire hazards contained in some models of dishwashers. No recall has currently been issued by the manufacturer, but some individuals are pushing for one to be put into effect.
Screenshot from YouTube of a dishwasher made by Whirlpool that caught fire
According to NBC News 25, Greg Adams is one of the consumers who has experienced a kitchen fire due to his dishwasher going aflame. On Dec. 18, Adams smelled burning plastic and tried to open the dishwasher, only to be met with a scorching hot handle, burning his hand.
"What do you do, how do you stop something that's arcing and burning and flaming inside while it's still running?" asked Adams.
He managed to save his family and his home by cutting off the power supply to the dishwasher. However, had he left it running and went to bed, or gone out, the end result could have been disastrous.
CBS News 9 in North Carolina also reported on the issue. A Raleigh couple's dishwasher caught on fire, but fortunately one of the owner's was in the kitchen at the time the fire erupted. The owner is Penn Holderness, a reporter for the station, and his wife was home when it happened.
A repairman came to check out the dishwasher a few days later and said "Holy Moly!" The NC Appliance Repairman said he'd seen this type of damage before and told the owners to check online to read about other incidences.
Holderness did just that and found the website, http://kitchenaidfire.com/, where it listed almost 1,000 other similar fires had occurred. There are several video stories about various dishwasher incidents of fire.
Many brought the issue to the attention of the company, but no recalls have been issued.
"We have found only a few dishwashers out of 24 million manufactured where the safety features did not contain the heat damage inside the unit. in those few instances, minor heat damage occurred on the outside of the dishwasher, " said Cynthia Soledad from the Whirlpool Corporation.
Along with several others, Adams has filed a class action lawsuit. Chuck Fax, Adams' attorney, is arguing Whirlpool dishwashers have a defect in design, causing the appliance's control circuit board to fail.
A lawsuit, listed as Steve Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, alleges the circuit board in the units is defective; this lawsuit [PDF] was filed on Nov. 3, 2011.
Whirlpool says no serious injuries have occurred in connection with their dishwashers. The company sells under the brands KitchenAid, Kenmore and Whirlpool.
Last fall Whirlpool announced a plan to cut jobs and close plants in an attempt to reduce costs.