Unsafe Kitchen Appliances Account For 1 In 3 Consumer Complaints

It’s been one year since the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched its SaferProducts.gov portal for consumers to post reports of unsafe items. With thousands of complaints filed in the last 12 months, it’s already become clear that kitchen appliances dominate consumers’ safety concerns.

Kitchen products accounted for a full 36% of reports filed through SaferProducts.gov, with electric ranges and ovens representing 9.7% of all complaints. That’s four times the number of reports associated with gas ranges and ovens.

Other kitchen appliances on the list of the top 10 most-reported products were dishwashers (accounting for 6.7% of complaints), refrigerators (4.2%), microwaves (2.9%), electric coffee makers/tea pots (2.2%) and non-metal cookware (1.7%).

Perhaps surprisingly, there were enough people complaining about footwear to make that category the third most-reported. Cribs and light bulbs also made the top 10 list.

SaferProducts.gov isn’t just a place for people to complain about unsafe products. It’s also a searchable database available to anyone.

“Before SaferProducts.gov, you would have had to file a Freedom of Information Act request about a specific product and manufacturer to learn about consumer product complaints received by CPSC,” says the commission.

To promote the site, CPSC has created a series of clips like the one below. Unfortunately they’re nowhere near as grotesque as those Canadian “Prevent It” ads from a few years back.

Comments

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  1. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    People are probably complaining about their ovens because they’re trying to use them to cook things that were never meant to be cooked in an oven.

  2. Ben says:

    I already reported my new Fisker Karma.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Well, this all makes sense, considering the ratio of appliances and such in your kitchen versus other rooms in the house.

  4. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    How are refridgeraters unsafe? Do they fall on people? It’s Friday, I’m tired, and I’m trying to figure this out. Blenders, food processers, knives, stuff like that I get, but a fridge?

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      Ways a fridge can be unsafe:

      - If the power goes on, and off, the food could spoil and kill you.
      – If a child climbs inside, they could suffocate.
      – If it is too cold, and you reach into the back, you can get frostbite.
      – The compressor can blow up and kill everyone.
      – The water dispenser on the front can leak and drown everyone.
      – The doors can fall off and kill you.
      – It can slide across your kitchen and into your bedroom, crushing you in your sleep.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        This made my day – thank you!! :)

      • chizu says:

        Actually, my father’s brother did die in a freezer chest (?) when he was very little. He died from freezing to death, I believe…

        I recalled a classmate’s family locked their refrigerator up with a chain and lock because she had two younger brothers. The parents were worried that they might get in there and lock themselves in. (Then again, that family was… A bit different.)

      • gman863 says:

        You forgot a few:

        - Instant death from a tornado picking it up and dropping it on you (risk doubles if the ‘frig is in a mobile home).
        – A rouge band of fat chicks follows you home from the grocery and tramples you to death while putting the food in it.
        – Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive becomes reality; your ‘frige sneaks into the bathroom while you’re taking a shower and pulls a Psycho.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      We had a refrigerator compressor short out. It didn’t draw enough current to trip the breaker. Instead, it caused a relay module to overheat. Fortunately I was at home at the time. I unplugged the refrigerator and tried to see what was causing the smoke. After pulling it out we tried powering it up again. It took only 3 seconds for the relay module to be glowing red hot. That could have easily started a fire. Sears did come out to fix it under warranty. But it took two days because they had to order a new compressor, relay, wiring harness, and some other part. It’s been working OK since then. But I would feel more comfortable if the area where those parts are was covered by a metal plate instead of cardboard.

  5. thisisit says:

    That saferproducts site is like a crappier, less useful version of amazon’s user reviews.

  6. mergatroy6 says:

    I read 4 of the kitchen reviews. All 4 contained some variance of “what if small children had been around”.

    I’m not against that argument when it applies, but it wasn’t proper in any of the complaints.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      It’s called baby-jacking. People think if you invoke children, then it’s more worthy of attention. Same goes for mommy-/daddy-jacking, army-jacking, etc.

  7. BradenR says:

    We had a Maytag dishwasher about four years ago that decided to take up smoking. The company was ho hum, not their problem. A neighbor’s home was set on fire by the clock radio. Everything in our house that can be unplugged is! It’s a nuisance but I don’t trust any of the Chinese parts in any appliance or gadget. Now will Consumers pretty please STOP: already the reviews every few months on vacuums? How about a review of the toothpaste and mouth wash and probably dietary supplements sold to unsuspecting shoppers where the chemicals, components all come from China. The boxes say distributed by, not manufactured by

    • BennieHannah says:

      The seeming uptick in poorly-made appliances are the reason I’ve refused to update our “outdated” white/black appliances…which by now seem almost adorably retro. Our fridge and stove are 20, with not a single problem. Our washer and dryer are 18, with the washer needing only a small, inexpensive repair. Our dishwasher gave out at 15 and the next one (a Maytag!) never cleaned the dishes, spat food up on them and then baked it on during the drying cycle — lasted a year. Our next one has been here four years.

    • Kuri says:

      Again, it tells us that corporations will not do the right thing, they do what is cheapest for them and them alone.