I have been a loyal Sears/Kenmore customer for over twenty years and currently have two homes with complete Kenmore Elite kitchen appliances. Along with numerous online complaints of the same problem reported by other consumers, I am experiencing a hazardous phenomenon with my Kenmore Elite Electric Slide In Range, Model 790.41019801, purchased two years ago. The range has had light use since our purchase, and we first used the automatic self clean feature in approximately mid-August of 2012. Following the self-clean cycle, we have had more than one incident of being physically injured (burned) by the oven racks falling while hot food and liquid was cooking on them. The walls of the oven appear bowed, no longer allowing sufficient support of the racks.
I have reported this issue to the 1800-4-MY-HOME as well as Sears Customer Solutions Department. The rep advised me that even though the unit is out of warranty, it would be eligible for replacement if found to be defective by a Sears technician, so long as I had my original receipt of purchase (which I do) and took the matter to the store in which it was purchased. A Sears technician inspected the unit and deemed the unit defective due to thermal expansion of the interior lining and "Unsafe to Use". (I have the written documentation as well as the service technician's direct contact number.) The tech phoned in to the Sears service department while she was here on premises with the unit, and was told that there was no record of my calling in with the reported problem. Interesting, since the tech was summoned to my house only BECAUSE of my calling in. Regardless, I phoned the appliance manager of the store where the unit was purchased as instructed by the 4-MY-HOME rep to start the replacement process. However, the store manager told me that no such thing could happen at the store level, and that I would need to to contact the same 4-MY-HOME number. After yet another call, I was finally escalated to the Customer Solutions department at 800-479-6351. Josh advised that thermal shock of the unit would be covered for five years and that I should expect $1,295.99 toward a replacement unit once approved. Josh called two days later to inform me that the actual manufacturer of my Kenmore Elite oven is LG. Furthermore, LG only covers thermal shock for the glass cooktop portion of the unit.
I do not have another $1,500+ to spend for another oven, nor can I safely use this one due to the manufacturers defect. I have reported this to the Consumer Safety Product Commission as there are numerous complaints online related to this and similar models that Sears/Kenmore have apparently ignored, despite this specific unit being discontinued over a year ago for presumably the inherent safety hazards. It would seem reasonable to expect a major appliance to provide at least safe usability at the price I paid. After the run-around I have received from their "Customer Solutions" and "Sears Cares" teams, I will take my money elsewhere. Hopefully no SERIOUS injuries result from this defect.
Additionally, my nine month old Kenmore Elite dishwasher has been repaired twice. My Kenmore Elite washing machine died after three years with a repair cost far more than the cost of replacing. I would caution everyone to AVOID Sears and Kenmore at all costs...you'll waste your money.
Product or Service Mentioned: Kenmore Oven.
Monetary Loss: $1479.