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Defective product: 13 month old Sears Kenmore range caused a fire.

Springville, AL |

My range caught on fire causing damage (very minor) to my kitchen wall and cabinets. So far the response from Sears has been "sorry, it was 3 weeks out of warranty". They did send a repair person to determine what caused the fire. He said all he was allowed to tell me was that it was a circuit "gone bad". He also said that "sometimes someone just doesn't put it together right". An insurance adjuster came out, took photos and said he was not mechanically inclined and wanted my husband to remove the faulty circuit board and hand it over to him. He is waiting for us to call him to come by and pick up the board. I'm worried that once the evidence is in his hands, we'll have no recourse. He wanted me to sign a chain of evidence form without even taking the board. What recourse do we have?

Additional Information: The fire caused the kitchen to fill with smoke, choking us, but did not cause physical injury to us. The damage to the kitchen wall and cabinet is extremely minimal but the oven will not work at all. Bright blue flames shot out of the back of the range and up my kitchen wall. It was a dangerous situation. The range was purchased in March 2012 and installed in April 2012. It was less than 3 weeks out of warranty and so Sears is refusing to address this problem. I am not even asking for the wall damage to be repaired. I just want a safe, new range.

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Attorney answers 5


I would caution you against turning over any parts to anyone else. You should find an attorney immediately to discuss your options under Alabama consumer protection laws. It's possible you might have a class action, too, covering anyone who purchased this model, if there was something inherently wrong with the circuit board. If Sears won't make it right for you, get an attorney right away.


Was the insurance adjuster from your insurer?? If so they will want the evidence so the can use it to go after Sears. Your insurance agreement does require you cooperate in their doing so or they can refuse to pay for your loss so. So you may have to turn it over. As long as it is your homeowner or rental insurance carrier you should be ok doing so. Alway consult a local attorney prior to turning anything over



No, the insurance adjuster was sent from the manufacturer of this range. Something hit me when he asked me to sign a sheet saying he took away the part when he didn't and then he wanted my husband to remove the part for him. My husband is consulting with an attorney who is a friend as I type.

Marc Sigal

Marc Sigal


your instinct is correct Do not let that part out of your control to the manufacturer or Sears.


Seems like you may be out of luck. Since the warranty ran, you will need to show that it was defective. That will cost quite a bit. Look for class actions or others, as there might be strength in numbers. You can also try to leverage social media. I had a company where I posted a complaint on their web take action to make it right when posted on Facebook. They had been unresponsive to calls previously. I do not think a lawyer would help on your individual situation.


Hound Sears, and they may change their tune.


All good advice. Don't forget to YELP at Sears, search the net for like circumstances, maybe talk to the press about this AND get in touch with a local consumer protection atty as they may have ways of making Sears change their tune. You should have gotten an "implied warranty of merchantability" with this purchase and that warranty may in fact cover you, depending on state law. Maybe the installer put it in improperly? You have options...

Find a good consumer protection atty for a low or no fee consultation here:

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