Electronic oven panels failing in high-end stoves

Ottawa consumers are fuming over the failure of their high-end stoves but the manufacturer denies there is any technical defect.

Owners of the Jenn-Air stove, which is owned by parent company Whirlpool Corporation, say the electronic display continues to break down.

Ottawa resident Emma Doucet is one of those consumers. She said she thought her gas downdraft oven was $2,800 well spent, but the electronic panel has broken four times in six years.

"I should not have spent $3,000 on a stove and be begging year after year after year to get it fixed. I just think it's wrong," she said.

Geordie Davis bought an electric version of the same stove and paid $800 for repairs when the electronic panel broke after four years. His warranty did not cover any costs.

"To pass their quality issues down to their customers, who have to pay for replacements parts, is unethical," Davis said.

A Whirlpool spokeswoman said the number of complaints about the electronic board is small compared to the number of those Jenn-Air stove models that were purchased.

Kristine Vernier, who said she spoke to the company's engineering experts about the issue, added the company is looking at inspecting one of the Jenn-Air units to ensure there is no flaw.

"These ranges are safe and reliable and do not contain a design flaw or defect," she said.

The electronic controls of all newer ovens are causing more problems for residents, according to one contractor.

Keith Trudeau, who was been fixing appliances for almost four decades, said heat can cause control panels to blow.

That means the shelf life of newer ovens is much shorter.

"The days when they had the old standard stove that you got 20, 30 years out of it ... today if you got 10 you're probably going to be lucky," he said.

Doucet and Jenn-Air are at odds over how much money will be covered for her oven panel issue.

She wants the stove replaced, which the company said would cost $1,700. The company has offered to fix the stove for free as a goodwill gesture, according to the Whirlpool, even though the warranty is expired.

Whirlpool said it could not replace the oven for free because the product is past its warranty period. The company also said it has just one official complaint on record from Doucet.

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