26,300 Whirlpool, JennAir and KitchenAid branded cooktops are being recalled for a rather frightening defect: they can turn themselves on. The affected units were sold in Lowes home improvement stores from March 2017 until July 2019, and were recalled starting on Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know.
The strange appliance failure occurring in these units is one that Is highly dangerous: the cooktop can come on by itself. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear what exactly cause this. Speculation would hold that it’s likely some kind of error on the circuit board that controls the activation of the eyes of the cooktop. However, the danger posed by this appliance failure applies regardless of the mechanism of the failure.
Whirlpool warns that anyone with a cooktop sold in the time listed should not place any empty cookware or flammable objects on their stovetop. Likewise, be very careful around the eyes of the burners, and don’t place your hand on the cooktop unless you’re certain it’s not hot. Whirlpool recommends that people turn their cooktops off from the circuit breaker to prevent the likelihood of fire or injury.
Whirlpool has received 133 reports of the cooktops coming on by themselves. Of these reports, 14 included reports of fire or heat damage due to the malfunction. So far, there have been two reports of minor burn injuries. Thankfully, aside from those burns, there have been no reports of people being seriously hurt or killed as a result of the malfunction.
The recall for the cooktops began on Wednesday, August 28th, and affects 26,300 Whirlpool, JennAir and KitchenAid branded cooktops. The affected stoves will be replaced by Whirlpool free of charge. If you own a cooktop affected by the recall, contact Whirlpool. They’ll schedule a time to carry off the stove for you and replace it with a new one.
In the meantime, be very careful with your cooktop. Don’t leave it on when you leave the house: follow Whirlpool’s advice and cut it off from the circuit breaker. Likewise, don’t put anything on your stove if it is plugged in unless you’re about to cook with it, and then only use cookware on it and cut the appliance back off from the breaker when you’re done.