Bad News Appliances

Consumer Reports tests more than three-thousand products a year. Plenty of them work just fine, and Consumer Reports finds appliances are generally getting more reliable. But some products are far from perfect.

Consumer Reports testers make sure products offer peak performance and safety, but recently they’ve found some problems with appliances.

First — this 200-dollar Krups Convection Toaster Oven. When testers set the oven to toast on its darkest setting, the display just quit at about the two-minute mark.

Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports says, “It happened with all four of the Krups toaster ovens Consumer Reports tested. Now the units did eventually turn off and finish their cycle, so it’s not a safety issue, but we do think it’s no way to start your morning.”

Kenwood’s two-thousand dollar Cooking Chef is an all-in-one stand mixer, food processor, blender, and induction hot plate.

“For two-thousand dollars you’d expect the best, but we found some major issues with the food processor attachment.” said DiClerico.

With the first Cooking Chef, the food processor blade kept spinning for nine seconds after lifting the lid. The exposed slicing disc had enough power to cut through this carrot.

Dan DiClerico said, “With the second one we tested, the blade stopped sooner, but we did discover some other issues.”

The plastic hub on a slicing disc broke, then one of the screws at the bottom of the drive shaft assembly sheared off.

And this 90-dollar
Two Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker from Hamilton Beach poses a safety risk.

The problem — even if you are just using the single-serve side, the hot plate for the carafe side still gets hot! A “Hot” warning label does turn red, but if the carafe is not on the hot plate and you reach for the single-serve cup, you could brush the hot plate and get burned. It’s almost 400 degrees.

“Our data shows that many appliances are actually lasting longer and performing better, but if you do spot a problem, notify Consumer Reports as well as the Consumer Product Safety Commission.” said DiClerico.

Consumer Reports contacted Hamilton Beach about its design. The company said it’s 2-Way FlexBrew coffeemaker is safe, that it has sold more than 91-thousand of them and has received no reports of burns from the warming plate. However, the company says it will give a refund to anyone who asks for one.

As for that two-thousand dollar Kenwood mixer, the company says it has a replacement part, but Consumer Reports was not able to find it.


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