We purchased a brand new Panasonic Microwave/Convection/Grill model NNCF874BQPQ from Seconds World for $730 on 6th July 2014 (it was not a second despite the name of the store we bought it from). On 1st July 2015 we noticed that the bottom floor of the microwave had exploded throwing shards of glass like material all over the oven. Fortunately none of the shards had ended up in food and so luckily no one ended up having to be admitted to hospital. When we phoned the store on 1st July 2015 to advise you that the goods we were sold were NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE (as it could have killed someone) we were told to arrange with Panasonic to return the microwave to them. They requested that we return the goods to Techworks which we did.
The Microwave was given to Techworks on 2nd July but instead of our being refunded for the oven they claimed that there was no fault in the oven and that we must have done something to break it – we know that we didn’t do anything to cause it but how do you prove that something didn’t happen. They also quoted us a price little short of the cost of the oven for repairing it and even demanded a fee to return the oven to us (but who would want to repair an oven that could kill them next time). They also suggested we should claim it on insurance (but insurance would only cover repair – insurance doesn’t cover no’not fit for purpose’). This is simply an excuse on their part to avoid having to recall all the ovens and refund everyone. Panasonic apparently no longer sell this oven. Seconds World did offer to sell us a replacement at cost price – a pointless gesture given they don’t stock this oven or anything even remotely like it any more.
We didn’t know that the body of the oven was ceramic when we bought it or we wouldn’t have made the purchase. That the oven blows cold air into the oven immediately after the timer turns off means that the body is constantly being heated and then cooled (we mostly used it as a convection oven). This seems like a design flaw to me since heating and cooling any glass like material regardless of how it is treated will eventually lead to it breaking and in our case it happened relatively soon. Presumably Panasonic were expecting it to last a lot longer and quite likely many of them will but would you want to take that chance?
We were lucky that none of the ceramic shards ended up in food. It seems that the only situation where we might be able to actually take this further and actually stand a chance of being able to prove that the oven was faulty and that we didn’t cause the damage would be in the unfortunate situation where the next time one of these ovens explodes that the ceramic fragments end up in the food and the person ends up in hospital making it more difficult for Panasonic to make untrue accusations as to who caused it.
Of course if we had done anything to cause this we would have claimed it on insurance and not tried to return the oven for a refund..