Kenmore explains why glass washing machines lids are spontaneously shattering

Glass lids on a small number of Kenmore washing machines are spontaneously shattering, as shown in this picture. Elliott Advocacy

Are we caught in the spin cycle? A consumer advocacy group claims the glass lids of Kenmore top-load washers shatter spontaneously, and that brand-owner Sears is slow to resolve the problems. But don’t worry, Sears tells us: They’re designed that way on purpose.

In a blog post published just before Christmas, nonprofit consumer advocacy group Elliott Advocacy quoted a complaint by Jocelyn Albertson of Massachusetts, who reported that her washer lid shattered in the middle of the night.

“The entire lid shattered and spread tiny shards of glass all over the inside of my washer.”

“This March, I bought a Kenmore Elite Top-Load Washer from Sears. A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of the night, when the machine was not running, the entire lid shattered and spread tiny shards of glass all over the inside of my washer,” Albertson wrote.

When she Googled her washing machine model and the words “shattered lid,” she found that “multiple people since December 2017” had the same problem with shattered lids with the Kenmore washer. Her next step was to call Sears.

When Sears sent a service person to Albertson’s home, he told her Sears would need to replace the lid and that they would “take the machine apart and vacuum it out” to remove the glass shards and pieces scattered throughout the washer’s interior.

Unfortunately, when she wrote to the advocacy group, Albertson was still waiting.

“I was tentatively ok with this solution since at least they were trying to fix it. We were supposed to have it fixed in early September,” Albertson continued. “But then I received a call from Sears, saying the replacement lid is back ordered with no estimated shipment date. So we are without a washing machine indefinitely.”

The consumer advocacy organization wrote about a similar complaint in April 2018 from Joseph Hill of California.

“I purchased a Kenmore Elite washing machine and dryer about six weeks ago for $2,200 and had it delivered and hooked up,” Hill wrote. “The washing machine glass shattered in the middle of the night 35 days after installation.”

After a service representative ordered a replacement part, Hill was eventually informed that the lids were on backorder.

Elliott Advocacy’s founder Christopher Elliott contacted Sears on their behalf, and Sears replaced Albertson’s and Hill’s washing machines.

Digital Trends reached out to Kenmore for a comment, and received the following in response:

“Within the first year of purchase, on a very small number of units, failure in the glass may be due to imperfections in the glass at installation and would be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Breakage beyond the first year following purchase is most likely due to damage caused to the glass during use. Damage to the glass can be caused by a number of things including placing things on top of the lid or an object striking the glass—both examples may cause a weakness and lead to failure over time.

As a precaution, and for the safety of our customers, this Kenmore washing machine (and the industry in general) uses safety glass that is specifically designed to “pebble” into small pieces with rounded edges to help prevent injury if the glass breaks. This is the latest technology, and while the sound of breaking glass may startle a homeowner, Kenmore products comply with industry (UL) Safety Standards.”

Kenmore appliances are manufactured by a variety of international appliance manufacturers, according to a CNN Money report. The Kenmore brand belongs to Sears Holdings.

Updated December 24, 2018: Kenmore brand commented on washing machine glass failure.

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