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Glass impurity can cause microwaves to explode

Post Time:May 19,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:447

A microwave oven is supposed to warm your food — not send shards of glass flying around your kitchen.

But News 8 has found two cases in North Texas where the glass window on a built-in microwave oven blew off while the appliance was not in use.

It happened to Jon Gray last week in Oak Cliff. He was about to warm his lunch in a General Electric microwave. He said the appliance hadn´t been used in days.

"I came up and just opened the door, and all of a sudden I heard a boom," he said. "I shut my eyes because of the noise, and when I opened it there was glass shooting out everywhere."

Gray was not injured by his appliance, model number JVM1631WJ01. He says that´s simply luck.

"If I had been on the other side of that microwave door, I might not be here talking on the camera today," he said. "I may be in the hospital somewhere with shards of glass in my face, throat — who knows where?"

Another North Texan was not so lucky. The elderly woman sued GE in 2007. She claimed her microwave — model number JVM1631BJ01 — was brand new and was also turned off. When she pulled the handle to open the door, she claimed glass blew into her arms and face and the loud sound damaged her hearing.

"The hearing loss was significant," said attorney Cary Shulman, who represented the woman. She recently died from unrelated causes.

The woman´s case was settled. In it, GE claimed the problem was caused because the consumer misused the product.

"Misuse would crack the glass; it may break the glass; but it wouldn´t explode at a decibel level of between 130 and 139," Shulman said.

Because of the News 8 report, GE is also looking into a third case in Connecticut last December. The owner of the product said the glass blew out of her microwave — model JEB 095BB002 — while she was in another room. The appliance was not in use.

GE says nothing is more important to the company than the safety of its products. The manufacturer says the glass used in microwave doors is treated to make is stronger. GE says breaks are rare, and are caused by small defects in the glass.

The company says safety officials are aware of this issue, and they continue to approve GE microwaves for use.

GE is looking into Jon Gray´s claim. And while he realizes that what happened to him may be rare, he won´t be caught off guard again.

"I would have never thought that this would´ve happened before, but now that it has I´m definitely not going to stand in the way and let it happen to me again," Gray said.

Source: txcn.comAuthor: shangyi

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