Owned by Electrolux
Built-in Defects and Lack of Customer Service

(Sears to the rescue!)
Updated 8/26/09

My gas range died so I checked in Consumer Reports to find a range that would last me a lot of years.

I ended up buying a Frigidaire gas range model FGF368GSC.  It wasn't at the top of the Consumer Reports list, but was near the top.  I got the white porcelain range and liked the way the gray grates on the top looked with the white.  Little did I know the grates had a manufacturing defect built right in that Frigidaire knew about and that they chose to ignore.

Within two weeks of picking up the range I discovered that the grates were leaving rust marks on my white cooktop. I had already discovered that the white cooktop was unusually difficult to clean.  Whenever something would drip near the burner, the heat would bake it onto the cooktop.  I had to buy some of that cleaner for those smooth electric cooktops to get it up.  Frigidaire's manual actually said to use soap-filled scrubbing pads to clean the top.  Would that mean to use SOS pads??  I would never use those because they would scratch the surface!

I contacted the service department of Sears, the store where I bought the range.  They were surprised to hear that a brand new stove has a rust problem.  They said they would send me four new grates.  They only sent one and the range took four.  I took that grate out of the box and did an experiment on it.  I ran water over it and set it on a paper towel.  After it had dried there was rust on the paper towel!

I looked on Frigidaire's website and found this in their FAQ's:

 5. My range has cast iron burner grates; I have noticed rust is starting to form on the bottom.

* The bottom surfaces on cast iron grates are often unfinished to allow the gases that are present in iron to escape during the manufacturing process.
To minimize rusting, do not allow grates to stand in water for long periods of time. After washing, dry them thoroughly to prevent rust oxidation from forming. You may also coat the bottom surfaces with a vegetable oil, or a non-stick cooking spray, but remember to wipe off excessive oil before placing on range. There may be a slight amount of smoke from any extra vegetable oil residue left on the grate when the burner is first used again.


I proved that statement to be wrong.  I went back to Sears and looked at other brands of ranges and found others had grates that were completely coated and smooth on the top and bottoms.  I also contacted more than one company that actually coated cast iron and they told me the grates could be completely coated.

I called the service department of Frigidaire and asked for a solution from them. The woman I spoke with researched it and gave me their only solution: "coat the grates in cooking oil and bake them at 450° for 30 minutes EVERY time you wash them".  She sent me four more of the defective grates which did me no good.

I, again, went back to Sears and spoke with a salesman.  I ended up getting all their salesmen gathered around as they were flabbergasted to hear of a product with a built-in rusting problem.  One of them tried her best to help me.  I found another range that had completely-coated grates that were the same size as my rusting ones.  She called their service department to see if they could send me four of those instead of four Frigidaire ones.  We got to the top person in the service department and they explained that they would end up paying the cost because they wouldn't be able to get Frigidaire to pay them back.

You'll love this.... the price of replacement grates (four to a stove) is $59.00 EACH!  To replace them myself I would pay close to half of what the actual range cost me in the first place! 


I went home and sent an email to the main Frigidaire office in Georgia and asked for the name of the head of the company so I could go right to the top for a resolution.  I also sent an email to Electrolux, the parent company (I believe they are based in Sweden) asking for the name of the head person there.

I never received a response from Frigidaire in spite of multiple requests.  I received a few responses from Electrolux.  One told me to call a certified repair place.  I wrote back and said I already had and all I wanted was a name.  The last email I got from them said, "We are unable to provide that information."  Yep, UNABLE to provide me with the name of the head person.


I would like to take a moment to explain about Electrolux.  The Electrolux I was dealing with isn't the manufacturer of the reputable Electrolux vacuums that have been around since 1924.  According to a repair specialist that I took my vacuum to, a number of years ago there was a family split and the reputable Electrolux is now going under the name of Aerus Electrolux.  The Electrolux I was dealing with regarding my range makes an Electrolux vacuum that you can buy in the stores that are actually Eureka's.  Aerus doesn't sell in regular stores.  So, if you want to buy an Electrolux vacuum that is the brand that your grandmother had, get one from Aerus.  Don't buy the red ones that you see in stores.

The Frigidaire manual that came with the rusting range had two very odd things in it:
1. It said the grates were dishwasher safe!
2. It excluded rust in the warranty. (Hmmmm…. I wonder why!)

The salesmen at Sears are going to be telling people interested in the Frigidaire model all about the rust and lack of customer service at the corporate level of Frigidaire.  I notified the corporate headquarters of Sears and suggested they not sell a product that would make them look bad.

Sears ended up taking back the Frigidaire range within my 90 day return time and waived the restocking fee.  I bought a Kenmore range Model 790.71362 instead and, as I am writing this less than a month later, I am perfectly happy with that one.  Oh, I did get the five year extended warranty.  If they grates cost so much, what do the other parts cost? 


I got an email from someone who had a very dangerous situation with her Frigidaire range.  Fortunately she was in the kitchen when her range went berserk.  Here is what happened to Darcie Kuzik.

Darcie purchased her electric Frigidaire range from Lowes about five years ago. On this particular day she was baking lunch for her children.  She put something in the oven that was to bake for around twelve minutes.  After about four minutes she smelled something burning.

Darcie opened the oven door to find out what was burning and a blast of extreme heat hit her and the meal she had been baking looked grilled.

She turned off the oven on the control panel but the heating element in the oven stayed on.  Then "F1" appeared  on the display on the control panel.  Without finding her manual and looking it up, Darcie had no idea what F1 meant.

The smell from the oven told her that the wires and such inside the oven were smoldering and melting.  She could see the wires sparking.  Not wanting to have the range burst into flames she unplugged it.  Since the outside of the range had gotten extremely hot she grabbed her oven mitts and dragged the range outside using the handle on the oven door and the cord.

After things settled down Darcie found her owner's manual and looked up "F1".  Amazingly enough it means:
Runaway Oven Condition!!

The manual said that condition could cause permanent damage making the oven useless due to excessive heating!!  They knew there was a built-in problem of massive overheating and decided to add "F1" to the display instead of installing an automatic shut-off!!  That's INSANE!

It turned out that, without warning, Darcie'soven had gone from a normal bake mode to self clean mode in four minutes while she was preparing lunch for her children.

The wires inside were sparking, and could have caught my entire house on fire. The great part is that I read in the manuel after getting it out of the house that F1 means "Runaway oven condition", and it can cause permanent damage making the oven useless due to the excessive heating. That means this company knew that this could happen! And yet they still sold the product without placing a safety device to force it to turn off like a fuse!!! My entire house could be gone now, and they knew this could happen! What a company.


I got a second email email from someone who had another dangerous heating problem with her Frigidaire range.

Kristin purchased her range in 2004.  She set the right front burner to low and stepped away for a few moments. When she went back, the burner was on high and glowing red.  She had to completely unplug the stove to get it to go off.

She called the store where she bought the range and they sent out a repairman. He said he'd order a new burner.  When he left he said she could use the oven.  After he had gone she noticed that the burner was on low heat.  The repairman had left it on.  He returned over a week later and said he needed to order a mother board. 

Kristin researched on the Internet and found a thread where at least a hundred people had typed in about the same problem that she was having.

Then she called Frigidaire and got nowhere.  A technician said he had never heard of the problem she was having.  She emailed Electrolux and a woman called Kristin to tell her that she had contacted the commercial division and not the home division.  The woman did give her the phone numbers of the president, an administrative assistant, and someone from customer relations. 

When Kristin sent me the email her oven was not yet fixed.  She was afraid that, even after paying her $200.00 to get it "fixed", that she would not trust her range to not have a dangerous heating problem in the future.  She was going to be calling the people at Electrolux.

She called the phone number she was given for the president and, lo and behold, that guy had moved to Italy to go to school.  The man she spoke with said he was in the vacuum cleaner department.  He told her to send him the info and he would make sure it got to the right department.  Kristin was thinking about offering her organizational skills to the company because it was obvious they could use some help!

The man from vacuums actually did pass along her information.  Kristin got a phone call saying they were going to replace her range.  They wanted her old range sent to Springfield.  Maybe, just maybe, they were going to figure out how to make a safer product.

The president in charge of ranges:


A letter to Frigidaire by Mark R. Green

My daughter was nearly seriously burned last evening. Why? Because you have a very serious and potentially deadly fire hazard with your Frigidaire Range model PLEF389CCE and based on the hundreds of postings I have found, including many from the link above, this is a universal issue. The problem exists when for no apparent reason, the burners do not shut off and remain at its highest setting until the consumer is forced to unplug the stove from the wall, or soemthing worse happens.

Upon further research, there is a design flaw in the range itself which allows moisture to collect inside the bank of switches and ultimately seizing up the relays, causing the burners (service element) to stay on. Even if they are replaced, the same problem reoccurs making repairs futile and forcing the purchase of a new range.

I spoke wth a very helpful customer affairs representative, Michelle Blanchard, who was kind and courteous and offered to do a parts concession. While this is a nice gesture, I am deeply concerned that this is a band-aid fix for something much more serious and in addition, we will be paying for the diagnostic and labor costs which will amount to over $200. As you well know, the parts themselves cost nearly nothing. This seems unfair. The stove was built only five years ago. I would think that you would expect better from a name brand such as yours and would also desire the security of knowing you do not have a potential deadly fire hazard in your home threatening your family and home.

What I am seeking is a new oven of equal value which does not have a history of this problem and assurance from you that this design flaw has been identified and rectified with a new design. I eagerly await your reply and appreciate your attention to this matter.

The Model # is PLEF389CCE and the Serial # is VF 42804399

Ripoff Report

Frigidaire Electrolux cooktop exhibited rust almost immediately after purchase especially around the areas where the burner pans fit. This is not covered by warranty (duh!) Also a safety problem developed several months after purchase where the controller would allow burner to go full red-hot even on a lower setting. This is being reported to the Missouri state consumer division as a potential deadly safety issue as this could cause a fire if not immediately detected.
This product is faulty, rusty, and dangerous and should not be allowed on the market.
lyle, rhineland, Missouri

Someone from Frigidaire actually responded:
I am contacting you on behalf of Electrolux Major Appliancesin relation to your posting on I would like to apologize for the difficulty you have had with your appliance. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue with you so that I can personally look in to this matter in order to do so please send me your contact information, and the best time to contact you. I would also need your model and serial number and a file number if available, so that I can research this matter? Again I regret the disappointment with your appliance and look forward to resolving this issue with you.

Chris Polk
Escalation Specialist
ElectroluxMajor Appliances

Are You a Victim?

Here are places I filed complaints against Frigidaire and Electrolux

Better Business Bureau
Federal Trade Commission
Contact the store where you bought it to let them know they are selling a faulty product
Suggestions:  Document all phone calls and conversations.  Write down names, dates, and times.  Keep track of everything. 
This is their United States corporate office:
Electrolux Major Appliances
Corporate Office
250 Bobby Jones Expressway
Martinez, GA 30907

Frigidaire is owned by Electrolux:
AB Electrolux
SE-105 45 Stockholm, Sweden
Telephone: +46 8 738 60 00
Telefax: +46 8 738 74 61
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