Stainless steel isn't stainless after all

  • Article by: Jane Friedmann , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 10, 2012 - 9:41 AM

The Meles paid $1,701 for a stainless steel refrigerator, a door of which rusted out. Sears wants $917 to replace it.

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goldenmplsDec. 8, 12 7:47 PM

Good to see a lawsuit being filed to hold these manufacturers responsible - this is simply misleading. Sears, like most retailers, is not what they used to be for sure - sad they can't stand behind their products.

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teddygDec. 8, 12 7:53 PM

Many posters would say it's 'unions' that are killing our mfg base in the US. I argue that its the private equity owners of the Whirlpools of the world that demand 'non-noticeable' cut backs in quality so they can pay their limited partners greater returns.

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bleavitDec. 8, 12 8:32 PM

Ah yes, the conundrum of stainless steel. You want the dull, drab look of SS and you want to stick a magnet to it. Improper cleaning removes the passivating layer allowing increased oxidation. If you have a problem with surface rust on stainless steel the metal needs an acid bath to re-passivate the steel. Use Citrisurf 77 Plus, from Stellar Solutions. Brilliant stuff, it’s worked for me on dozens of outdoor enclosures.

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djlee1999Dec. 8, 1210:52 PM

After 2 years my ice maker stopped crushing. It is a stainless steel fridge. They the "manufacturer" designs these appliances to fail in 3-4 years only for them to make a quick buck off you through repair or replacement. I'm glad they are filing a lawsuit.

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rshacklefordDec. 9, 12 1:45 AM

(from the article)The refrigerator's warranty against "defects in material or workmanship" does not cover rust. ---- Failure of the material in any way and by no fault of the owner means defective (the wrong alloy choice). And the workmanship failed also (the engineer/designer at Kenmore provided poor if not totally dishonest specifications). Keep after them. The $75 gift card offer (was it?) is a complete joke. To Kenmore: Replace the refrigerator and clearly advertise that you are doing so for all affected customers. Otherwise, Kenmore stainless steel appliances mean rusty appliances. If the people on the phone keep playing games, then he should do what I do next: during this busy holiday shopping time, walk around the sales floor and keep asking sales people "DOES THIS MODEL RUST LIKE THE ONE I RECENTLY BOUGHT FROM YOU?!?!" "HOW ABOUT THIS MODEL?!?!" Other customers will take note and start thinking/asking about rust. The manager will give you a new refrigerator. And, be sure to demand a $150 gift card for your time!

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drg258Dec. 9, 12 2:15 AM

Just get the basic, painted, fridge with freezer on top and main fridge part of the bottom. The other stuff is too expensive (2K-4K) to have it fail in four years.

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rdietermeierDec. 9, 12 9:16 AM

The rust did him a favor. Stainless as a style is overplayed and on it's way out. When manufacturers saturate the market with "me too" products they likely go with inferior materials to squeeze more out of the turnip.

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ephrakerDec. 9, 1211:45 AM

Remind me again why we need regulation on businesses and consumer watchdogs, oh yeah.

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TobsterDec. 9, 1212:10 PM

Back in the old days, you could find an abandoned refrigerator in a field. Looking this way and that, you could play inside it. Maybe you got out, maybe you didn't. If you got out, you'd celebrate with a Charleston Chew and a Bubble Up. Not only that, but your dad had at least one secret family across town. The last thing they were worried about was rust on their refrigerator.

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dirletonDec. 9, 1212:53 PM

Going to Sears - or any of the other retailers of that general ilk - and expecting "stainless steel" to really be stainless steel is the same as going to the car dealer and expecting "leather interior" to be made of leather.

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