Lawsuit alleges Electrolux sells defective, harmful microwaves

A lawsuit has been filed in against Electrolux alleging that the appliance maker sells defective and harmful microwaves throughout the U.S.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit involves a Frigidaire Gallery Over-the-Range Microwave Oven with stainless steel handles. The product defect, according to the lawsuit, causes the handle to overheat to temperatures above 168 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes when the stove below is in use.

The product’s design is not up to industry standards, according to court documents, and does not feature an insulation system or other protective measure. The defect is “unreasonably dangerous, as it can result, and has resulted, in injury ... including burns to the skin.”

The lawsuit alleges that Electrolux has been notified of the defect but has not recalled it or reimbursed customers who have asked for a refund. Electrolux, however, said it had not seen the lawsuit so couldn’t comment specifically on it.

“The safety of our products is our top priority and if consumers ever have any concerns about their products, we encourage them to reach out to us,” said Eloise Hale, vice president of communications and public relations at Electrolux North America in Charlotte.

According to a 2014 Electrolux annual report, market demand for its major appliances -- including microwave ovens and home-comfort products like room air conditioners -- grew by 6 percent year over year in 2014.

Charlotte has been home to the Swedish appliance maker’s North American headquarters since 2010. The company employs 925 people in Charlotte and has said it plans to increase headcount to 1,600 by the end of 2017.

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