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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Exploding oven This happened while we were out and left it

Resolved Question:

Exploding oven
This happened while we were out and left it self cleaning (so-called pyrolytic function). We came back to find shattered glass from the outside of the door and ashes all over the floor. The ashes were what was left of the oven gloves hanging over the handle. We were lucky there was no one there at the time and that the wood-fronted cupboards next to the oven didn't catch fire as well. The oven was 20 years old and hence no longer under guarantee, but we felt the manufacturer (De Dietrich) should offer some compensation in view of the potential danger, if not the actual damage caused. It's a French company which no longer operates in the UK. We contacted the UK representatives several times, who forwarded our email with photos to the manufacturers (De Dietrich in France - the representatives said it was a matter for them) giving us assurances that they, the manufacturers, would get back to us. This was over a month ago, but we've heard nothing. Despite the oven's age and being outside warranty, an occurrence of such potential danger seems to us to demand better response than this. We'd like to know what further measures can be undertaken, or perhaps which institution or communication media would be the one to contact to advance this issue further - adverse publicity might energise the manufacturer.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I'm really sorry but you are going to struggle to take any action here. This is a 20 year old product. I think you have probably already guessed the difficulties.
Even if you could argue negligence you are long outside of the limitation period and anyway they are no longer based in the UK so cannot easily be sued.
Even under the Latent Damage legislation you will struggle to bring any claim as ultimately it has lasted 20 years which is a reasonable period of time.
In relation to danger, all gas ovens give rise to a degree of danger and all have a history of going wrong at some point or another.
It would have been polite of them to respond clearly and they may yet do that. However, failing to do so is not a cause of action.
You can always write to the papers. I would be surprised if it has much impact though if they are not trading in the UK as they have no market to protect here.
I'm very sorry but Which Consumer are right here.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Maybe I should have clarified that it's electric
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, either way, they are sources of energy and so give rise to potential dangers. Explosions, shocks etc.
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