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UPDATE 5/31/07: Did this happen to you too? Please see the forum post from the lawfirm of Kessler, DiGiovanni & Jesuele, LLP.

EXPLODING TOASTMASTER (SALTON) TOASTER OVEN
The company doesn't seem to care!

Click on image below to enlarge.
WARNING: The Toastmaster brand toaster oven that comes with a non-stick removable insert, model #TTOB4RL, and apparently other models with that same kind of insert, appears to be prone to the glass door exploding, spewing broiling hot shards of glass into the air.

April 4, 2005. Toastmaster's unofficial response posted semi-anonymously on my discussion board from a Toastmaster corporate ISP

June 30, 2005. US Consumer Product Safety Commission's official response to my complaint filed January 19, 2005.

July 29, 2005. Summaries of similar COMPLAINTS of Toastmaster toaster oven glass explosions that were filed with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) between 2002-2005.


I was just about to turn around and peer into the oven to see if my toast was done when I heard a loud pop behind me. The glass door had exploded into thousands of tiny shards of hot glass; some pieces were blown four feet from the oven; most landed within a couple of feet from the oven. What if one of us had been standing near it, or looking into the oven, or opening the door at the time? Burns and blindness could easily have resulted.

I discovered that that the company has known of this danger since at least 2002. I wrote three email messages to consumer_relations@toastmaster.com on January 16, 2005, and didn't receive a reply, so I called Toastmaster Consumer Relations Department February 3, 2005, The clever spokesperson turned the situation around -- it is the customer's fault if the glass explodes and the parents' fault if their children become blinded by it.

Here's what I wrote to Toastmaster via e-mail, with the subject title, "EXTREME DANGER TO THE PUBLIC,"as I read more and more reviews on Amazon.com from people trying to warn others:

(NOTE that many consumers reported a fire danger too, as well as complaints of smoke, steam, the exterior staining from cooking fumes (see my photo above), unreliable temperature control, the insert coming out when you try to pull out the wire shelf, and the door handle or knobs breaking off.)

MY E-MAIL MESSAGES TO TOASTMASTER:

    Date: 1/16/2005

    TO: Toastmaster Customer Relations department head:

    We bought a Toastmaster toaster oven, model # TTOB4RL, about a year or so ago and the glass just exploded into thousands of pieces, suddenly projecting glass to within 1.5 to 4 feet of the oven. It was very frightening to realize that my little boy, or my husband or I, could have been peering closely into the oven at that very moment to see how the toast was doing and would have been blinded or otherwise injured.

    While searching for your website to find your email address, I came across the Amazon.com website reviews (Note: Search TTOB4RL) providing evidence to me that the oven glass on this model was known to explode and that your company had been informed. It appears to me that your company apparently chose not to recall the product. Here's what one reviewer reported on Amazon:

    "Boom!" September 26, 2003. "I had one of these units and used it for about 4 months. I liked the removable liner feature and it worked OK. One day it just exploded - BOOM! The glass panel on the front broke sending glass all over my kitchen. I contacted Toastmaster and they sent me another unit. To be fair they were very good about the whole thing but I did not want another one. This unit should not be sold. DO NOY BUY!!!!"

    I expect immediate voluntary action on your part to issue a recall. If I don't see this recall voluntarily issued within 24 hours, I will have no choice but to complain to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and every other related agency that I can find, including posting a notice on my own website, so that consumers will be forwarned. I am even worried about what could happen to someone within these next 24 hours.

    And, of course I expect an immediate refund so that I could buy a new toaster oven, from a company that I could trust.

    I find it unconscionable that your company was told about this terrible danger and neglected to issue a recall. We could have been blinded!! You're just lucky that no one has sued the company -- yet.

Then, I decided to send Toastmaster another email with quotes from the Amazon.com reviews:

    TO: Head of Consumer Relations

    This is an addendum to the message I just sent, which is copied below.

    Three other "telling" reviews from Amazon, with earlier dates than the one I included below:

    "Dangerous Product!" November 7, 2002. "This is a very dangerous product. I only used the oven about 4 times so it was fairly new. I had just turned it on when the whole front of the oven exploded. Glass, the handle and frame work just shot out across the room. Broken glass was strewn all through the kitchen. If anyone was standing in front of it, they could have been seriously hurt. I contacted Toastmaster but they didn't seem to care!"

    "Lt/Col." November 12, 2002. "My wife was using the oven to make garlic toast. She was warming the oven when the whole glass front exploded all over the kitchen. Had she been in front of the oven she could have been badley injured.I am now trying to find out if Toaster will do anything about it. 'This is a very dongerus Kitchen Item and some thing should be done about it.A small child standing in front when it explodes would be badly cut by the glass when it flys out."

    And this person didn't contact your company, but she tells the same story:

    "WARNING - big bang toaster!" July 25, 2003. "I bought this toaster oven last fall & last night I was preheating it to warm dinner and it blew!!! The door blew right off - broken glass, plastic & metal all over the floor! I'm just glad I wasn't standing any closer to it. I'd contact the maker if I still had my paperwork. Don't buy this hazard! And you'd think for that price it'd be decent, or at least not dangerous!"

    I realize that it's Sunday morning now and so I will look for your recall notice and expect to see it on your website by Tuesday morning, January 18, 2004.

After searching further, I found more reports about the same and a similar model, so I immediately sent a third email:

    TO: Head of Consumer Relations:

    I'll have to add that my demand for a recall pertains to the other dangerous models that have reportedly exploded: See Amazon.com. (Note: Search Toastmaster 358).

    Regarding model 357:

    "Disaster." April 19, 2002. "The first time we used the 4-slice Toastmaster Model 357 to make toast, the glass door imploded (I have a digital photo of this). I had been planning on purchasing another Toastmaster toaster/oven, but upon reading other reviews have decided against it. I have notified Toastmaster and the reply I received was that they would notify their superiors (three weeks ago). Nothing since!"

    Regarding model 358:

    "Another serious warning." January 31, 2002. "We had this toaster for four months, and one day wanted to heat up some pizza. We had it set at about 350, not even the highest broiler setting, and while still heating up, the front glass shattered, blew comletely out!!! Don't buy this one! At least we didn't have a fire like the other person, but it was truly astounding what happened, to a new toaster that was not cheap."

    "Very scary!" June 22, 2002. "I ALSO purchased a Toastmaster with removable insert and it ALSO exploded the first time we used it! Glass shattered and flew all over the kitchen, while my daughter was standing in front of it waiting for her bagel to cook. Luckily she was not injured. I had planned to return it to Target for an exchange, but after reading the comments on this website, I will be purchasing another brand, even if it is more expensive. Thank you for your comments!"

    And, yet another warning regarding Model TTOb4RL found on the page linked above:

    "Toastmaster Oven Broiler Model TTOB4Rl." February 23, 2003. "We had this Toastmaster since Christmas 2001. It has been great for toasting, baking, broiling and re-heating. Really liked the removable liner. But on Sunday my wife put in a piece of toast. The bell dinged and when she opened the door the glass shattered and flew onto the counter and the floor. I was planning on ordering the Toastmaster 358 today since we had such good luck with the first one (until the incident) but after reading the reviews will decide after getting in touch with Toastmaster."

MORE REVIEWS ON AMAZON.COM THAT I NOTICED AFTER I E-MAILED MY COMPLAINT TO TOASTMASTER

    "A Definite Danger" January 28, 2005. "If you haven't already seen the theme in the existing reviews, let me sum it up: The glass door on this appliance explodes when it reaches a few hundred degrees, sending super-heated shards of glass flying several feet across the room. Thank God my daughter wasn't standing at the counter watching her toast when ours blew up or she surely would have been injured. It's sad to think that a child will probably have to lose an eye before Toastmaster does the right thing and recalls this horrible product. Do yourself a favor and DON'T BUY IT!!!"

    "Good toaster until it explodes" September 26, 2004. "Don't buy this on a bet. Unlike others here, I didn't have trouble toasting things in this oven, and I didn't use it for much else except broiling cheese on the top of a sandwich. The other night, the toaster oven door popped, crackled and 'exploded' all over the kitchen. Nothing flew hard enough to hurt anything, and the glass seems to be thick enough to explode like saftey glass would. Not too many sharp points, just hundreds of chunks. Pretty surprising, until I read the rest of these reviews."

    "BIG PIECE OF CRAP" October 14, 2003. "Not only does this thing BURN EVERYTHING, EMITS SMOKE, and has heavy "not to be worried about" condensation..... It SPONTANEOUSLY EXPLODES sending glass all over the kitchen. Sure hope you don't have children that like to watch their pop-tarts heat up. How have these people avoided a lawsuit??? DO NOT BUY THIS PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    "Danger" November 14, 2002. "I just had to comment about this. Just like a previous reviewer the front of my oven just exploded! There was nothing in the oven at the time, it was just heating up. Luckily, there was no one in the kitchen at the time. Avoid this thing."

I also discovered these disturbing accounts online at "thisisbroken.com" (underlining is mine):

    December 7, 2004. "Last night I put 3 breadsticks in to toast. When the light went off (signaling they were done) I opened the door and the glass exploded all over the kitchen, showering me with burning chunks of safety glass. I have several burns on my feet and in my brand new kitchen floor. The service call center was very nice when I called and explained it to them, and assured me it would be dealt with within 24 hours. Have very many others experienced this?"

    (Another person posted that the glass oven door exploded and caused a fire from which no member of the family escaped. I wrote to ask him if he was speaking of an actual experience or just hypothetically based on what he had read about this oven, and I never heard back. This particular report appears not credible).

I found this report on Google Groups:

    Apr 13 2003, 4:20 pm:
    Newsgroups: misc.consumers.frugal-living
    From: "Stitchbug"
    Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 23:20:28 GMT
    Subject: Re: Poorly Designed Products

    "Our last toaster oven- a Toastmaster, it was less than 2 years old. While making chicken nuggets for the kids, the front glass exploded - complete with a popping sound- sending nuggets and glass everywhere. I emailed the company and received a reply that they were sorry I had a problem with my unit. Geez. That's like telling the Titanic owners that they are sorry they had a problem with their boat."

Here's another exploding glass door report that I noticed (on 3/20/05) on Amazon.com, regarding another model, Model 357S, among many reports of burnt items and fires in the oven:

    "Dangerous product" February 3, 2003. "I owned this toaster oven for 6 months. Today the glass door shattered in a loud explosion while toasting a bagel on the lowest setting. The oven was inconsistent and often smoked on the lowest setting. The timers lowest setting is 10 minutes - way too long."

And, here's another exploding glass door report that I just noticed (on 3/20/05) on Amazon.com, regarding another model, Model 354, among many reports of burnt items and fires in the oven:

    January 6, 2005. "Had to have my son, Guido, mount the door handle twice since I have had it (2 years). Yesterday, I put a small sweet potato in the oven and started it. After about 3-4 minutes, I heard a "bang" in the kitchen. Went to find that the glass door had shattered to a million pieces. No smoke, no fire, no damage to the counter top and the potato was barely warm."

March 20, 2005, I received this message from a consumer of the same/similar model:

    I have had this oven for about 1 year. My husband told me he had 2 fires just toasting toast. I thought it was him so I did not pay to much attention to it. I just told him to be careful the next time and watch it and keep the temperature down.

    I have used this oven myself and get smoke bellowing out of the oven and the smoke alarms go off. I burn everything, so now I never use the oven.

    Today I just decided to see if Toastmaster has had any recalls on the oven. I am shocked to see there are other people with the same problems. THERE DEFINATELY SHOULD BE A RECALL. I cannot believe there isn't any. I am replacing my oven, but will keep the old one in case of a recall. I am going to follow this very closely.

    I cannot believe Toastmaster has not done anything about this.

    There has to be something we can do to protect consumers. This has gone far enough!

    Very Concerned

April 4, 2005, I received this message from a consumer of Toastmaster #tt0b4rl:

    I recently found your web page about the Toastmaster toaster oven. THANK YOU! I have that same model. It starting to burn my toast on just a pop tart setting. I'm pulling it off my counter and setting it a side, if there is a recall I'll send it back. I can't believe that they will not recall this product. Have you thought about going to the press, someone like Good Morning America. Maybe the national press will get Toastmaster off their butt and do a recall.

    Thank you again.

June 15, 2005, this message was posted on the bulletin board for this web page:

    Author: Chris (fw-dcise.ascensionhealth.org)
    Date: 06-15-05 09:19
    Just had the exploding glass problem with the toaster oven in my office this morning. Called the consumer product agency and filed a complaint and also called the Toastmaster company office.... where I was told they have not had any other complaints about this...I referred to this story and the customer service Rep changed her response to ...I have not personally taken any complaints...this is a very unsafe product.... could have taken out an eye or worse. The company is definitely turning a blind eye to it..pardon the pun....

July 4, 2005, I received this message:

    This morning, the very same thing happened with our Toastmaster oven. We put a bagel in and within a few minutes, the glass exploded across the kitchen. I have just emailed the consumer relations department at Toastmaster but according to your various emails and responses, it doesn't seem as if I'll get any reply.

July 11, 2005. This message was posted on the bulletin board for this web page:

    Author: John Melton
    Date: 07-11-05
    "The glass door on our Toastmaster Model 357 toaster oven just exploded this evening. I did a quick Google search and found similar reports. Your picture looks exactly like what happened to us.
    We sent the following message to the CPSC:
    "Glass door exploded while using Toastmaster Model 357 toaster oven sending pieces of glass all over the kitchen. OUR 3-YR-OLD DAUGHTER HAD BEEN NEAR THE OVEN MOMENTS BEFORE AND COULD HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED. A Google search revealed similar incidents, yet there are no warnings on the CPSC site."

NOTE: Mr. Melton wrote to me directly that a CPSC investigator contacted him within days of his complaint and came to his home to inspect the unit.

July 11, 2005. Amazon review of Toastmaster TTOB4RL 4-Slice Toaster Oven with Removable Liner:

    DO NOT BUY THIS DANGEROUS PRODUCT! --WARNING--
    July 11, 2005
    Reviewer: KarenFan (Ontario, Canada)
    Well, what more can I say about this lousy piece of junk that most others haven't already said? What amazes me is that Underwriters Laboratories even allowed their seal of approval on this thing! Why on earth a national recall was never issued remains a mystery. Mine too exploded, after only the SECOND USE! I could hear a faint cracking sound, but chalked it up to the metal expanding as it was heating up... Well, the sound got louder and louder until BANG!

    I happened to be standing near my stove, preparing the rest of my(now ruined)dinner, and it's a wonder I wasn't seriously injured by the flying glass and sharp fragments that flew in every direction. It's almost as if a bomb had gone off. I had gobs of food, glass particles, and the remains of what was once a toaster oven scattered all over my kitchen walls and floor. It took me nearly three hours to clean everything up, and I finally ended up calling out for Pizza.

    NEVER AGAIN Toastmaster. What happened to the quality products you used to build? I think I'll stick with Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart or other well-known brands now.

    Oh sure, I called their customer service hotline, and they wanted me to (get this) REPACKAGE THE OVEN and send it back to them!!! I'm like, ya OK, whatever.

    I just threw everything away and purchased a nice Hamilton Beach toaster oven (model 31169) that has served me well for several months now. Stay well clear of this thing. It's obvious there's a serious design flaw somewhere. I'm currently in the process of seeking legal advice about this, and reading these other reviews makes me believe that there's enough grounds here to launch a class-action lawsuit against Toastmaster for knowingly selling a defective, dangerous product. Never again.

September 4, 2005. Posted on the discussion board for this web page:

    "MINE BLEW TODAY!"
    Today I cleaned it and ran a cycle shortly after and boom! it blew. I had glass at least 10 feet from the unit. With two small kids (ages 4 and 8) I am thankful that they were not in the kitchen when it blew. Here is a picture.

September 10, 2005. I received this message via email:

    "TOASTMASTER OVEN BLEW UP"
    My son was making a sandwich when the glass blew out of the oven sending hot shards everywhere. I went on the internet to see if there had been a recall and was shocked to see this web site. How can they let such a very dangerous appliance remain on the market....

October 5, 2005. I received this message via email:

    I surely wish I would have seen your page a week ago. I have that toaster over model TTOB4RL an it blew all over my kitchen .My husband was cooking toast, and BOOM glass everywhere. I have children and a 9 month old grand baby as well. I have emailed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well. I also bought my Toastmaster toaster over from Target. I wish there was a way to make more people aware of this product.It isn't a safe product to still be on the market. I am going to seek advice from a Lawyer in this matter. Feel free to email me at anytime.

November 5, 2005. I received this message via email:

    One week ago my ToatMaster oven caught fire. I had turned on the "stay on" feature and turned around for one moment. When I turned back to it the thing was in a blaze. Smoke coming out from the sides along with flame. After call the company I recieved a call from "risk managment". The informed me to send back the product for a full refund. The need to give me more then that. What about the mess, the trouble, the damage, etc. The should send me a big check. Just wanted to let you know.

May 21, 2006. I received this email message:

    Lorie,Thank you for your post. I too had a similar problem. The glass door just blew off sending glass shards all over our kitchen. When I called Toastmaster they said it was beyond the warranty period. I guess you are right and they simply don't care. Would you know of an address where I can write to them? I am hoping that may work?! Thank You.

May 26, 2006. I received this email message:

    Re: "toastmaster exploding bomb."
    Hi there, We just had a model 357 blow glass all over the kitchen. Those things could really hurt someone who was near it. Any help or suggstion you couuld give us to go after them would be appreiated.we are in Canada. Thank you.

June 17, 2006. I received this email message (excerpted here) from a Canadian consumer RE: a Toastmaster rotisserie Oven:

    "... I received a Toastmaster rotisserie oven from Canadian Tire for my birthday...
    ...less than a month later, while I was cooking a chicken in it, the door exploded, spraying hot glass all over our kitchen. Seriously, all over it. We're still finding pieces...."

June 20, 2006. I received this email message RE: model # TTOB4RL:

    Re: "Toastmaster toaster."
    Lorie, Thank you for posting your experience. The exact same thing happened to us last night. I got on line to notify the company of this unheard of danger and there was your letter! I can't believe this has been going on so long. I will write the company but I won't expect any results. I sure hope nobody gets hurt it is not worth the danger.

September 01, 2006. Posted on the discussion board for this webpage:


    I must say this is quite shocking. I recieved this toaster-oven as a gift a few years ago. A few months later, I went to open the door while it was toasting and POW! The glass shattered. I put it away in a closet expecting to order a new door for it. Today, I found it in that closet and decided to search the net for parts. I typed in the model # and came across this thread. It was the #1 hit on google so anyone investigating this oven is sure to find it.

September 21, 2006. I received this email message:

    Re: "Another Toaster Oven Explosion."
    As of today, 9-21-06, my Grandmothers Toaster Oven exploded. She had run into service department trouble just like all of the others. I would like to do something about this. Itís obvious this company has no ethics or care for their consumersí life let alone human life in general. Please contact me as soon as possible, something needs to be done.
    I am also impressed that you took your time and money to put together a site like this for the sake of those who could have or have been injured. Thank you...."

October 15, 2006. I received this email message:

    Re: "toaster oven also exploded."
    I found your story searching for information on any problems with the toastmaster toaster after the glass exploded into thousands of pieces, while we were having dinner just a half an hour ago....we were just feets alway. We are planning on sending an E-mail to toastmaster and the US CPSC as you suggested on your story.... please let me know what happened with your story. Did they ever recognize that there is a defect with this product? I am glad you posted your story on the web I was terrified when I heard that load explosion and saw the glass in thousands of pieces. What if there was a child close by? what if it would have gone right through one of our eye? its terrible that after everthing you did no one responded correctly to such a BIG SAFETY ISSUE.

    Thanks again for posting this, it will definetly help others that come accross this problem.

May 30, 2007. Posted on the bulletin board for this webpage by Matthew Jesuele of Kessler, DiGiovanni & Jesuele, LLP.

    Re: EXPLODING TOASTMASTER/SALTON TOASTER OVEN

    I am aware that the last post on this topic is from almost nine months ago, but I'm writing regardless on behalf of Kessler, DiGiovanni & Jesuele, a law firm in Westfield, New Jersey. Our firm currently represents a client in a product liability case related to an exploding Toastmaster oven. After reading the comments of others who have posted both on this website and on Amazon.com, it is our strong opinion that there is a systematic defect in these toaster ovens.

    We are dismayed by Toastmaster's apparent lack of concern for the safety and well-being of their customers, and we encourage anyone with helpful information to contact us. We are particularly interested to hear if anyone has contacted legal counsel regarding this matter, and if so, we would very much like to hear from them. Any assistance you can offer us in holding Toastmaster accountable for their dangerous product would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Matthew Jesuele
    Kessler, DiGiovanni & Jesuele, LLP
    773 Central Avenue
    Westfield, New Jersey 07090
    (908) 232-2040

August 05, 2007. Posted on the bulletin board for this webpage.

    Re: "EXPLODING TOASTMASTER/SALTON TOASTER OVEN"

    "Our toastmaster oven just exploded over the weekend. I have photos and have saved the oven. Please advise if a class action lawsuit is filed or any other action taken. Thank you."

December 17, 2007. Posted on the bulletin board for this webpage.

    Re: EXPLODING TOASTMASTER/SALTON TOASTER OVEN

    "I purchased a Toaster Oven Broiler, Model TOV 200 from Hechtís in Durham, NC.

    Three weeks ago, while my grandson was visiting, I was using the toaster oven and all of a sudden a big explosion! The glass on the front of the oven blew up and tiny pieces of glass flew all over the kitchen. Thank God my grandchild was not in the kitchen at the time! I am also thankful this did not catch my kitchen on fire. This toaster oven had only been used, at the most, 10 times. I have been informed to contact the authorities here in Durham but wanted to let you know prior to doing that.

    When searching for a way to contact Toastmaster to report this problem, I was astonished at the many other reports I see about the same thing happening to other people. There were so many complaints I did not read them all but I know they were dated back to 2002 and were different models than mine. It is 2007 and apparently this is still happening. I did file a report with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission this AM. I intend to call the 800 number for Toastmaster as soon as they are open also.

    Has nothing been done to correct these problems?"

February 01, 2008. Posted on the bulletin board for this webpage.

    Re: EXPLODING TOASTMASTER/SALTON TOASTER OVEN

    "On Jan, 29, 2008 my Toastmaster toaster oven, model #358 exploded the glass door and resulted in hundreds of shattered glass pieces blown out into the kitchen. I was heating it up to 350 to bake a pie crust (which I had to throw out due to the glass on it). I was looking on the internet to find a Toastmaster customer service when I saw SelectSmart.com about many others that have had similar terrifying experiences. It is nothing short of a miracle that I wasn't in front of it or my new puppy or there could have been injuries.

    This is definitely a dangereous product and should be recalled. I am writing today to the company with pictures and also the USCP Safety commission to complain about this incident, but I DON"T WANT A REPLACEMENT, just warn others about the DANGER. I am VERY UNHAPPY with Toastmaster's action about past problems. I have used this oven daily for several years with no problems until NOW."


NOTE: See more consumer complaints below, which had been filed with the CPSC.

FEBRUARY 3, 2005, I CALLED TOASTMASTER'S CONSUMER (BAD) RELATIONS DEPARTMENT. The conversation went something like this:

    ME: I sent three e-mails to your office entitled EXTREME DANGER TO THE PUBLIC about my toaster oven that exploded shards of molten glass on my counter and floor. I included reviews from Amazon.com that show that other people have complained about this even as far back as 2002! This product should have been recalled.

    WORKER: When did you send it? (I told her.) Oh, well, we're three weeks behind on our email.

    ME: Meanwhile, I am filing a report with the US Consumer Safety Commission and am planning to create a web page to warn people about this. I just want it to go on record that I also called to report this danger.

    WORKER: Let me get the model number and other information from you (I gave her the information she asked for.) Okay, I will send you a label to mail the oven back to us and we will send you a comparable model in return.

    ME: Uh, no, I don't want to send it to you; it's my evidence. I am filing a report and putting this on the web to warn people...

    WORKER: Well, that's the standard procedure. You have to return it or we won't send you a replacement.

    ME: Well, I'm not sending it to you, I might need to show it to someone, and I certainly don't want another toaster oven from THAT company. You don't understand; I am not calling to get a toaster oven; I am concerned about someone getting hurt, getting blinded and burned. This product should be recalled; my child could have been blinded if he had been looking into the oven to check on the toast...

    WORKER: Okay, then I will note: "Customer refusal to send the item back..."

    ME: I'm not saying I'll never send it back, but at this time I may need it to show people what happened.

    WORKER: Fine, then, I'll send you the label to send it back when you want to, okay?

    ME: What is bothering me right now is that I'm not hearing any empathy from you like, "Gee, that's terrible; I'm glad no one got hurt; that should never have happened..." How would you feel if YOUR child was looking through the glass to check on his toast and POW, the glass explodes in his face? How would you feel?

    WORKER: Well, I would never let MY child get close to the glass of a microwave.

    ME: No, not a microwave, a TOASTER oven!

    WORKER: Well, it doesn't matter; it's the same thing. They are both made of tempered glass. Everyone knows that any tempered glass will shatter if there is a small scratch or crack. You didn't know that, did you? I wonder what else don't you know!

    ME: (Knowing that we hadn't made or seen any scratches on the glass before it exploded, I wondered if she could have meant microscopic scratches that might form during normal wear and tear, so I asked) How small do these scratches have to be to cause an explosion?

    WORKER: I'll send you that label.

    ME: I'd like to speak to a supervisor please.

    WORKER: Someone from Risk Management will be handling this.

    ME: I'd like to speak to Risk Management, please.

    WORKER: Risk Management will be calling you; good day. (Click)


ON FEBRUARY 4, 2005, I RECEIVED A CALL FROM A DIFFERENT CONSUMER RELATIONS WORKER FROM TOASTMASTER. The conversation went something like this:

I described my complaint, again, and described the previous worker's response. This worker at least said, "Sorry to hear that."

She asked what I had used to clean the glass (hmm, somehow my fault again?), and I told her: water on a sponge.

She said I should send the unit to them to allow Quality Control to examine it to see why this happened.

I asked her what they found with the previously returned ovens, as this has been happening since at least 2002, and she said she hadn't heard of any others. I told her it seems to me like someone there dropped the ball.

I told her I want to hold onto the unit at this time, to show it to news reporters if necessary because I'm pursuing a recall and will go to the hilt if necessary. I told her I created a web page to warn people, and I gave her the URL.

I told her I want two things: a recall and a refund (she said I need to find my receipt for the latter).

I told her to tell her superiors that I am motivated by one thing: The vision in my mind of what would have happened if my little boy had been looking into that oven at the time that it exploded.

She said she'll refer the situation to Quality Control, and will follow it up. I urged her to personally "take the ball and run with it," as this product is dangerous, and she said she'd try.



June 30, 2005, STATUS UPDATE on my complaint to the CPSC

I spoke with a Technical Information Specialist who informed me that the US CPSC has decided not to investigate my complaint, at this time. I stressed that there are a number of similar complaints posted in the Internet and she said that those complaints are meaningless; they only consider complaints filed with their agency. I stressed that the public relies on agencies like the CPSC to keep them safe, and that I am worried that this product normally sits on a counter at a child's eye-level. She said they just cannot pursue all complaints. They received a reply from Toastmaster about my complaint, and I can request a copy in writing (which I am doing).


TOASTMASTER/SALTON OFFICIALLY RESPONDED TO THE CPSC ABOUT MY COMPLAINT:
(Received on July 8, 2005, from CPSC, per the Freedom of Information Act:)

Dated June 17, 2005

(Excerpts)

"Salton does not believe that a product hazard exists with the Product, as defined in Section 15 of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. (section) 2064. With respect to the Report, the information provided is not sufficient for Salton to confirm or deny its accuracy. According to the Report, the consumer alleges that the glass door "suddenly exploded into thousands of very, very hot pieces of glass."

"Immediately upon being contacted by the consumer, Salton began a thorough investigation into this matter and attempted to get the Product from the consumer for an examination. Although the consumer stated she did not really want to send the Product, Salton provided a prepaid shipping label. To date, Salton has not received the Product from the consumer. Thus, Salton has not had the opportunity to inspect the Product. Without an opportunity to examine the unit, Salton has no way of determining the nature or cause of the incident with certainty. Therefore, Salton is not able to comment on the accuracy of the Report at this time.

Salton does note that this Product comports with all Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc. (UL) standards for its category of kitchen appliances.

(The rest of the letter mostly addresses their request for confidentiality of the letter.)

The letter was signed by the Director of Risk Management.

MY COMMENTS:

I concede that I did not hold a thermometer to the glass pieces, but assumed they were very, very hot because the oven had been on for a time while toasting a piece of bread. And, I concede that I did not count the pieces of glass; perhaps they added up to hundreds rather than thousands, depending on whether or not you count the tiniest shards.

WHY I HAVEN'T YET SENT THE PRODUCT TO SALTON:

1. The label they sent me is addressed to the "Repair Department," not to "Quality Control," and included a letter requesting "a copy of your receipt" and instructions to send the product within 30 days "to honor your request for warranty service." This does NOT show interest or intent for their Quality Control department to examine the item for safety hazards.

2. I fear Salton will "lose" the item, or exam it and conclude that there was no manufacturer defect, leaving me with no evidence to pursue the matter further.

3. I have reason to believe that others have sent this product back to the company over the past several years, to no avail. My CPSC complaint included the URL for this web page and eight quotes from Amazon.com about exploding glass since 2002. Salton's response did not acknowledge other reports/reviews/complaints.


(Added 7/28/2005) SIMILAR COMPLAINTS TO THE CPSC

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), I was allowed to obtain copies of previous complaints filed with the CPSC about exploding glass for various models of Toastmaster/Salton toaster ovens. After eliminating complaints that fell under a number of FOIA exemptions, the CPSC sent me nine complaints about exploding glass filed besides my own.

Note that the CPSC routinely routes copies of all complaints to the named companies, so I have no doubt that Toastmaster/Salton has been aware of this hazard at least since 2002.

The CPSC offers companies the opportunity to comment before copies of complaints are mailed. About Toastmaster/Salton's comments, the CPSC wrote to me: "We would disclose the company's comments, but it has asked that we not do so."

EXCERPTS FROM COPIES OF NINE COMPLAINTS that I received from the CPSC, dated between February 2002 and February 2005 (not including my own). [Note that some of these complaints might be from the same people quoted above who had reported their experience on the Internet]: