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Thread: Update on Rowenta fire

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kay in Iowa's Avatar
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    Update on Rowenta fire

    Well, after a very busy summer, I finally sent in my iron that caught on fire as I was using it. I sent with it, photos of my burnt hand as well as photos of the big burn hole in my backing fabric. I received a phone call from Rowenta about 10 days ago while we were at the Iowa State Fair. Their representative told me the iron was manufactured in 2007 - I probably didn't use it until 2009 I think - maybe 2010 - but they had the results from looking at the iron and he said the cord has "tiny wires in it that break from using the iron" - I said, "so it was a defective cord" - "Oh no - it was just used a lot and this happens quite often"................to say I was STUNDED was an understatement. He actually told me "this happens quite often"...........BEWARE - BEWARE. I told him I have been ironing for over 60 years and I certainly hope it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN! I am still in a state of disbelief! Since I was outside the building that had the State Fire Marshal's display at the State Fair when he called me on my cell phone - I went in and talked to the State Building Code Inspector. He advised me to contact the Product Safety Council which I intend to do. We arrived home last night and here was a box with a new Rowenta iron in it. Now - here's the question - would you use it? And, if not, what iron would you buy? I have two other Rowentas and now I'm gun shy. I'm kind of anxious about the whole thing. Oh - one more thing - the quilt I made that caught on fire - I embroidered a patch for that section of the backing - and would you believe I WON A BLUE RIBBON ON THE QUILT at the Iowa State Fair................happy dance, happy dance! ! ! Will try and get a picture on soon.

  2. #2
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    Well great news about the quilt at least! As for the iron.... I guess I would use it with caution. Check the cord frequently for cracks! I am thinking the person you spoke to may have mis-spoken about how often this happens. I would imagine there would be more complaints if it did! Hope the hand has heal completely!
    Lisa B in NC
    Quilting is my Happy Thought!
    http://www.quiltingkrazy.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this update - I'd been wondering what Rowenta was going to say about your experience. And it makes me more diligent about checking my cords too.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RonieM's Avatar
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    I have been using the same Rowenta iron for over 10 years and have never had a problem with it. I would say your's was probably just a fluke.

    Congrats on your blue ribbon!

  5. #5
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I would persue the Product safety council with zeal...this could be a major home/life safety issue, what if you had died and your house had burned down, then what would they have to say !!!!!
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  6. #6
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    That is the iron I have so like you I am a little afraid to use it. I have never had any problems with it but I have been using it a long time so maybe I need to have the cord checked out or get a new iron. I am so happy your quilt won for you.

  7. #7
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I'm stunned that an employee of Rowenta would say that (no- I don't doubt what you heard, I am just scratching my head that he would SAY those words). Basically - he freely admitted that Rowenta has a safety issue that has been known for a long time ... HUGE product liability!!!

    I would definitely pursue this with Product Safety Council as there are other people out there with this product that might not be as lucky as you - they could lose their homes or ... their lives.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  8. #8
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    I think you should pursue reimbursement for your fabric and any medical bills. I had a problem once with dog medication (can't reveal name of company - part of the settlement), but they paid for ALL of my dogs medical costs which covered about 3 months of care. Rowenta make such great irons that I can't imagine that they don't want to make this right and make you a happy customer.

  9. #9
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I have been ironing for 45 years (no Rowentas) and have never had one burst into flame. Reminds me of when you take your car in for a problem, no matter what it is, the answer is always, "They're known for that."

    If this happens so much, why don't they FIX it!!!!

    I would use the new iron and the other Rowentas, but always unplug them when I left the room.

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    Basically - he freely admitted that Rowenta has a safety issue that has been known for a long time ... HUGE product liability!!!
    This is EXACTLY what I was thinking. That employee just opened Rowenta up for legal action. Well, this solidifies MY decision to stay away from them.

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    To answer your question - I have a Reliable Velocity iron that I adore. It was given to me by a good friend who has one and loves it so much she got one for me. I highly recommend it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    Glad your ok...that's nuts!! I stopped using Rowenta irons because of the leakage problems.
    *Rachel*

  13. #13
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    employee maybe fired by now.. ya think?

  14. #14
    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    WOW. I am happy for you about your ribbon! I am shocked about your ordeal with Rowenta. Actually, shocked is a little understated. I do not approve at all of the way you were treated. Thank you for posting.

  15. #15
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    I donít have a Rowenta travel iron like yours that caught fire. I think I bought my Rowenta DA 82.3 and DE 92.1 back in the 90ís. My daughter and I have used them both extensively. One of them now spits, so it is only used dry.

    We are very careful to not use them with power strips, extension cords or timers. They heat up quickly, produce lots of steam, have a nice long swivel cord, and no automatic shut off. We will definitely keep a sharp eye on them from now on. We also keep several fire extinguishers scattered throughout the house.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and congratulations on the ribbon. I bet his statement about irons shorting out was about irons in general, not specifically Rowenta irons. I would contact the Product Safety Council as advised.



  16. #16
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    Unless you recorded the conversation with the Rowenta employee, it will be a case of he said-she said. You can't prove that is what was said.

    Also, you should report it to Product Safety but I think you should never have sent the iron itself back to Rowenta. You now have lost your only proof of what happened.

    I am a real cynic when it comes to working with corporations. Do not expect them to do the right thing unless they are forced to. If this iron is a real hazard, it should be recalled.

    As for the new iron - there is no way I would use it.

  17. #17
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    No, don't use the iron they sent. send it back if you can. refuse it if the post office will let you.
    i had mine for years and it finally blew my power strip. so lucky it didn't catch fire. i ignored everyone. no more!!

  18. #18
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    While you still have the box the "new" Rowenta came in, check to see if it states where it was actually made/assembled. That might be an eye-opener. If the man you spoke with at Rowenta said the CORD was the problem, IF you choose to use the new one, can you have the cord replaced by a good (as in certified, trained, accountable, honest, reliable) electrician?

    What a mess. SO VERY GLAD I gave up using Rowentas after the last one spit at me one time too many and all the reviews I read online bashed the brand soundly. I bought a $20+/- Black and Decker from WM and will just toss and buy a new one it when it begins to misbehave.

    Maybe you can save someone from a major hurt by posting your experience on one of the consumer review sites for Rowenta on line, too.

    Jan in VA
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  19. #19
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I had a similiar experience with two Rowenta 's ( I thought the first was just a fluke, and bought a second). It just kept heating and heating till it was beyond white hot and still kept heating, I hate to think what would have happened had I not realized what was happening.
    I am glad you are OK, the companies response was a bit lame( in my opinion). Congrats on the quilt.

  20. #20
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    i just put a rowenta iron in the trash last week....i was doing quite a bit of ironing, tops & back to go to the quilter...i went & pulled out the cord & the plug was HOT!!!!...i thought maybe i just was running it too long & too high....the next day i switched to my shark, same amt of ironing time...the plug was cool when i pulled it out...tried my rowenta again in another plug; same thing...very hot to the touch....i decided it wasnt worth it...i did inspect the cord, no cracks, opening, bends, etc...i wont get another...its not worth the risk...shame on rowenta for their carefree attitude...i wonder their reply if it was their house that burned.....monica in texas

  21. #21
    Super Member
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    I was thinking about getting a Rowenta, but think I will try something else
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
    I choose to give my life away for things that last forever

  22. #22
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    YIPPEE, on your blue ribbon....I have had the same Rowenta for 15 years, no problems, but will certainly check the cord...also, have 2 sunbeams no problems with them either...
    Nancy

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonieM View Post
    I have been using the same Rowenta iron for over 10 years and have never had a problem with it. I would say your's was probably just a fluke.

    Congrats on your blue ribbon!
    No, I would say YOURS was the fluke...there are many people on this Board (me included) who have had problems with the Rowentas...to the point where I, at least, will NEVER buy another one...I've had three, and had problems with all of them. None of them hold water in addition to being what looks like a fire hazard. They need to pull them off the market! And it's not like they're inexpensive...
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  24. #24
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    Wow - I hadn't read anything about this until now. Scary for sure... I've had two Rowentas, paid about $100 for each, and finally after the second one started spitting and leaking, I went to Walmart and bought a T-Fal for about $40 and it works like a dream. Plenty of steam, auto shut-off and a really long cord. Everything I want in an iron for a lot less money. Rowenta was recommended to me by a friend who swears by hers, but I'm re not very excited about the brand. Sounds like they have varying reliability.

    I think you should definitely pursue is with the Product Safety Commission. Good luck!!
    -Chris-
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    Blessed are the children of quilters, for they shall inherit the quilts....

    It does not do well, Harry, to dwell on the dreams....and forget to live. - Albus Dumbledore

  25. #25
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I use a Reliable and love it. A good weight and lots of steam in adjustable amounts. I use this for pressing yardage.

    I really like my small travel Rowenta for pressing seams while I'm sewing.

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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