April 12, 1984  
Release # 84-024

Washington, D.C. --The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today warned consumers of a fire hazard with microwave ovens manufactured by Microtronics Ltd., Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn. The manufacturer is no longer in business and therefore unable to recall the product.

Forty eight complaints have been received, many reporting that the unit has self-started while unattended. No serious injuries or fires have occurred.

The Commission believes that the unit may allow the microwaves to concentrate due to the failure of a stirrer mechanism. If the unit self-starts while unattended, these conditions could allow the unit to generate sufficient heat on the cabinet to ignite combustible material that may be stored on top or adjacent to the unit. The units have been produced since at least 1978. 57,645 units have been sold nationwide in the last three years alone under the brand names Astro Chef, Classic, and La Chef. The retail price was about $300.

CPSC urges consumers who have one of these units to unplug the unit when not in use and store combustible material away from the microwave oven. If uneven cooking is occurring or any discoloration is noted on top of the cabinet, discontinue use.

Consumers wishing further information may call the CPSC toll-free Hotline at 800-638-CPSC. A teletypewriter number for the hearing impaired is (301) 595-7054.