By Kurtis Ming

SALIDA (CBS13) – Spending countless hours pruning and caring for his impressive collection of bonzai trees, Don Elder knows a little maintenance can go a long way.

But he’s tired of cleaning rust out of his Maytag dishwasher, after a recalled heating coil melted parts of his plastic-coated dish rack all the way to the metal, he said.

Maytag agreed to replace the circular coil — but when it wouldn’t replace the rack itself, it was time to Call Kurtis.

Smelling an odor he described as “plasticy,” Elder was certain his dishwasher was overheating, he said.

His dish rack proves it, he said.

“The damage comes all the way around,” Elder said, showing the damage.

The bottom dish rack, which lays just above the heating coil, shows scars in the same circular pattern — the bubbling plastic pelling off, now revealing piled-on rust.

Elder poked one of the spots to reveal the rust dropping onto the dishwasher.

“There you have it,” he said.

Maytag recalled 1.7 million dishwashers in 2010 over a fire danger, offering many consumers replacement parts for free or discounts on newer machines.

When Elder noticed the problem this time, however, he wanted his dish rack fixed too.

But Maytag refused, he said.

“I should have a good bottom tray,” he said. “One that’s not damaged, one that’s not gonna contaminate anything with rust.”

The Better Business Bureau’s Gary Almond said there’s no law requiring a company replace damage caused to a product as a result of a recalled part.

“This is a good will thing,” Almond said. “It all depends on how a company wants their customers to view them in the future.”

“I would think that this company would definitely want to keep their reputation,” he said.

The consumer product safety commission told CBS13 recalls do not have to cover other damaged parts, but said that could change if the product poses an immediate safety risk.

In this case, with only a melted dishwasher rack, that might be a tough case to make, Almond said.

After CBS13 got involved, Maytag agreed to replace Elder’s rusty dish rack for free.

Thrilled it’s fixed, Elder can spend more time relaxing in his garden, he said.

“I’m very happy,” he said. “I’m glad to have this problem behind me.”


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