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Call Kurtis: How Long Do Manufacturers Make Spare Parts?

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Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13'...
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STOCKTON (CBS13) — Kelly Souza’s refrigerator is unrepairable.

That was she said she thought, anyway.

Souza spent about $3,000 on her GE refrigerator seven years ago, but she said now it won’t stay cold.

When she said GE refused to say what was wrong with it, calling it unrepairable, she called Kurtis.

Souza’s digital thermometer built into the refrigerator reads 45°F — well above the 37°F GE’s own website recommends.

This second thermometer she bought shows ‘Danger’ — meaning her food could go bad.

“I’ve thrown out a lot of food,” she said.

The freezer is also set to the coldest setting. Instead of GE’s recommended 0°F, it reads 16°F — leaving frozen items like popcicles soft.

“It’s not supposed to just squish,” she said.

GE has come out three times, and now GE technicians call the 7-year-old fridge “unrepairable,” she said.

We asked Don Hemans of Don’s Allstar Appliance in Stockton to check it out.

“Everything’s repairable,” he said.

He finds the fridge is running warm, and thinks the evaporator needs to be replaced — a major repair that would cost about $700.

But Hemans admits it’s a tricky repair and sees why a repairman may not want to work on it.

So if anyone would work on this fridge, wouldn’t you expect it to be GE the manufacturer?

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Russ Heimerich said nothing requires a company to repair its own product unless it’s under warranty, which this fridge is not.

“They have to provide parts for it for seven years,” Heimerich said.

It was seven years this past March.

When we contacted GE about Souza’s fridge, they suprisingly said, “it is cooling properly.”

A spokeswoman told Call Kurtis, “We could not address her concern to her satisfaction.”

GE did not charge Souza for any of the three service calls.

But Souza said after we got involved, GE sent a technician who surprising fixed that unrepairable fridge after all.

She’s still upset GE wouldn’t fix it before.

“I don’t think that’s good business practice,” she said.

GE never told Call Kurtis what was wrong with Souza’s fridge, but she said it was a pretty easy fix.

She said if this doesn’t work, she plans on buying a new model from another manufacturer.

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