Oven Nightmare: KA, Thermador, Wolf, Viking, Electrolux....blah!
We have Thermador double electric wall ovens. They were purchased new about 11 years ago. They died after the 3rd self-clean cycle, while under warranty. Dealing with Thermador was a nightmare - they refused to believe anything was wrong with the ovens. We had multiple service calls while under warranty, much was replaced. Since the warranty expired we've replaced all electronics twice (cirucit boards, touch screens, you name it, not to mention gaskets, door springs, etc). The worst experience I had was when I called Thermador when, after a year, my oven stopped working, flashed a fault code on the display, and beeped continually. After 20 minutes on hold with customer service, I finally got a live person. After I explained the issue, gave him the fault number, and told him I'd had to leave the room because of the constant beeping, he told me that I must be mistaken, such a fault did not exist, and the oven could not be beeping. Let's just say I did not respond well. :(
I think Thermador makes great products (we have a gas cooktop we love!), but our ovens were the first of a new model, and they were/are wretched. It was the self-clean cycle that ruined them. So, after Friday's pizza dinner, during which the ovens ceased working five times (they literally go "beep, beep, beep, then display a fault number, and shut off completely), we realized we can't deal with this anymore (they shut off 8 times during Thanksgiving).
We've been researching for a few months. I always thought Wolf would be fantastic. I looked at them, and was prepared to buy them...and, well, they don't look any better than the Electrolux or KitchenAid. I wasn't blown away. Are they worth $3000 more? Not according to Consumer Reports. And Viking? Looked nice, but has a horrific rep for customer service. Ugh. Electrolux looks good, but compared to the KA they seem about the same. And KA offers steam-assist.
So. Here I am. I would gladly pay the $6000 for the "perfect oven." In fact, I planned and bugeted for it. But, it doesn't exist, ast least for what we want in an oven. And after our Thermador experience, I am wary of throwing lots of money into an oven.
I've looked at Consumer Reports. I've read GardenWeb and TheFreshLoaf. And what it boils down to is this: some ovens, even the cheap ones, work well and are fantastic and will perform well for years. Some ovens, even the major expensive brands, are awful. It seems to depend on the model, the year, and use of high temps. So, what is a person to do?
We've decided to go for a mid-range that has what we'd like....that being the KA steam-assist double convection oven. If we don't run the self-clean cycle (which I will NEVER do again, having watched the quick demise of the expensive Thermadors) we might just luck out and get a good set of ovens. And if we don't, we are not out $6000. But still, the KA steam-assist seems to be a niche product, so God only knows how that will be. I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed.
What a horrible situation. It's a darn shame that there's not an oven brand out there with a stellar reputation.