A microwave that went haywire after being set to a “sleep mode” has caused a “catastrophic meltdown” at a French manufacturer, prompting the company to suspend production and suspend warranty for the entire fleet.
The malfunction happened when the unit was turned off and the battery on, causing the microwave to be unable to function properly.
“The whole system is in meltdown,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The company said the issue was not the fault of the microwave itself, but was the result of an “unplanned change in power supply” and a “misconfiguration”.
A company spokesperson told Reuters the incident occurred after the microwave was “on standby” at its factory in Saint-Étienne, southern France, when it unexpectedly went “off” during a test.
It was set to “sleep” mode and a new power supply was installed, but the “sleep”, the spokesperson said, was “not working”.
It’s not clear whether the faulty unit was a one-off or a repeat of the incident, but it’s the first time in more than a decade that a microwave has been blamed for a meltdown at a manufacturer.
The microwave’s manufacturer, Micron, said the faulty “sleep-mode” unit was “out of production” and the company was working with “relevant authorities” to ensure that it would not happen again.
A similar microwave malfunction last year at a German manufacturer led to the recall of up to 10 million products, but Micron said the company has since fixed the problem.