Vorwerk, the makers of the cult Thermomix range of cooking appliances, has come under the eye of CHOICE and the ACCC after a spate of mechanical mishaps involving faulty sealing rings. The flaw, which affects the Thermomix TM31 model, can cause lids to pop open and spray hot liquids during operation. This month alone, two Australian women suffered second-degree burns when their machines exploded unexpectedly at high speed.
In the first step of potential legal proceedings, consumer watchdog CHOICE is calling on Australians to report any Thermomix burns for a mass incident report that will be submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Anyone who has been burned or injured by the Thermomix TM31 is urged to report what happened to CHOICE. In addition to burn victims, CHOICE is interested in any incident involving hot liquid exploding from the Thermomix, even if nobody was injured.
“From severe burns that required hospitalisation through to near-misses such as hot liquid exploding from the Thermomix but not harming anyone, we want to hear from anyone who’s experienced these issues,” CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey explained in a statement.
“We’ll be compiling these complaints into Australia’s first mass safety incident report to the national regulator – the ACCC – and will call for a further investigation.”
According to CHOICE, Thermomix’s Australian representatives have attempted to “silence” affected customers by settling privately with non-disclosure agreements. The company also allegedly requires customers to sign non-disclosure agreements before it will agree to refund faulty products.
Customers have been advised by the company to replace the sealing ring on the Thermomix TM31 every two years. The risk of scalding is most prevalent when TM31s are operated at speed settings four or above and then switched to the ‘lid-open’ position.
If you’ve been burned by a Thermomix or had a close call with one, you can tell CHOICE all about it here. The rest of you should sit back and watch The Katering Show’s hilarious takedown of the Thermomix cult in the video above. (And this was before it became a genuine health hazard.)