A motherboard on a refrigerator? Aren’t those only used in computers? The common sense answer is, “They should be.” But GE, in it’s never-ending quest to produce ever more frail appliances using cheesy electronic control boards made in Chinese prison factories, uses a motherboard on a refrigerator to replace several robust mechanical parts such as cold controls and defrost timers. The end result? A refrigerator that requires a proprietary (and, naturally, expensive) handheld computer to diagnose the motherboard (or muthaboard, as you’ll come to call it), is more convoluted to troubleshoot, and has a much higher failure rate.
How much higher of a failure rate? Well, enough so that GE had to issue a mea culpa letter to GE servicers:
Recent analysis has discovered a potential problem with the main circuit board on a limited number of refrigerator models, which could lead to lower than anticipated life expectancy on that component. Therefore, if the main circuit board fails, GE Consumer & Industrial will replace this part free of charge to the consumer until further notice.
Awww, ain’t that sweet? They’re actually gonna cover the cost of replacing the muthaboard in that joke of refrigerator that you paid too much for. How about all the food you lost? And what about all the time you spent on the phone with GE waiting to get someone who spoke English only to be told, “You’ll need to call a GE authorized servicer. I can give you the name of one near you.”
The letter goes on to list all the GE models included in this de facto recall. You can read the saga of one hapless GE owner in this topic at the repair forum. One of the Academy Fellows, Pegi, posted the notice letter from GE, which lists all the models included in the recall. Look for it. Be there now.
To learn more about your refrigerator, or to order parts, click here.