Question about Panasonic Microwave Ovens

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I have a Panasonic combination oven NN A554w bought new just over a year ago.A month after purchase it went back to Currys due to a door fault.Yesterday the same fault occured and because it is out of warranty thety would not repair it even if I paid for it.Is this a common fault and can I repair it by unscrewing the casing etc?There is no problem with the electrics .All it asks is for the door to close which it can't do. Thank you B Kirk

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This is a really common problem with all models which use the same door assembly.My first one failed after three months and was repaired by Panasonic under warranty. It failed again just after the warranty expired and the company were not interested in helping so I took the door apart to see what's wrong. (Remove outer oven casing, undo hinge plates from oven body and withdraw door. Unclip inner brown/black plastic seal, and then unscrew and remove metal shielding and door glass).

Basically, there's a design fault. A really weedy and poorly designed plastic post is the anchor point for a strong door spring catch, and the post is part of the inner door casing moulding. The plastic itself is not amenable to being glued and where the post breaks there is too little area for glue to have much effect even if it could work. The plastic is an ABS type of material and this is well known for being difficult to use glue with.

At first, I shelled out for a new outer door casing from a parts supplier, when it arrived I was really disappointed to see that the design was unmodified. As expected the door failed a few months later despite being careful to always gently close the door.

I went back to my old door and after a few experiments I temporarily glued the post with superglue just to hold it in place, and then I packed carefully around it with two part car body filler, ensuring that it would not foul other components when the door was reassembled. In the end, I still had to carve away some filler afterwards to enable reassembly.

A year later and it's still working, but the stress point has now been transferred to the outer door casing where the top of the post engages into a moulded anchorage. This is now cracking showing that this is also under-engineered and that the door spring is far too strong. The inner microwave seals are fine though, but it clearly indicates a really poor design.

Since then, my parents Panasonic has had the same fault (a different model but using the same door) as have a couple of friends and neighbours. Some have had warranty repairs, a few have been binned and replaced with a different brand and I've repaired some. It's a real shame as the basic ovens are very good, just this **** door lets everything down and despite loads of internet reports of a problem the company won't admit there's an issue.

I don't advocate this at all, but one neighbour was so angry with Panasonic's attitude after his second (one month out of warranty) failure that he went and bought the exact same model new. He then dismantled and thoroughly cleaned his broken door, reassembled it and switched it onto the new oven and returned the new one to the store the same afternoon for a full refund, claiming the door broke as soon as he used it. He's used the same trick twice since and has stuck with this model as there are no others on sale in the UK with the same specifications and dimensions. I do not condone his actions as they're fraudulent, but I do understand why he's done so.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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Door switch or mount trouble can be caused by slamming the door or by opening the door while it's cooking without hitting the Stop pad first.

Here are some helpful links:
http://www.microwavedisplay.com/safety.txt
http://www.microwavedisplay.com/disassembly.txt
http://www.microwavedisplay.com/doorsw.txt

We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

Posted on Nov 27, 2008

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