Without a blade, a food processor is a nothing more than an unwieldy contraption that eats up counter space. But that’s the predicament many consumers find themselves in after millions of Cuisinart food processors were recalled in December 2016 because the blades can crack.
According to consumer complaints on the websites of Consumer Reports and Cuisinart, it could take six months or longer to receive a replacement blade. In the meantime, consumers have been advised not to use the food processor with the blade attachment.
Consumer Reports was tipped off to this problem by readers posting comments on our article "Cuisinart Recalls a Record 8 Million Food Processors."
“I placed my order for a replacement blade 12/31/2016. I received an email on 02/17 stating, ‘We estimate that your blade could be shipped any time between 6/01/2017-7/15/2017,'" posted a reader named Rita. "I am going to try to return it to the store I bought it from.” Cuisinart’s Facebook page also reveals consumer frustration with the long wait.
Cuisinart recalled 8 million food processors at the end of the year following 30 reports of mouth lacerations or tooth injuries caused by broken blades that wound up in food. The food processors were sold from July 1996 through December 2015, making this the largest recall of a kitchen appliance in the history of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which oversees recalls of most household items.
What Cuisinart Told Us
We asked Dan Kulp, a spokesman for Cuisinart, how many blades have been shipped to customers so far but were not given a number. We also asked Kulp to explain the delay, and here’s what he told us.
Q. Why does it take so long for consumers to receive the blade?
A. Following the announcement, Cuisinart received an overwhelming response to the recall notice and has had to place several large orders for additional blades to be able to meet demand. Cuisinart uses only one manufacturer to fabricate its blades. The blades are fabricated using precise manufacturing processes, which of course means that they take some time to produce.
Q. How long will it take for all customers to have their new blade?
A. Consumers are being staged in the order they either registered online or called in and will receive their blade based on that order. All consumers registered online have received several notices indicating either the approximate date when the company anticipates their blade will be shipped or notifying them that Cuisinart will contact them as soon as it is able to provide a firm date.
Q. Is Cuisinart considering offering customers a coupon that discounts the price of a new food processor, or some other perk to build customer confidence?
A. Thus far Cuisinart has offered an exclusive interactive recipe book that can be downloaded online.
Consumer Reports' Take
"While we recognize that this is a huge recall, it's unreasonable for consumers to wait six months or longer for a replacement part," says William Wallace, a policy analyst for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. "Cuisinart should find a way to speed up its timeline significantly, or otherwise set up a trade-in program that allows consumers to get a comparable or higher-end food processor of their choice."
What You Can Do
If waiting months for a new blade isn’t acceptable, here are some options, for now.
- Contact Cuisinart by email at Cuisinart_Cserve@conair.com if you have questions, or to express your dissatisfaction. You can also contact the company at 877-339-2534 or via its website: recall.cuisinart.com.
- Check the return policy where you bought the food processor. You’ll find it online. While in the case of this recall, retailers are not required to take back your processor, they may do so. For example, if you bought your food processor at Costco you can return it there regardless of how long ago you bought it. “A receipt isn’t necessary (but appreciated), as one of our employees at the membership counter can look up prior purchases,” says Richard Galanti, a company spokesman. You’ll receive a Costco Cash card. Use it to buy items or exchange for cash.
- Make your voice heard on Cuisinart's Facebook page where a host of consumers have been complaining about the delay in getting their blades replaced.
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