Penn Valley, California
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The saga began with a total kitchen remodel in 2003. A Bosch dishwasher was installed and eleven years later it works flawlessly. KitchenAide Superba stainless steel microwave oven and side by side refrigerator were purchased and each has provided eleven years of trouble-free use.

And that brings us to the Viking Oven (model VDSC3656BSS), a dual-fuel stainless steel $6,000 purchase. Two years ago the troubles began with an oven that refused to heat. A call to Viking's headquarters revealed that the nearest repair facility was located 50 miles away. A call to them and we told that the service technician came to our are no more than once a week and an appointment was needed. Fair enough. During our conversation the young lady, when she was apprised of the oven's failure, said that this was a common failure with this particular Viking model. A week of so later when the service tech arrived he immediately went to what he was sure was the cause of the problem. After a few minutes and with a look of triumph on his face he showed on parts that clearly had been "fried" from excessive heat. He went on to explain, however, that even though this was a common problem that he often encountered he did not have a replacement part in his truck. He would have to special order the necessary part and return when he receives it. Two weeks later, the tech returned with the new part which promptly installed and - - - failed to solve the problem. After much head scratching and referencing several manuals he said that the stove would to be pulled out into the kitchen so he could reach possible parts in the back that might be the cause of the failure. This was done and the Viking oven sat in the middle of the kitchen for the next two weeks. Again the tech returned and began his attempt to fix it. It was clear that something was not going to plan but after a period of an hour or two he stated that the oven was now working - - - but with one slight problem. To make it work he had to disable the "Self Cleaning" feature but, he assured us, that was for the best since the use of the self cleaning feature generated excessive heat which would lead to more failures. Repair Cost: $457.68.

Thirteen months later the oven again failed to heat. Another service call and a wait of ten days. This time the tech replaced a PMO10129 relay and repaired the oven so that the self -cleaning feature again worked. He assured us that there was no problem with "excessive heat' when this feature was used. Repair Cost: $213.00.

Now, three weeks before Thanksgiving, (ah, you see it coming, don't you?) the Viking oven failed once again to heat. And once again a confident repair tech came, tore the oven innards apart and announced that announced with some satisfaction that he had found and repaired circuitry connectors which had burned and failed. His satisfaction was short-lived when, after repairing the "fried" connectors the oven refused to hear. With a pained look of frustration he again tore into the oven and discovered a second problem--- the lower oven heating element had simply burned itself out and needed to be replaced. And, if you've read this far, you know what's coming ---he said he would have to order the part and schedule yet another visit which we are hoping will occur before Thanksgiving ----or our guests will enjoy what we are calling "Turkey Tartare". (And we don't know yet what the cost of repairs will be this time.)

Would I encourage anyone else to purchase a Viking product. Depends on 1) are they into self-inflicted pain and 2) are they a close relative of Warren Buffet? If not, I'd look elsewhere ---- perhaps the company that used to make Yugo automobiles is now making ovens.

Reason of review: Damaged or defective.

Monetary Loss: $6000.

Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.

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