Burning plastic smell coming from your refrigerator?

Tonight, I discovered my refrigerator was emitting a burning plastic or rubber sort of smell, and the kitchen was hazy with something smoke-like, but more white (it may have been smoke, I don’t know). I pulled it out and unplugged it, and eventually aired the toxic fumes out of the apartment.

Apparently, this happens all the time. My particular model, a Kenmore side by side, is notorious for blowing up like this after about 5 years.

We all grumblingly accept that appliances are built not to last so we’ll have to buy them more often, but does corporate greed really need to see someone be badly hurt or even die before they do something about it?

This malfunction can start fires. What if it happened while you weren’t home to stop it?

Inside of refrigerator

But it’s not just Kenmore. It’s also GE. And Maytag. And Whirlpool. And yes, it can happen because people don’t clean the refrigerators as recommended, but that doesn’t seem to be the only reason.

It’s a part called a compressor relay that seems to be the culprit. What do you want to bet, all these brands are using the same part from some manufacturer?

I’m having a repair person out tomorrow, if I can get one to come. Even if the refrigerator can be repaired affordably, I’m not sure I can ever trust it again.

But what one could I trust? This is just insane. Like we don’t have enough crap to worry about in our daily lives. It just makes me want to go live in a cave.