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This article was published on March 18, 2022

Faulty update brainwashes AEG microwaves into thinking they’re steam ovens

This popcorn tastes like existential dread

Faulty update brainwashes AEG microwaves into thinking they’re steam ovens
Steven Kok
Story by

Steven Kok

Steven is TNW's engagement editor. Writes sometimes. Mostly here to get people to play D&D with him. Steven is TNW's engagement editor. Writes sometimes. Mostly here to get people to play D&D with him.

Every now and then a story pops up that makes us doubt if we’re not living in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. And today, friends, is every now and then. 

Since about two weeks ago, all AEG KMK968000T microwave ovens in the Benelux have stopped working. Caused by a wrong software update, the kitchen appliances have achieved a state that is usually reserved for tech writers: an identity crisis. All of them think they’re steam ovens – ovens with a steaming function.

The KMK968000T. Black on the outside, panicking on the inside.
The KMK968000T. Black on the outside, panicking on the inside.

The microwaves accidentally received a software update that brainwashed them. Not only do their displays show the word ‘steam oven’, they also show a series of functionalities that microwave ovens could only dream of having. Even resetting the appliances to their original factory settings doesn’t solve the issue.

The monumental disaster took place on March 2nd. As explained by a spokesperson of parent company Electrolux to Dutch news outlet NU.nl:

“An employee manually entered a wrong number, causing a faulty update to be rolled out. That has caused all microwave ovens of this type to stop working in the Benelux.”

And you know what, we understand why they’ve stopped working. If someone uploaded the firmware of, say, a bonobo into our brains, we’d be out of it for a while as well.

Unfortunately, the software issue cannot be solved remotely by an over-the-air update. Their Wi-Fi functionality is well and truly busted. So Electrolux is now fixing the problem the old school way, by calling all owners and sending over technicians to repair their confused appliances.

Luckily, the repairs are being done for free.

No microwaves were hurt in the process of writing this article.

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