Shattered cookware prompts a lawsuit

Pyrex is one of the most well known and well respected brands of bakeware in the United States. It’s been the go-to for affordable yet quality made oven-, microwave- and freezer-safe baking pans for generations of cooks., and Vintage Pyrex dishes are collector’s items. The brand’s sterling reputation has become tarnished in recent years, however, as reports of ‘exploding’ bakeware have made the rounds on social media. The problem has escalated, and recently lawyers representing hundreds of consumers filed a class-action lawsuit against Corelle Brands, which manufactures Pyrex bakeware

Critics allege that the company’s switch from borosilicate glass (the kind found in laboratory equipment) to less expensive soda-lime glass explains the more frequent failures of the product. Over the past seven years, there have been at least 850 reports of shattering or exploding glass cookware (both Pyrex and other brands), made to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

The ‘explosions’ occur due to thermal shock, when hot cookware is suddenly exposed to a cold surface or liquid. The glass rapidly contracts, shattering in the process. Borosilicate glass, which expands less when heated, is less prone to this type of failure, although it will break when exposed to extreme thermal shock.  Corelle Brands said in a statement that the company “produces glassware of the highest quality that is safe to use in conventional, convection and microwave ovens,” and that the examples of catastrophic breakage are rare. 

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  • meatn3  on  February 11, 2019

    The accompanying photo shows vintage Pyrex made from borosilicate glass.

    For clarity and to reduce the sort of hysteria caused when people don't read with comprehension perhaps it would be better to show a photo of the newer, soda-lime glass Pyrex.

  • icicle  on  February 12, 2019

    I had this happen with a newer mixing bowl and when I contacted the company, they weren't surprised. They replaced the bowl but I no longer use it with heat of any kind.

  • Jenny  on  February 12, 2019

    @meatn3 we updated the photo – we had used a stock photo on hand

  • lkgrover  on  February 12, 2019

    In 2013, I had a 9 x 13 Pyrex shatter in the oven while I was roasting a chicken. It was a horrible mess to clean up. I replaced it with a cast iron Le Creuset roaster, because I assume that cast iron won't break due to heat. After that experience, I have not and never will buy Pyrex again.

  • meatn3  on  February 13, 2019

    Jenny – I think that's a good call! Although the vintage pieces were prettier!

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