A CIRENCESTER woman was horrified to see several knobs on her new gas cooker melt in front of her eyes as her shepherd’s pie cooked in the oven.

Since the incident on July 7, caused by a faulty thermostat, Julie Deaks has not been able to use her appliance to cook for herself and her 91-year-old mother.

She says she feels totally frustrated and let down by the manufacturer Indesit.

When she rang to talk to Indesit, the company told her that as the cooker, which she bought two months earlier and was still under guarantee, was more than 28 days old it could not be replaced but that a new thermostat would be installed.

After being contacted by the Standard, however, Indesit backtracked and offered Mrs Deaks supermarket vouchers and a new cooker, that was a different model from the one that failed, but informed her she would have to wait until July 25 to have it installed .

Mrs Deaks accepted Indesit’s offer but is furious that she has been without a cooker for several weeks.

Mrs Deaks, of Arnolds Way, said: “I am accepting the cooker because I have no other option.

“I have been cooking things in the microwave and the deep fat fryer. I do not live near any takeaways and if I did I do not have the money to be spending on them.

“It is unacceptable to be without a cooker for this long – it is a joke – this has been going on since the 8th of the month. My mother is very old and is in danger of getting malnutrition.”

She went on to say that she was worried that there could be an inherent fault with the model, INDESIT ID60G2W, and that people could be at risk of being hurt.

“My main concern is that if anyone else has got this cooker they could get severely burnt,” she said.

However, Indesit engineer David Wozencroft, who inspected Mrs Deaks’ cooker and diagnosed the thermostat fault, told the Standard that it was very rare for a thermostat to fail.

A spokesman for Indesit insisted there was no fear of there being a fault with other examples of this particular model in their range.

He said: “It was a component failure rather than a systemic one and it is not something that anyone else should be worrying about.

“There have been no other similar reports of problems with the cooker.”