How to Repair Panasonic Genius Prestige Microwave Door Latch Issues

How to Repair Panasonic Genius Prestige Microwave Door Latch Issues
How to Repair Panasonic Genius Prestige Microwave Door Latch Issues

Our Panasonic Genius Prestige microwave door would not latch.  I mean it would shut but you had to slam it and when it was shut the controls would act like the door was not shut.  Finally I decided to tear into it and take a look.  Poor engineering and/or cheap construction is the issue.  Read along to learn how you can fix your Panasonic microwave so there will be no more late night door slamming so you can just warm up that baby formula.

Equipment:

Tools Needed:

Parts Needed:

How to Repair Panasonic Genius Prestige Microwave Door Latch Issues

I do not know if Panasonic could have fit more inappropriate terms in the name of their microwave– genius AND prestige.  Really?  Well, there wasn’t much genius involved in the mechanical engineer who signed off on the mounting for the door latch in this microwave because it was designed with cost and savings in mind–not longevity.  That’s on top of the fact that the latch shuts so hard that the whole microwave moves when you push the door shut.  Let’s get to fixing this thing…

Animation of microwave saying to close door, but it is closed
Close Door – But the door IS Closed!

Step 1: Unplug your microwave.

Warning: There is a transformer in there that if turned on while you were working on it could kill you so don’t tear into a microwave or any electronic appliance with it plugged in!

Caution: unplug the microwave before repairing
Caution: unplug the microwave before repairing

Step 2: Remove the outer shell.

You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver and a safety torx T20 size.

Step 2a: Remove the single Phillips-head screw on the right side:

Remove the single phillips head screw on the right side
Remove the single Phillips head screw on the right side

Step 2b: Remove the rear safety torx head screws.

Panasonic engineers don’t want you fixing your microwave so they installed safety torx screws in the case.  You can buy these anywhere though and every DIY person should have a set.  See the description for a set you can get cheap.  The case screws on this microwave are safety T20:

Panasonic Genius Prestige-Safety Torx T20 Screw Up Close
A safety T-20 bit is required to take off shell

This is what the end of the bit will look like:

Safety T20 Bit Example
Safety T20 Bit Example

Remove the five safety-torx-headed screws from the back of the microwave:

Panasonic Genius Prestige-Back Shell Safety Torx Screws
Back Case torx screw locations

Step 2c: Remove the outer case.

Pop out the sides like this on the left and right:

Pop the sides of the case out
Pop the sides out

Lift the case up from the top back edge and then pull towards the back to remove:

Lift up on the back edge and pull off the case
Lift up on the back edge and pull off the case

Here’s what you’ll have with the case removed:

Panasonic Genius Microwave with the case removed
The outer case removed

Step 3: Located the door latch assembly.

The door latch assembly is black and mounted at two places on a very thin piece of metal as shown below:

Location of door latch mechanism
Location of door latch mechanism

The problem is that when you shut the door, the entire mechanism bends the thin metal piece it is mounted to, as seen in this video I shot:

Step 4: Bend the bracket back into shape.

It is likely those two white metal mounting tabs have bent to the right after many door closures.  You will want to bend them back into position.  I removed the two mounting screws from the door latch assembly (as shown in the image in Step 3).

Bending back the metal latch assembly tabs
Bend back the metal mounting tabs

Step 5: Reinstall the latch assembly.

Reinstall the two screws:

Reinstall the two latch assembly mounting screws
Reinstall the two latch assembly mounting screws

Step 6: Support the latch assembly with zip ties.

There is a hole that passes through the top part of the latch assembly, which a zip tie can be fed through.  There are also some small holes in the metal frame that can be used to anchor the assemble and support it so it does not bend so much:

Using a couple zip ties to support the latch assembly
Using a couple zip ties to support the latch assembly

I could have drilled a larger hole for the big zip tie but I didn’t feel like making metal shavings inside my microwave.  The smaller zip tie should be plenty strong for this application.  Trim your zip ties after you have pulled them about as tight as you can:

Picture of zip ties trimmed off
Trim the zip ties

Step 7: Reinstall the metal shell.

Bring the metal shell down over the top of the microwave, with the shell slid toward the back, and move it toward the front, carefully lining up the groove on the front edge with the trim on the back of the bezel:

The groove on the front edge of the case needs to be seated over the metal rim on the back edge of the bezel
The groove on the front edge of the case needs to be seated over the metal rim on the back edge of the bezel
The case groove will slip over these metal tabs
The case groove will slip over these metal tabs

Slide the case into place:

Holding the sides in, slide the case back in place
Holding the sides in, slide the case back in place

You will need to hold the bottom of the sides in as you slide the case forward and into place:

Hold the bottom of the sides in to line up the groove
Hold the bottom of the sides in to line up the groove

Reinstall the five torx screws in the back::

Reinstall the 5 safety torx screws on the back of the case
Reinstall the 5 safety torx screws on the back of the case

And the one Phillips-head screw on the right side:

Reinstall the single phillips-head screw on the right side
Reinstall the single Phillips-head screw on the right side

Now your microwave will work the first time you shut the door:

Panasonic The Genius Prestige Microwave with Repaired Latch
Panasonic The Genius Prestige Microwave with Repaired Latch

Did this help you fix your microwave?  Do you have a tip to add?  Please leave a comment!

Please encourage others not to put up with their microwave door slamming and fix it once and for all by sharing a comment about how you fixed yours.  If you have a tip as to how to complete this repair in an easier way, or a question–please leave it in a comment and I’ll get back to you right away.

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