BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Up to 50,000 people who bought microwave ovens thinking they were new when they weren't can get refunds from the Maytag Corp.

U.S. District Judge Robert B. Propst gave initial approval to the Maytag offer, but set an Oct. 19 hearing to allow any objections from the buyers of the Magic Chef ovens.

Since January 1987, Maytag's Anniston plant has repackaged or reconditioned ovens that customers had returned. The company then sold the ovens as new for $80 to $160.

In the agreement, Maytag, parent company of Magic Chef, denied any liability but agreed to halt the practice and to offer refunds of $35 to people who bought the ovens, primarily through Wal-Mart stores. The refunds would be cash payments of $25 and a $10 certificate toward the purchase of a Magic Chef product.

Maytag also agreed to pay $100,000 to the Alabama attorney general's office, which filed one of the three lawsuits, and up to $200,000 to the Birmingham law firm that filed two others.