It would be very hard to say anything to you except you have violated federal law, local building codes, and have probalby voided your fire insurance.
If the additional air provided by that hole is enough to "fix" some problem, then it is SOME PROBLEM!
The Whirlpools have attracted a lot of negative attention. Is yours still under any warranty? I think I would be leaning on Whirlpool for some answers. If you got it at the big blue box, it seems they should take it back, even if WP won't fis it.