Whirlpool Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Refrigerator Wiring Defects

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Whirlpool Faces A Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Refrigerator Wiring Defects, Raising Safety Concerns And Forcing Consumers Into Costly Repairs Or Replacements

Whirlpool Corporation is facing a class action lawsuit alleging serious defects in its refrigerator wiring. The suit, led by plaintiffs Missy Robinson and Stacy Costa, claims that certain models of Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, and Kenmore refrigerators are prone to wiring failures, leading to significant operational issues and potential safety hazards.

Plaintiffs detail frustrating failures with Whirlpool refrigerators

North Carolina resident Missy Robinson and Stacy Costa from Florida share strikingly similar experiences with their high-end refrigerators, which began to malfunction shortly after the one-year warranty expired. These consumers, drawn to the brand for its reputation for reliability, were left out in the cold as critical features like ice makers and water dispensers ceased working, due to faulty wiring.

In the complaint, Robinson recounts how her experience with her KitchenAid-branded refrigerator, model KRSF705HPS01, which she purchased for about $1,900, turned from satisfaction to frustration. Initially, she was pleased with its functionality, especially the ice maker and water dispenser. 

However, just a few years into ownership, she encountered significant malfunctions. By May 2023, her refrigerator's features stopped working entirely, with technicians pointing to defective wiring as the culprit. Faced with the prospect of costly repairs, Robinson learned that replacing her refrigerator would be more economical than fixing it, a reality many Whirlpool customers are grappling with, the lawsuit claims.

Stacy Costa's story is parallel, having spent roughly $1,732 on her Whirlpool refrigerator, model WRS571CIHZ02. What began as a functional and reliable appliance quickly turned problematic. Her refrigerator's ice maker started to fail, displaying the same symptoms of the wiring defect found in Robinson's unit. 

Costa's efforts to fix the problem were met with frustration; after multiple technician visits and a failed repair attempt that cost her $180, she was advised that the real issue—broken wires in the door—would require an expensive door replacement. This solution was not only costly but also impractical, given the persistent nature of the defect.

Allegations of longstanding knowledge

The lawsuit accuses Whirlpool of being aware of these defects for over a decade, citing numerous customer complaints and internal communications that were allegedly disregarded. 

“Those complaints also necessitated Whirlpool’s communications with repair technicians and service representatives about the [refrigerators’ defective wires], which further evidences Whirlpool’s awareness of the problems,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs argue that Whirlpool continued to sell these refrigerators without adequately addressing the known issues or informing consumers of the potential for premature failure.

“Moreover, the broken and frayed wires create a safety hazard due to the presence of exposed, live wires,” the plaintiffs assert.

Costly consequences for consumers

According to the lawsuit, the wiring defect is not only widespread but also irremediable, with the suggested fix—replacing the refrigerator door—being both expensive and only a temporary solution. Consumers affected by this defect are often faced with the choice of costly repairs or complete replacement of their refrigerator, leading to significant out-of-pocket expenses.

The class action lawsuit aims to include a wide range of consumers across the United States who bought certain models of Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and Kenmore refrigerators, specifically the French-door or side-by-side types, which are reported to have defective wiring.

The plaintiffs are represented by Scott M. Tucker, Timothy N. Matthews, Zachary P. Beatty and Marissa N. Pembroke of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP

The Whirlpool defective refrigerators class action lawsuit is Costa, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., Case No. 1:24-cv-00188-UNA, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

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