Further complaints allege that the freezer's temperature gauge malfunctions and that the Extended Warranty is not honored. The refrigerators in question were sold under the brand Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and Roper.
Among the complaints at consumeraffairs.com:
- That the freezer ran almost non-stop and the temperature gauge showed that the freezer was up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, when in fact it was below 20 degrees Fahrenheit;
- That the icemaker quit working repeatedly (mentioned several times) and in some cases Whirlpool would not replace the defective part;
- That the compressor broke;
- That the fridge floods, causing damage to customers' floors; and
- That Whirlpool's customer service is poor.
In Arkansas, a federal lawsuit was filed against Whirlpool Corp., claiming that the appliance maker did nothing to fix or warn customers of problems in their icemakers. The lawsuit was filed by Paula Rush and Diane Perry and is seeking class-action status to represent anyone in the United States who bought a Whirlpool-manufactured side-by-side refrigerator since 2000. Plaintiffs are seeking at least $5 million.
According to the plaintiffs, their Whirlpool problems led to damage in their homes even though Whirlpool sent repairmen out to fix the appliances. They also claim that they notified Whirlpool about the problems, but the company has neither recalled the fridges nor reimbursed owners for costs incurred as a result of fridge defects.
Court documents, filed March 5, 2007, argue that "WHIRLPOOL knew or should have known that the Refrigerators were defective in design, were not fit for their ordinary and intended use, and did not perform in accordance with the advertisements, marketing materials and warranties disseminated by WHIRLPOOL nor with the reasonable expectations of ordinary consumers." The papers go on to say that "At the time of sale the Refrigerators contained a defect, the effect of which is that the icemakers in the Refrigerators do not work and the temperature controls fluctuate, which leads to flooding and water and property damage to the home. The defect reduces the effectiveness and performance of the Refrigerators and renders them unable to perform the ordinary purposes for which they are used."
The plaintiffs argue that Whirlpool knew that the refrigerators were defectively designed but has not instituted a program to either repair or replace those refrigerators.
Whirlpool recently found itself issuing warnings to customers after the company's dishwashers posed a fire hazard. Dishwashers sold under the brand Maytag and Jenn-Air were voluntarily recalled after reports that liquid rinse-aid could leak from the dispenser and come into contact with internal wiring in the dishwasher, possibly causing a fire. There were 135 reports of dishwasher fires that resulted in product and/or property damage, as well as four injuries including one serious hand laceration.
Although Whirlpool did not own Maytag when the dishwashers were produced, Whirlpool has since purchased Maytag Corp.