When it comes to fire risk appliances, Whirlpool are no strangers to the problem. Whilst UK media reports seek to contain the issue to the UK only perhaps the powers that be should consider that Whirlpool have already been subjected to a number of fire safety scandals, product recalls and class action suits affecting millions of appliances from clothes dryers, dishwashers and fridge/freezers.
The following is a press mention on the Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, Sears Holdings Corp. and Sears, Roebuck & Co suit:
Whirlpool Corporation has agreed to settle claims brought by my attorneys, Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, LLC, and their co-counsel. Plaintiffs allege that certain Whirlpool-manufactured dishwashers, branded “Whirlpool,” “KitchenAid” and “Kenmore,” have a design defect that can cause the control board to overheat and catch fire. Whirlpool denies that the dishwashers contain any design defect or that they pose a risk of fire.
Under the terms of the settlement, if you owned one of the settlement dishwashers and it overheated within 12 years of purchase, Whirlpool has agreed to reimburse you for the full cost of repair, or up to $300 if you bought a replacement dishwasher. Owners who have an overheating event within 2 years after the settlement can get a 30% discount on a new Whirlpool-manufactured dishwasher (in addition to any other promotions or rebates), or a cash payment of $100.
Approximately 6 million Class members who bought certain models can get a rebate of 10-20% on a new Whirlpool-brand dishwasher, even if it never overheated, and even if they no longer own the dishwasher. Whirlpool has also agreed to update its service and training bulletins to further emphasize the importance of not tampering with or bypassing certain built-in safety devices, and to post notice of the settlement benefits on packaging for replacement parts.
Class Action filed in Canada on September 9, 2013
On September 9, 2013, Klein Lyons together with Alberta law firm James H. Brown & Associates filed a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation, Sears Holdings Management Corporation, Sears Roebuck and Co., Inc., Sears Canada Inc., Whirlpool Canada Co. and Whirlpool Canada LP, for manufacturing and selling defective dishwashers that can have serious failings including spontaneous fires from a defective control panel.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Canadian consumers who purchased Whirlpool, KitchenAide and Kenmore branded dishwashers. The lawsuit alleged that the dishwashers are dangerously defective. Specifically, the electronic control board on the dishwashers may overheat, causing a fire.
The complaint in that action alleged that the dishwashers contained a dangerous defect and the product is a fire hazard. Each dishwasher is equipped with an electronic control board and has a unreasonable propensity to over-heat. The Defendants have known about this product defect for years, and yet have failed to take appropriate corrective action, including warning consumers, recalling or repairing the product and is in breach of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and the Sale of Goods Act.
The class action alleges that Whirlpool have done nothing to inform its consumers despite a similar class action being settled as noted above.