Electrolux Home Products Reportedly Facing Lawsuit
When you get to drink a cool glass of water, especially if you came back from a day’s work or an hour’s jog, but it would surely be disappointing when you go to your refrigerator, and the ice maker doesn’t work.
How the Electrolux Ice Maker Works
The ice maker units produce ice from the refrigerator compartment, and it is where the ice maker is also located. The Electrolux ice maker needs a colder temperature compared to the ambient temperature in the refrigerator compartment so it can cool water to a temperature at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
The freezer has temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so refrigerator manufacturers channel the freezer air from the freezer to the ice maker, using air ducts or vents in the cabinet walls of the unit.
Electrolux Home Products (EHP) tried to make ice and cool the ice maker by using a liquid refrigerant channeled from the compressor to the ice maker using a narrow-diameter metal tubing.
Once the refrigerant gets into the ice maker, it serves two purposes. It cools the air in the ice maker with the use of a radiator and is also directed to a series of finger-shaped metal prongs that are immersed in the ice mold to cool the water. This way, Electrolux had more space in the refrigerator compartment as it removed the air duct to channel freezing air in the ice maker.
With Electrolux’s design, an electronic expansion valve controls the refrigerant’s flow in the ice maker using an electronic control panel.
The control panel actuates the electronic expansion valve to allow the refrigerant to flow through the ice maker. They then channeled the refrigerant to the ice maker radiator, which makes the air cold enough to keep the ice cubes frozen.
Once the ice maker is cold enough, the refrigerant goes back to the compressor. Once the ice cubes are formed, it gets removed from the molds into a bin that must be cold to stop the ice cubes from melting. The refrigerant must occasionally return to the ice maker to keep up a cold temperature.
Background about the Electrolux Ice Maker Class Action Lawsuit
The control panel and other problems with the refrigerators do not direct the refrigerant to the ice maker, making it too warm to either make or maintain the ice, preventing the refrigerators from keeping correct temperatures for the safe storage of food.
This makes Electrolux’s ice makers unable to produce up to 9 to 10 pounds of ice in 24 hours or even fill the bin in about 8 hours, contrary to what Electrolux advertised.
Additional problems were that most refrigerators made no ice at all. There were claims that there were customers who found water in their homes near the refrigerators, damaging the flooring or anything near the defective refrigerators.
There were also claims that even though consumers complained of the EHP, they did not get any good faith repair or even offered one in exchange for the purchased Electrolux refrigerator. They were even made to endure fruitless fixes by EHP technicians until their warranties expired, and the problems still persisted.
Additional claims also allege that on the occasion that Electrolux offers an extended warranty or has the defective refrigerators replaced with a new refrigerator, it ends up having the same defects as the one they had before.
Cameron Watters filed a class action against Electrolux because of the refrigerator’s defective ice maker, which breaks down repeatedly since she purchased it, and it had leaks that damaged her house.
According to allegations, EHP’s French door-style refrigerators make use of ice makers that always break. The Fast Ice Option of the refrigerator, marketed to form ice up to 50 percent faster, often malfunctions and leaks.
According to the class action lawsuit, the defect may be present in models made since 2010 and may affect many people who owned the refrigerators. Cameron Watters related how she purchased the EHP refrigerator in 2010 and only got to use it perfectly for two months before it broke.
After having it repaired several times, the unit still didn’t work properly, and in the spring of 2013, it caused over $2,000 worth of damage to her home.
The lawsuit also includes the claims that the refrigerators’ ice makers can produce ice quicker than their competition’s models thanks to a separate cooling system in the ice maker, which may probably be why the ice makers are defective.
Refrigerator units have four combinations:
- a two-door fridge where the freezer is on one side, and the refrigerator is on the other side, or a side-by-side
- a two-door fridge where the freezer is above the refrigerator, or a top-mount
- a two-door fridge where the freezer is below the refrigerator compartment, or a bottom mount
- a two-door fridge where the freezer is below the refrigerator compartment, but the doors are called French doors, or a French-door bottom-mount
A bottom-mount fridge usually lasts for 17 years. The ice maker is made to be placed in the freezer, and it applies for all combinations, although the French-door bottom-mount has an ice dispenser on the door that allows the owner to get ice without the need to open the doors. This added to the price of the fridge from $400 to $700.
What Else to Know About the Ice Maker Case
Electrolux manufactured and sold refrigerators through its vast network of dealers in the country: ABT, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Pacific Sales, Sears, and other retailers such as Mother Lode Appliances.
Around the 19th of October 2010, Robert Bovero purchased an EHP refrigerator unit from Mother Lode Appliance (MLA) in Jackson, California, for around $2,340 with tax.
The plaintiff checked out the refrigerator before buying it at MLA, and a salesperson helped him with his purchase. He made the purchase according to what he saw in the EHP advertisements, where it marketed their refrigerator can make ten pounds of ice every day.
The lawsuit also claims that even EHP’s regional sales representatives swore by its ice-making capabilities to MLA, which includes the alleged probability that the ice maker can make ten pounds of ice a day. This was the deciding factor for most consumers who completed the purchase of the Electrolux fridge.
Plaintiff claims that if he knew the refrigerator’s ice maker was defective, he wouldn’t have gone through with buying the refrigerator.
Even from purchase, the refrigerator did not meet the promise Electrolux gave in their advertisements, always falling flat from the advertised ten pounds of ice every day.
Come February 2011, the refrigerator broke down, and the plaintiff wasn’t able to use it anymore. By the 6th of March 2011, Electrolux sent the replacement for the 7.9 version of the control panel on the plaintiff’s fridge through MLA.
But even with the new 8.1 version of the control panel, the fridge did not work properly. By April 2011, MLA again sent technicians to Bovero’s home, installing foam strips now near the defective ice maker.
Over the next months, MLA tried fixing the defective control panel by putting in a replacement for two separate occasions, reaching four replacements for the control panel, but nothing worked.
They then filed the class action as the refrigerator unit did not conform to the Written Warranty, Fact Warranties, or implied warranty of merchantability.
Details about the Ice Maker Settlement
A settlement was reached around November 2015, although Electrolux denied any wrongdoing, they resolved the class action to avoid unnecessary costs and wasting time for further litigation.
The Electrolux Ice Maker Settlement class comprises people or groups in the country who originally bought a Gen 1 FDBM, which is a refrigerator-freezer unit with dual refrigerator doors. The Freezer is located below the refrigerator, and must be manufactured by Electrolux between November 2008 and May 2011, and has a Gen 1 ice maker.
Here’s the list of Gen 1FDBMs refrigerators with model numbers that begin as follows, and may have an additional last digit:
- Crosley CFD26WIS
- Electrolux EW23BC71IW
- Crosley CFD28WIS
- Electrolux EW28BS70IB
- Electrolux E23BC78IPS
- Electrolux EW28BS70IS
- Electrolux E23BC78ISS
- Electrolux EW28BS70IW
- Electrolux EI23BC55IB
- Electrolux EW28BS71IB
- Electrolux EI23BC55IS
- Electrolux EW28BS71IS
- Electrolux EI23BC55IW
- Electrolux EW28BS71IW
- Electrolux EI23BC56IB
- Frigidaire FGHB2844LE
- Electrolux EI23BC56IS
- Frigidaire FGHB2844LF
- Electrolux EI23BC56IW
- Frigidaire FGHB2844LM
- Electrolux EI27BS26JB
- Frigidaire FGHB2844LP
- Electrolux EI27BS26JS
- Frigidaire FGHB2846LF
- Electrolux EI27BS26JW
- Frigidaire FGHB2846LM
- Electrolux EI28BS55IB
- Frigidaire FGHB2869LE
- Electrolux EI28BS55IS
- Frigidaire FGHB2869LF
- Electrolux EI28BS55IW
- Frigidaire FGHB2869LP
- Electrolux EI28BS56IB
- Frigidaire FGHB2878LE
- Electrolux EI28BS56IS
- Frigidaire FGHB2878LP
- Electrolux EI28BS56IW
- Frigidaire FGUB2642LE
- Electrolux EW23BC70IB
- Frigidaire FGUB2642LF
- Electrolux EW23BC70IS
- Frigidaire FGUB2642LP
- Electrolux EW23BC70IW
- Frigidaire FPHB2899LF
- Electrolux EW23BC71IB
- Frigidaire LGHB2869LF
- Electrolux EW23BC71IS
- Frigidaire LGUB2642LF
They mounted a Gen 1 ice maker in the refrigerator and dispensed ice cubes through the refrigerator’s door. It cools water to below freezing with liquid coolant circulating through metal tubing inserted vertically into molds filled with water.
Once the court approved the settlement, there should be a final order and judgment in the class action. The court had a hearing for the class action on the 10th of February 2016 to decide if they’d approve the settlement or not.
Eligible class members will receive a check as payment, and they’d have 90 days to cash or deposit. If not, the check will become void, ending in being a donation to the Consumers Union of the United States, Inc.
For the rebate, the payment will be in the form of a prepaid gift or debit card and will be bound by the terms and conditions linked to the use of the card.
Under the settlement, Electrolux will pay $100 to each class member who submits a complete and on-time claim form to be eligible for the payment. If settlement class members send in receipts that prove the qualifying out-of-pocket expenses, then reimbursement is possible for some, if not all.
Settlement class members may also receive a non-transferable $100 rebate that they can use when they buy a qualifying Electrolux or Frigidaire appliance.
There are exclusions from the ice maker settlement, and it will involve people who already received a refund for the purchase cost of a Gen 1 FDBM. People who have received a free exchange refrigerator that doesn’t have a Gen 1 ice maker are also excluded from the settlement class.
Anyone who has a controlling interest in the company, along with its legal representatives, officers, directors, employees, and successors, is also excluded from the settlement case.
Here are others who are excluded from the class:
- Retailers, wholesalers, and people or groups that bought Electrolux products to be sold or resold
- The US government and any groups or instrumentality
- The judge who is handling this case and their immediate family
- People who excluded themselves from the ice maker settlement class
Eligible settlement class members needed to send in a valid claim form by the 3rd of February 2016, but if they wanted to excuse themselves from the settlement case, they needed to send a letter to the Independent Claims Administrator before the 4th of January 2016 at the address: Electrolux Ice Maker Settlement PO Box 2446 Faribault, MN 55021-9140.
The letter must also include:
- Full name and address
- A statement that mentions that they are a class member
- An explicit statement that they wish to be excluded from the class
If in case they didn’t send a timely letter to exclude themselves from the settlement class, they will be bound by the terms of the settlement agreement.
The court scheduled a Fairness Hearing at 1 PM on the 10th of February 2016 in Courtroom 3A at the Mitchell H. Cohen Building & US Courthouse, 4th, and Cooper Street, Camden, New Jersey 08101.
The co-lead class counsel also asked the court to approve payment for them and fees for the counsels of the other plaintiffs, along with additional costs.
About Electrolux Home Products
The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Electrolux North America, Inc. is their parent organization.
They were founded in 1916, and their subsidiaries include Electrolux Home Products International, White Westinghouse Puerto Rico Corp, and White Consolidated, Ltd.
Editor’s Note on Electrolux Ice Maker Settlement:
This article is an old piece requested by one of CTC’s subscribers. The aim is to cover the multiple class action lawsuits filed against Electrolux over faulty Ice Maker and the settlement that was reached accordingly. You might also be interested in the Kotex Settlement over their tampons.
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