Whirlpool Sued Again for Allegedly Defective Dishwashers
The proposed class action alleges that hundreds of dishwasher models manufactured by Whirlpool and sold under the KitchenAid, JennAir, Maytag, and Kenmore brand names have a defect resulting in significant leakage and property damage.
The Class Action Lawsuit
Filed in a federal court in Minnesota, the 48-paged lawsuit attributes the costly problem, affecting over 900 Whirlpool-made dishwasher models, to an improperly oriented pump motor diverter shaft seal — a small ring located at the bottom of a dishwasher.
According to the complaint, the inverted orientation of the pump motor diverter stem seal in affected dishwashers can accelerate seal degradation and allow debris from dirty dishes to accumulate.
It would prevent the shaft seal spring from properly sealing off the water between the diverter shaft and the sump of the dishwasher.
As a result of the defect, dishwashers can leak significantly from the bottom, causing damage to cabinets, flooring, and other property in a customer’s home, according to the lawsuit.
While the diverter shaft seal is supposed to be affixed “in an orientation towards the tub” to be protected, the affected dishwashers have seals affixed inverted.
This leaves the seal exposed to hot soapy water and debris from dirty dishes, according to Whirlpool’s manufacturer’s installation instructions.
As per the plaintiff, water will leak between the sump and tub. Ultimately, it will leak through the entire device onto floors and within cabinetry as debris and soap exposure build up, and the poorly placed seal degrades (pictured).
In addition, leakage from the seal defect “often starts so slowly” that a customer does not realize the issue until the seal has completely failed, causing damage to their kitchen or other property.
Overall, the plaintiff claims that Whirlpool’s advertisement of its dishwashers — ranging at the price of $500-$700 — as “high-quality” and “industry-leading” in terms of consumer repairs is misleading.
It was also mentioned that affected Whirlpool dishwashers often malfunction before ten years of usage and several times within the first four years.
Dhaval Shah and Thomas McCormick, the lead plaintiffs in the latest class action lawsuit, filed it on April 16 in California.
Shah claims he paid $600 for his KitchenAid dishwasher in 2016, believing it to be a high-end model.
However, he claims that the dishwasher began to leak water over his floor and under the baseboards of his kitchen cabinetry in October 2020.
According to the class action, a technician advised him to repair the sump and motor assembly, where the shaft seal is mounted.
According to the claim, McCormick, who paid $800 for his dishwasher from Home Depot in 2018, had a similar experience.
As per the class action lawsuit, McCormick discovered leakage outside his dishwasher in April 2021, which had significantly damaged surrounding flooring. In addition, he paid $300 for a new assembly and is awaiting a repair estimate for his floors.
Both Shah and McCormick claim that Whirlpool is aware of the defective diverter shaft seal but has done little about it, similar to the previous class action case.
Shah and McCormick want to represent a group of Californians who own or previously owned a Whirlpool dishwasher with an inverted diverter shaft seal.
They claim breach of warranty, breach of contract, wrongful enrichment, neglect, and dishonest concealment as grounds for their lawsuit.
They are asking for class certification, compensation, reimbursement, legal expenses, and a court hearing.
Whirlpool Continues to Refuse Warranty Replacements
Whirlpool also announced that it would cover the cost of Factory Specified Replacement Parts and labor to fix material or workmanship defects. However, the firm has done the very opposite and often rejects warranty requests and sales reps.
Regardless of whether the seal fault manifests during a consumer’s one-year warranty period—and despite recognizing that it sold faulty dishwashers—Whirlpool “refuses to fix or repair” the goods.
Instead, they offer only to sell a complete sump assembly with a new but still defective diverter shaft seal attached to it.
Furthermore, despite understanding the existence and scope of the Whirlpool seal flaw, many appliance repair firms “do not want to risk removing the sump assembly” for fear that the new diverter shaft seal will be mounted upside down and fail again, according to the class action.
Whirlpool’s warranty is “unconscionable” since the company knew about the seal defect at the time of sale and has only provided “band-aid” repairs that don’t fix the issue.
Editor’s Note on Whirlpool Defective Dishwashers Class Action Lawsuit:
This article is published to inform you of the latest class action lawsuit filed against Whirlpool’s Dishwashers due to allegations that they produce defective dishwashers and refuse warranty replacements.
Case Name & No.: The Whirlpool Defective Dishwasher Class Action Lawsuit is Shah v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:21-cv-02739, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California San Francisco Division
Products/Services: Whirlpool Dishwashers
Allegations: Whirlpool manufactures defective dishwashers, causing damages to households
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