Whirlpool recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging some of its refrigerators are defective.
If you have a Whirlpool appliance, listen up. Recently, Whirlpool announced that it plans to pay $21 million to settle claims that “some of their refrigerators with a bottom freezer have defective drain tubes that may cause water to leak out.” Consumers who purchased the affected refrigerators as gifts or part of a home remodel are eligible for the settlement funds. Unsure if your refrigerator is included in the settlement? Check the list of eligible models here. According to Whirlpool, the refrigerators included in the settlement were sold under a variety of brand names, including Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and Amana.
The settlement is a result of a class-action lawsuit that was filed against the company and Maytag back in 2015. It was filed by Julie Corzine over allegations that “some of their refrigerator models were defective which lead to a build-up of ice that eventually causes water leakage from the bottom of the appliances.”
Initially, Whirlpool pushed back against the claims in the suit, but was forced to acknowledge the allegations “by a federal judge in October 2016.” After analyzing the plaintiff’s claims, the judge determined that her “breach of warranty allegations were able to proceed.” As a result, Whirlpool finally agreed to settle the class-action claims against it and will “pay $21 million and will continue its replacement parts program through the end of 2021.”
So what does this mean for class members? For starters, it means they are eligible to collect up to $150 in compensation, though the amount they will be “reimbursed for depends on when the repairs were made.” For example, according to the settlement agreement, the following reimbursement rules apply:
- 100 percent reimbursement for parts and labor costs for qualifying repairs paid for in years one to three after purchase
- 100 percent reimbursement for parts and 65 percent reimbursement of labor costs for qualifying repairs paid for in year four after purchase
- 100 percent reimbursement for parts and 50 percent reimbursement of labor costs for qualifying repairs paid for in year five after purchase
According to the terms of the settlement, consumers can file a valid Claim Form until January 22, 2020, though “proof is required to validate repair costs.” Additionally, “consumers can contact Whirlpool about a future freezing event until December 31, 2021, for models in Group A and until December 31, 2026, for models in Group B.” At the moment, the hearing to officially approve the settlement is scheduled for November 22, 2019.