November 8th, 2012

Whirlpool appliances have been a fixture in American homes for generations. The company’s washing machines are commonly known for their durability and innovative technology. However, Ohio consumers are taking the company to court over alleged defects that prevent clothes from becoming clean.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Whirlpool. Consumers allege that front-loading washers accumulate mold and mildew that causes clothes to smell even though they are clean. Essentially, the machines do not rinse out all the detergent and fabric softener, and the washing drum does not completely drain. This standing fluid causes molding on the back wall of the drum, which is commonly not seen by consumers, even though the smell is apparent.

The case stems from the complaints from to Plaintiffs whose clothes and towels began smelling like mildew within months after purchasing Whirlpool washing machines. They claim that the company recommended that they use special cleaning tablets to resolve the problem, and that the washers were not defective. Documents filed in federal court allege that Whirlpool knew about the problems but did not advise consumers or address design defects that caused the mold.

The current class action is only limited to a select group of washers (Whirlpool Duet, Duet HT, and Duet Sport) and only Ohio residents may participate in the suit. However, the case could serve as a test case for future class actions against Whirlpool. Apparently there are several similar complaints involving 21 models and more than a million consumers across the United States.

Meanwhile, the Ohio case is scheduled for trial in March 2013.

Source: Cleveland.com, Whirlpool front-loading washers accumulate mold, class-action lawsuit says, November 8, 2012

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