HomeBusinessExpensive fridges are dying young. Owners are suing, claiming fraud

Expensive fridges are dying young. Owners are suing, claiming fraud

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Betsy Anderson’s luck with refrigerators stinks as badly as the food she’s tried to keep cold. 

“One morning I went to get milk out and it was sour,” said the Redwood City homeowner.  

First, a $2,800 Kenmore Elite fridge — with an LG compressor inside — died in late 2019. “It was like 15 months old,” she said. “It basically stopped working. It wasn’t cold.”

Anderson filed for warranty service. But after two months of replacement parts failing, techs canceling service calls, and Thanksgiving approaching, she broke down and bought another fridge: a brand-new LG. 

Groundhog day: $2K fridge edition

It only lived four years. “That just died, this year. Same thing. And I didn’t even bother calling them,” Anderson said.  

If you’re keeping score, that’s one Redwood City home with two dead fridges in just five years. “Yeah, two,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, we bought another LG fridge. So, I guess that’s the definition of insanity, right?” 

Betsy’s not alone. We searched our nationwide Responds complaint database. Over the past few years, our NBC and Telemundo sister stations around the country have heard from dozens of upset LG and Kenmore owners. 

Terese in Philadelphia said her fridge failed when it was “only seven months old.” Bernadette in San Diego said “technicians have been to my home seven times.” That sounds a lot like Kaare in LA’s story… “[The] fix lasted one week. I have had a total of six repair visits and have not had a working refrigerator for two months.”

Some frustrated fridge owners are heading to court. 

Fed up and off to federal court

“It’s a nationwide issue,” said Los Angeles attorney Azar Mouzari. She represents plaintiffs who are now suing LG. She says her firm is focused on a critical part called the linear compressor inside LG and some Kenmore refrigerators. “Which is really the heart of the refrigerator,” Mouzari said. “It’s what keeps the food cold.” 

According to LG literature, the linear compressor uses less energy and makes less noise than other compressors. LG offers a 10-year warranty and, online, boasts “20-year durability.” But Mouzari argues in the lawsuit the linear compressor’s actual lifespan is nowhere near 10 years, let alone 20. Her suit claims they frequently break down far earlier — and LG knows it.

Mouzari is asking a federal judge to make her clients’ lawsuit a class action because she believes droves of families are facing the same breakdown. “Thousands, if not tens of thousands,” she said. “We have been inundated with calls.”  

Old problem, new claim: fraud

LG previously faced litigation over its refrigerator, including compressor failures. In 2018, LG settled a different, class-action lawsuit. Mouzari’s suit is new. And it makes a new claim: fraud. She argues in the suit that LG is defrauding people like Betsy because it continues to make a linear compressor that falls short of its “20-year durability.” 

“We know that they’ve known about this issue. And they know the rate of failure is just unreasonably high,” Mouzari said.  

Mouzari also names in her suit several major, national chain stores that sold LG and Kenmore refrigerators. “Because those retailers were aware of the issue,” she explained. 

We contacted LG and Kenmore about the lawsuit. LG told our L.A. responds team that the company does not comment on pending litigation. It is fighting the suit in court. 

When LG settled the previous class action suit, the agreement said LG, “specifically denies any alleged defect in the LG refrigerators.” Kenmore says it no longer sells refrigerators with an LG compressor. 

Mouzari says the new lawsuit is gaining traction. 

100+ plaintiffs, so far

“Currently, we have 102 plaintiffs,” she noted. “We are getting calls all the time.”

She wants LG to extend people’s warranties up to 20 years. And refund anyone who says they bought a dud LG or Kenmore after 2018. People like Betsy.

“It’s a tremendous hassle,” she said. “I think they should make it right. And I think they should do a recall like an automaker.”

If you bought an LG or Kenmore refrigerator after 2018, you can contact Mouzari’s firm to learn more about the lawsuit. 



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