Earlier this week a U.S. District Judge granted class certification to a suit alleging that Frigidaire washing machines are defective and allow water build up, resulting in mold and mildew growth. Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division found that class treatment was the fairest way to address the complaints. The certification was granted to both California and Texas consumers.
Plaintiffs in both states accuse Frigidaire of knowing about the defects.
The motion for class certification was filed in 2011 by plaintiffs who accused the company of selling washing machines that allow standing water to build up due to a defective design in the surface of the gasket. Following use, plaintiffs said, water could collect without draining away, leading to mildew and other problems. The front-loading washing machines are produced by Electrolux Home Products Inc., which currently faces similar lawsuits over allegations that defects in several models of its washing machine can lead to mold growth. It has also been alleged that certain defects within the machines may cause flooding or overflowing due to a sensor failure. Other manufacturers, including Whirlpool and Sears, are also facing class action lawsuits over alleged defects within their own products.
In approving the motion for class certification, Judge Wood noted that the proposed class members shares common issues, including whether a defect existed in the design of the bellows, whether this defect would lead to mold growth, and whether the company was aware of the problem and had provided enough of a warning to consumers.
Two states classes have now been approved: all those who bought front-loading Frigidaire washing machines in California or Texas after March 2004. Plaintiffs in both states accuse Frigidaire of knowing about the defects but failing to recall the units, inform consumers of the problem, or fulfill warranties by repairing or replacing the washing machines that exhibited mold and mildew growth.
The complaint notes than more than one million allegedly defective have been sold by the company.