Are you constantly fidgeting with the temperature control settings on your Samsung refrigerator? Does the internal temperature of your fridge keep changing? If so, the problem, according to a new lawsuit, might be the result of a defect.
A number of Samsung refrigerators—no, not those refrigerators—with double French doors and a bottom freezer are defective in that they run too hot on the inside—that is, above the temperature at which food can be safely stored, a proposed class action says.
The 38-page lawsuit out of New Jersey says that the apparent temperature defect is “fatal” to the operation of the Samsung fridges, which as a result, the case argues, have no value because they cannot be safely used.
Be sure to scroll down to see which Samsung refrigerators are mentioned in the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, Samsung knew that the French-door refrigerators at issue were unable to maintain an appropriate internal temperature and that the appliances, therefore, were “inherently defective, unmerchantable and unfit for their intended use.”
As the case tells it, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received between January 2019 and December 2021 more than 600 complaints about the Samsung fridges listed on this page.
The suit charges that despite its knowledge of the temperature defect, Samsung has continued selling the “unreasonably dangerous” refrigerators without warning consumers, recalling the products, offering to repair the fridges free of charge or refunding buyers for the purchase price.
“Had Plaintiffs and class members known of this serious safety risk, they would not have purchased the Refrigerators, would have paid substantially less for their Refrigerators than they paid, and/or would have removed them from their homes before the temperature control functionality failed,” the case argues.
Which Samsung refrigerators does the class action say are defective?
According to the complaint, the Samsung fridges at issue all feature a twin-door (or “French door”) design at the top with a freezer drawer on the bottom. Affected model numbers include, but are not limited to, RF28HMEDBSR/AA, RFG298HDRS/XAA, RF28HDEDBSR/AA, RF26HFENDSR, RF26J7500SR, and RF27T5201SG.
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The affected Samsung fridges range in price from roughly $1,000 to $3,000, according to the case. The lawsuit claims that Samsung “routinely” denies warranty claims filed over the apparent temperature control defect.
Consumers’ alleged experiences
One plaintiff, a Laguna Hills, California resident, claims to have noticed within a few months of buying his Samsung fridge that some of the food on the bottom of the appliance was frozen. Per the case, the man attempted to change the temperature settings so that food stored at the bottom of the fridge would not freeze, but this did not work. The man also noticed that food stored at the top of the fridge was at a temperature “too high to be safe for food storage,” the suit says.
According to the lawsuit, this plaintiff, using a thermal imaging camera, took photographs of his fridge that revealed an unsafe variation in temperature inside the appliance:
The complaint adds that when a Samsung technician came to the plaintiff’s home to repair his fridge’s system board, the tech and the consumer noticed “scorch marks” on the back of the appliance. Even after the system board was replaced, the fridge continued to fail to maintain a safe temperature, the suit alleges.
A second plaintiff, a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania resident, claims to have noticed earlier this year that her food and drinks “did not seem to be as cold as they used to be” and that ice was forming on her fridge’s back panel. When a Samsung tech came to this plaintiff’s house in March, the consumer learned that the cooling panel on the back of her fridge was “totally blown” and that the compressor was not working, the lawsuit says.
“[The technician] said that the Refrigerator’s failure to keep a safe temperature was a known defect that ‘cannot be fixed,’” the filing reads.
Who’s covered by the lawsuit?
The lawsuit looks to cover all residents of the United States and its territories who purchased a new Samsung refrigerator (or otherwise acquired one), as described on this page, primarily for household use and not for resale.
I own one of these fridges. How do I get involved?
In general, there’s nothing you need to do to “join” or add your name to a proposed class action case when it is first filed. It’s typically only if and when a lawsuit settles that action is needed. This may involve filing a claim form online or by mail.
If you end up being “covered” by a lawsuit that settles, you would most likely receive a notice containing information on what you need to do to file a claim, what your legal rights are and what proof you might need to submit.
Most class action lawsuits take time to work through the legal process, usually toward a settlement, dismissal or arbitration. For now, Samsung fridge owners, and anyone else interested in class action lawsuit and settlement news, should sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter.
A PDF of the complaint is embedded below.