A class action alleges the “black stainless steel” finish for certain Samsung appliances is nothing more than a “thin plastic coating” prone to peel, chip, flake and prematurely degrade after ordinary use.
A proposed class action alleges the “black stainless steel” finish for certain Samsung appliances is nothing more than a “thin plastic coating” prone to peel, chip, flake and prematurely degrade after ordinary use.
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The 35-page lawsuit in Texas federal court alleges defendant Samsung Electronics America has falsely advertised its premium-priced, purportedly durable black stainless steel finish for kitchen appliances while concealing from consumers the “defect” that causes the finish to break down over the course of only a few years of normal use. As the suit tells it, consumers do not report such issues with Samsung appliances sold with stainless steel, white, or black finishes.
In addition to what the case calls the “obvious aesthetic ramifications” of the propensity of black stainless steel Samsung refrigerators, ovens, cooktops, microwaves and dishwashers to shed their finish prematurely, the complaint stresses proposed class members must also contend with the potential of ingesting the finish once it flakes or peels off.
“Owners of Black Stainless Steel Appliances risk, through regular use, having the defect contaminate the food cooked or cleaned in the appliances, and potentially cause related harm resulting from the ingestion of the ‘black stainless steel finish,’” the lawsuit reads.
Overall, the apparent defect that causes the black stainless steel finish of certain Samsung kitchen appliances to deteriorate prematurely significantly reduces the products’ value and accelerates their depreciation “beyond reasonable consumer expectations,” the case alleges.
According to the complaint, Samsung has known of the black stainless steel defect for “several years” yet “did not, and does not, disclose or provide any information” about the problem to consumers. The suit argues Samsung appliances with a black stainless steel finish, as a result of the apparent defect, do not satisfy several of the key purposes for which they were bought, including cooking food or cleaning dishes without damaging their exterior, maintaining their “signature aesthetics” and cooking food without the risk that plastic flakes or pieces will be dislodged and possibly contaminate food or be ingested.
“Plaintiff would not have purchased the Black Stainless Steel Appliances or paid a premium purchase price for the ‘black stainless steel’ finish if he knew that the finish was simply a plastic coating that was prone to peeling, chipping, flaking and premature degradation,” the suit contends.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff, a Texas consumer, believes he paid between $100 and $200 extra for his Samsung appliances to come with the company’s black stainless steel finish. After roughly three years of use, however, the plaintiff noticed the finish was peeling off, flaking and prematurely degrading, the case says, noting the consumer shortly thereafter discovered similar complaints from other Samsung buyers online.
Included in the complaint are a number of other photos purporting to show the alleged black stainless steel defect:
According to the lawsuit, Samsung, rather than aid consumers whose appliances have begun displaying the apparent defect, instead “disavows any warranty coverage or responsibility” for the problem while maintaining that, because it considers the defect to be a purely cosmetic issue, it “is obligated to provide no relief to consumers.” The case slams Samsung for its alleged failure to implement a recall or repair program to adequately announce the existence of the black stainless steel defect and provide consumers with an effective solution to correct the issue.
The lawsuit looks to represent all persons and entities in the United States who bought one or more Samsung-branded appliances featuring a “black stainless steel” finish.
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