A proposed class action claims the makers of Wolf appliances have failed to disclose to consumers that their gas stoves, cooktops and ovens emit harmful air pollutants.
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The 33-page lawsuit alleges defendants Sub-Zero Group, Inc. and Wolf Appliance, Inc. have known yet actively concealed that their products expose consumers to nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter at levels considered unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the suit, studies have long shown that gas cooking with products such as the defendants’ appliances circulate air pollutants linked to an increased risk of respiratory illness, cardiovascular problems, cancer and other health conditions.
“Manufacturers also can—and should—disclose the risk of pollutants to consumers, who can then make an informed choice about whether to buy a gas or electric appliance (which does not carry the same risk),” the case says, contending that Wolf and Sub-Zero could have reasonably designed their gas cooking appliances to reduce the level of harmful pollutants they release into consumers’ households.
The plaintiff, an Illinois resident who purchased a Wolf gas cooktop in 2018, says he would not have bought the product, or would have paid significantly less for it, had he known it emitted harmful nitrogen oxides and pollutants when used for cooking.
Per the suit, recent EPA research has shown that long-term exposure to nitrogen oxides is linked to “cardiovascular effects, diabetes, poorer birth outcomes, premature mortality, and cancer,” as well as reduced cognitive performance, especially in children.
Although the average consumer may not know the risks associated with gas appliances, large companies like Sub-Zero Group and Wolf Appliance routinely monitor and keep track of research on the health effects of their products, the complaint claims.
“Consumers remain unaware because nothing on Defendants’ packaging, instructions, or warning labels suggest that the gas cooking appliances regularly emit pollutants that are harmful to human health,” the filing contends.
Ultimately, the defendants had a duty to warn consumers that their gas ovens, cooktops and stoves contain a design defect that poses an “unreasonable safety hazard,” the suit claims.