A proposed false advertising class action lawsuit claims the AquaLift “self-cleaning” function available for several brands of Whirlpool Corporation-manufactured ovens is essentially useless, and that the company has misled consumers.
According to the lawsuit, which has been removed to Michigan’s Eastern District Court, the defendant’s Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, and Jenn-Air ovens are equipped with what Whirlpool purports to be a “first-of-its kind [sic] cleaning solution” that supposedly uses water and low heat to “release tough baked-on soils from the oven interior in less than 1 hour.”
As the lawsuit tells it, however, this is decidedly untrue. Whirlpool, despite prevalently touting its AquaLift technology on its website, in-store displays, and product information labels, has known even prior to launching the ovens in February 2012 that the feature could not function as advertised. The manufacturer allegedly failed to mention in marketing materials that the self-cleaning function would only work on the bottom of the oven, and may require several cycles. The complaint stresses that “hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers nationwide” have complained publicly and directly to Whirlpool, and the company itself and its authorized sellers have reportedly admitted that AquaLift “does not work.”
Moreover, the lawsuit cites numerous complaints from consumers who claimed the AquaLift feature did not function at all, leaving them with no choice but to manually clean their ovens—a task they say they specifically attempted to avoid by purchasing the defendant’s supposedly self-cleaning products.
The case claims Whirlpool is well aware of the apparent deficiencies in its products, as it has been on the receiving end of several other lawsuits alleging similar claims and has offered consumers refunds and exchanges “on an ad hoc basis” in response to complaints. The complaint alleges, however, that Whirlpool “has made no effort, and undertaken no steps, to compensate all consumers who were duped into purchasing AquaLift Ovens.”
The suit seeks to cover anyone who purchased in Michigan a Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, or Jenn-Air oven equipped with the AquaLift feature.