A class action lawsuit has been filed against LG Electronics alleging a defect is causing some of its fridges to stop cooling.
The refrigerators at issue contain linear compressors, which were supposedly meant to make the fridges more reliable and durable. For many consumers, however, the refrigerators have stopped working within 36 months of use in what one news outlet calls a “pandemic of dying fridges.”
The lawsuit says that the cooling problem stems from a defect that is causing the linear compressor – the part that’s responsible for cooling the refrigerator – to fail. When this happens, the fridge will start to warm and food will begin to spoil. Some consumers who had this problem have reportedly been forced to “live out of coolers” or prematurely replace their fridges.
According to the lawsuit, the problem starts in the tubing of the evaporator, a part that works in conjunction with the linear compressor. The suit says that the tubing is “prone to corrosion and pitting” and that small holes can develop, which can cause leaks and allow air to enter. Because of this “air leakage,” the refrigerant that moves from the evaporator to the condenser generates excess pressure that puts stress on the compressor, according to the suit.
The compressor can’t take this additional pressure, the suit says, and begins to fail. It is usually the discharge valve in the compressor that is the first to go, as it is the weakest component.
Even if the fridges are serviced, they will likely fail again within two years because LG technicians are allegedly using the same defective parts in repairs. So, even though their refrigerators were “fixed,” several of the plaintiffs later noticed that food was again going bad and that their fridges were not keeping cool.