LG Washing Machine LawsuitLG Electronics USA Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. have been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the companies of making and selling defective washing machines.

In the class action lawsuit, filed September 19, plaintiff Laury Smith accuses the companies of misrepresenting the functionality of LG’s top-loading washers by labeling them as “high efficiency” machines when they tended to fall apart at high speeds. Despite this defect, the companies claimed the machines featured “extra high” spin speeds of 1,050 to 1,100 revolutions per minute.

The washing machines at issue in the class action lawsuit include LG brand models WT5001CW, WT5101HV and WT5101HW; Kenmore Elite brand models 29002, 29272 and 29278.

Smith purchased a Kenmore Elite Model No. 29272 in November 2011. She paid $579.99 plus sales tax for the machine at a Sears store in Hayward, California. Smith filed the class action lawsuit following LG’s recall of approximately 457,000 washing machines in December 2012. This recall took place after the company received hundreds of reports that the washing machines caused minor property damage and injured one person due to excessive vibrations. After the recall was announced, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicated that the design defects posed a risk of personal injury and property damage.

“The defective washing machines have the same inherent design defects that cause them to shake and vibrate excessively during use due to unbalanced loads that cause internal parts to come loose,” Smith says in in the class action lawsuit.

According to the class action lawsuit, customers were instructed to immediately contact Sears or LG for a free repair, which consisted of a software upgrade on the machine. Smith claims that the upgrade simply capped the machines’ spin speed at 700 rpm and did not actually fix the problems.

“The machines were no longer capable of operating at the advertised ‘extra high’ spin speed setting of 1,050-1,100 RPMs,” the class action lawsuit says. “By reducing the machines’ functionality, defendants stopped the violent shaking and movement caused by the design defects. However, this created a different problem for purchasers because the machines were no longer capable of spinning fast enough to remove excess water from clothing at the end of a wash cycle.”

High-speed spin cycles are desirable because they are able to remove excess water from clothing faster, reducing the laundry’s drying time. In her class action lawsuit, Smith claims that customers “were left with soaking wet laundry that required additional spin cycles to be successfully wring out, thereby negating any ‘high efficiency’ or energy saving promises and representations made by defendants” after the alleged “repair.”
Smith says that customers were also told that their washing machines could no longer handle waterproof clothing, mattress covers, plastic mats or outdoor gear. 

“The defects described in the recall and defendants’ ‘software upgrade’ render the defective washing machines unsuitable for the ordinary purpose for which they were advertised, marketed and sold — i.e., as high efficiency washing machines. And the machines’ defects are incapable of being repaired in a manner that would enable the defective washing machines to perform as advertised,” the complaint states.

Smith is bringing claims of unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and California’s False Advertising Law.

Smith is represented by L. Timothy Fisher, Sarah N. Westcot and Annick M. Persinger of Bursor & Fisher PA, and Barry L. Davis and Aaron P. Davis of Thornton Davis & Fein PA.

The Sears LG Washing Machine Class Action Lawsuit is Laury Smith v. LG Electronics USA Inc., et al., Case No. 4:13-cv-04361, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Update: The Sears, LG Washing Machine Class Action Lawsuit was dismissed on March 11, 2013.

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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.

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25 Comments

  • Wanda Esker October 2, 2013

    I hope to see a lawsuit against Sears Lg Washer, model #WM2016CW, Front load. Have pictures of mold on rubber rim inside the door and an odor from the tub, I have to leave the door open on the washer for it smells bad if I keep it closed. I called Sears and they told me if I would come in they would show me another washer, bought this wash in 2008 and it had mold on it 3 months later when I called them, we don’t have the money to buy a washer every few months and I wash a couple of loads of clothes a week, just for me and my husband. Thank you, Wanda Esker

    • Joel Tilson January 30, 2014

      There is a class action lawsuit on this model. We solved our mold problem by not using liquid fabric softener. We use dryer fabric softener sheets instead. Liquid fabric softener is purified animal fat with perfume. We bought the product Washer Fan which is placed on the back of the washer. It dries out the inside of the front load thus eliminating and preventing the mold and mildew. Leave the Front Load washer slightly open when not using it. We also flush the machine one a month with bleach on clean tub cycle.

  • Cynt October 4, 2013

    Can you please send me the information on how to do a claim for my LG washing machine

  • Tammy October 7, 2013

    You can ad the GE WHRE5550K2WW Washer High Efficiency to this also. I just had the motor with the computer replaced on mine for the second time on 10/3/2013, since I purchased it on 05/04/2010! The first replacement was after 10 months and the repair man said to make sure I got an extended warranty on it because these parts go bad and it’s going to happen again, so I did and sure enough it’s replaced for a second time. The clothes during the 6 months to a year that the grinding goes on before it breaks, don’t spin out dry enough therefore I spend more money on drying cloths. The Ge repair man said it was due to the high efficiency regulations put on the washers that make them breakdown so fast and they use plastic parts (inatiquite) part material, so I have to keep a extended warranty on my washer due to defective parts used by GE. That is wrong plus my washer is not the HIGH EFFECIENCY washer it was suppose to be and is making my dry over work so I have to dry cloths 1 1/2 cycles to dry so it is no longer ENERGY EFFICIENT either!! Since 6/11/2011 extended warranties have cost me $216.85 and the washer cost $426.55.
    Thank you!

  • Eriselda October 8, 2013

    Same problem here my model of washer was 110.1703,2704,2705,2715 fix to many times that I just need one last fix to be replaced for a new one but warranty had expired so for me I was scruded up so i ended trowing it again away

  • Mauricio Murcia October 9, 2013

    We did have a problem with model LG WT5101HV, which warranty expired, and had to pay to get it fix, finally we ended by buying a new one.

  • Diane Kunkle October 11, 2013

    I had the same problem with my Kenmore Elite Model # 110.2707,2707,2708, 2709. It would vibrate so violently that we were unable to hear each other talking two rooms away! Had it fixed once and the same problem occurred. We ended up getting a new one. It also damaged clothing and especially towels. I hope I can be included in this law suit. Thanks

  • Rachel Parks October 12, 2013

    I had the same problem with my Kenmore Elite Model # 110.27006,2707,2 708, 2709. Mine would vibrate and sounds super loud from the drain pump it would shake and not operate functionally. It has been fixed several times by Sears with the same problem reoccuring. Who has the info on how to file a claim?

  • Megan October 15, 2013

    Not only did it cap the spin speed but I was told it would also LENGTHEN the amount of time it took to do a load of laundry!!! When I asked the man what he did to fix the issue he said he just changed some of the computer programming. HOW IN THE WORLD IS THAT A FIX TO THE ISSUE?!?!? That is not a solution nor a fix for a problem…but rather a way for a company to easily get out of dealing with issues of excessive vibrations and shaking in the future!

  • richard pregent November 1, 2013

    We had to replace smelly mouldy part on Kenmore HE2 front loader at cost of 400$

  • J Ranson November 4, 2013

    The inadequate corrective action LG has taken was to upgrade the program in the washing machine, apply a new caution sticker and revise the corresponding literature. Furthermore, after this recall “update” service, my LG washing machine malfunctioned and no longer operates at all.

  • Jeff Grannum November 19, 2013

    Everyone with this machine should be aware that the so-called fix has created a serious problem regarding the computer’s ability to determine the time to complete wash cycles. As soon as we received the software upgrade, our machine began to extend operating times by 30-45 minutes or more. Last night our machine ran for over 2-hours (for a 55-minute wash) before we had to manually turn it off. The countdown timer went from displaying 10-minutes remaining (for over 15 minutes) to INCREASING to “20-minutes remaining”. This “Energy Star” appliance now wastes more water and electricity than the 20-year old machine it replaced!

    • Jayne January 18, 2014

      Oh my gosh, I am having the same problems with stuck software cycles. If I am not there to monitor the machine, pressing pause to reset, it will continue to sometimes repeat a wash/rinse cycle 4-5 different times or stick on a cycle and continue for 2 hrs. (my limit, obviously). It will show 11 minutes remaining on the display for however long I choose to wait, before I press pause, then it will reset at 4 minutes and complete the cycle. I have been on the phone with LG 5-6 different times, been assigned 3 different case #’s and talked with 5-6 different people who still, to this day, have not proven to me that they understand what my concerns actually are. They would not even let me talk to a supervisor upon my request. As I see it it is a huge software screwup-up. I live in a major metropolitian city, Cincinnati OH where LG is now telling me they do not have a service provider in my area. This is been going on since Nov. 2013 after they did the so called recall fix on my machine. I was thrilled with the machine prior to the fix. Apparently, the person who did the fix is no longer able to be contacted by phone. I am currently waiting for a return call from another special department, Returns? to talk about “something”, not sure what per the last person I talked to, according the them, they don’t know. So, I continue to get the “run-around”…

  • Cindy Farmer November 19, 2013

    My 2.5 year old LG washer apparently sprung a leak inside causing damage to the drive shaft bearings…rusty and moldy. 500.00 repairs. I am also having issue with my LG range, never worked from factory, lg replaced after 3 months of not working, shipped replacement that obviously was refurbished, new one is now not working, after 10 mths. Garbage.

  • Robert klausing November 26, 2013

    finding Mold around the rubber seal and liquid despenser in my LG front load washing machine.

  • Denise Clark December 17, 2013

    I have an LG front load washer and the mold build up is nasty and smelly.
    I couldn’t figure out why my clean clothes smelled so nasty.
    I’ve tried to clean the washer with washer cleaners and even tried to run just bleach through it nothing helps
    Please send me information on lawsuit

  • Teresa Tuggle December 22, 2013

    I have a LG WT4870CW that didn’t swish water on the first load (service call made). No hot water for months until LG made a SmartDiagnostics washer to cell phone (mine) diagnosis after multiple calls and putting me off. Then 6 months after I bought it a loud thunking and rubber/metal rubbing noise started. Service call repairman heard noise and couldn’t find anything after he took the machine apart and put it back together. THEN and only THEN did I hear the oceans of water cleaning my clothes. Noise happened on Load Sensing only the first wash after he left. I called. LG said call again when I heard it. A few weeks later, I heard it again. LG said it was unbalanced although no LE on electronic screen. Third time I heard it, I stopped washer, rearranged clothes, and hear it again on start up. I called LG. I started washer while on phone and phone rep heard it. She sent a repairman, who said he thought it was the tub basket seal. Before he left I said I wanted to start a load (I had learned from past experience. THE WASHER DIDN’T START at all. LE was the electronic code flashing. The repairman asked for my LG Washer book, which I couldn’t find right then. He left me with a nonfunctioning washer that would be repaired after Christmas, over a week later. I wrote the AG for Missouri and also contacted LG, who had spoken to the repairman when I called when the washer didn’t start at the end of the service call. LG said the parts were being 2nd day aired. They arrived 12-20 but the repair company who is out of town said they couldn’t come until 12-23-13. I now will not see my 75 year old mother until after Christmas because I am waiting for a visit from the repair service. I could have driven 12-21 except for the visit on 12-23. We have just been hit by a tremendous ice storm. I wonder if the out-of-town LG service repairman will even come on 12-23. I also learned that LE means the motor is over heating. The repairperson on 12-16 tried to tell me I had put too much soap in the dispenser and made me wash it out when the washer wasn’t working. It still flashed LE. The book, which I found later, said the machine should be unplugged when you see LE because it was some sort of thermal circuit overload. FIRE HAZARD. I took a picture of the LE screen before I unplugged it 3.5 days later when I read what the LG book said. I called LG. They insisted the washer would be fixed on 12-23. I had already asked for a replacement because I think it was defective from the factory since the first load had a problem, the water wouldn’t get hot, the water wasn’t coming out properly until the Oct 31 visit, and now the noises and nonfunctioning washer. Here I sit in the middle of an ice storm instead of a place with 70 degrees waiting for a repairperson tomorrow who has to take BACK ROADS to get here. I hope I can leave on Christmas Eve to see my family. I asked LG for a refund at the end of the conversation on 12-21. They refused. They are sending that out-of-town repairperson who asked ME for the LG instruction book when the washer didn’t turn on on 12-16. Can somebody sue LG for me? I don’t want one of their products ever again.

  • Mike Klemen December 27, 2013

    How do become part of this lawsuit? We have ours worked on a half dozen times and you never know what it is going to do. Puts hot water in instead of cold or cold instead of hot, adds water in the spin cycle, adds time in the middle of the cycle, stops working in the middle of the cycle. I will NEVER buy an LG product again.

  • Jkap January 8, 2014

    I have a lg washer that smells like musty old locker room. I want like to know more about law suit.

  • Allison February 11, 2014

    I have the Kenmore Elite Frontloader Machine. I have to leave the door open to keep it from smelling and even then it does. The clothes in the front of the washer come out smelling pretty bad. Is there a class action for this one?

  • Craig Harr February 19, 2014

    My 4 year old LG front loader started leaking so I had to contact a repairman to fix it. There is a retainer spring that goes all the way around the rubber seal that holds the boot in place and there never was a spring retainer installed from the factory. I don’t know why it didn’t leak sooner. I will never buy a LG appliance again, and I’m done with buying appliances from Sears. I should have know better after my LG dishwasher and refriderator went south after 4 years.

  • Jim Mueller April 22, 2014

    We have had the vibration issue on our model WT5001. We reduced the amount of items that we put into the washer in order to avoid the vibraion. This is frustrating. It causes us to run more wash cycles to do the same number of items we could do with our previous machine. Where is the energy savings in that?

    We have an even bigger issue which the company has told us that there is nothing to be fixed. On the hot/cold cycle, we expect the the water to come out hot but it does not, it comes out luke warm (even cooler than what you might expect for the warm cycle). My wife has to turn the cold water off during the hot cycle fill inorder to get water that is hot.
    Again, we are told that there is nothing wrong with the machine. We have used washers for many many years and this is the first time that either of us has seen a washer operate this way. This is rediculous operation and we are extremely disatisfied.

  • Sheila Parks June 7, 2014

    I have a LG front loading washing machine purchased from sears. The numbers on the front are WM2016CW. not only is the large inside door gasket covered in mold but also the inside and the underside of the detergent/softener/bleach drawer is covered in mold. It is horrendous! I definitely want this machine to be replaced with a top loading machine!!!! Is there currently any action being taken and how do I opt in?

    • Sheila Parks June 7, 2014

      Sorry had to correct my e-mail address.

  • Terence C September 8, 2014

    I purchased a Sears Elite washer and dryer and less that one year it malfunctioned, the clutch need to be replaced but before that I noticed the vibration was really bad in the spin and wash cycle but I never knew that the unit was going to stop working! I contacted Sears and the customer service personnel was unwilling to help me resolve any issues relating to the repair or replacement of the unit. They refused to give a warranty or extend the warranty of the defective washer. The question is why are they selling them if they know they are bad, they don’t won’t to lose money but no one has warned the customers of the risk in purchasing this defective machine. Now Sears Service won’t even talk to me!

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