Consumer lawsuits charged that certain Whirlpool Duet front load washers purchased prior to 2010 have a defective design that leads to the buildup of mold and mildew and produces foul odors. As a result of the alleged defects, owners of Duet washers have been required to run extra cleaning cycles, leave the door open between uses, and wipe down the washer after every use with bleach.
The lawsuits argued that Whirlpool was aware of the problem with its Duet washers, yet did not fix the problem. In fact, Whirlpool sought to profit from the defect. The company instructed consumers — only after purchase — to regularly buy and use Affresh, a product marketed and sold by Whirlpool, to reduce the effects of the mold and mildew issue. This cleaning product, however, did not fix the problem.
Settlement Reached Over Whirlpool, Kenmore, and Maytag Moldy Washers
A settlement was reached with Whirlpool Corporation and Sears, Roebuck and Co. in several class action lawsuits claiming that certain front-loading washing machines manufactured between 2001 and 2010 fail to adequately self-clean themselves of laundry residue, resulting in mold or mildew buildup that can cause bad odors and ruined laundry. The settlement received final approval on September 23, 2016.