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GE Refrigerator Class Action Lawsuit

In a lawsuit filed in the Western District of Kentucky, two plaintiffs have initiated a class action against Haier US Appliance Solutions, Inc., doing business as GE Appliances.

The complaint alleges that GE Appliances sold refrigerators with a significant compressor defect. This defect, according to the plaintiffs, causes the refrigerators to fail at cooling, leading to spoiled food and beverages and rendering the appliances unusable for their intended purpose. This issue reportedly manifests shortly after purchase and well before the expected lifespan of the appliances.

If you are a possible plaintiff, you may have a compensation claim.  You should keep detailed records of your purchase, including receipts, warranty information, and any communications with the company (emails, calls, service requests). Also, document the issues you’ve experienced with the product, including any attempts to have it repaired, costs incurred, and the impact of the defect.

The Compressor

The compressor in a refrigerator is critical for its cooling function, essentially acting as the heart of the cooling system. It works by taking in refrigerant gas and compressing it, which increases the refrigerant’s temperature and pressure. This process transforms the refrigerant from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure gas. The high-pressure, high-temperature gas then moves through the coils located on the back or bottom of the refrigerator, where it releases its heat to the surroundings. As the refrigerant cools down, it changes into a high-pressure liquid.

This high-pressure liquid refrigerant then travels through an expansion valve, where its pressure drops, and it cools further. Following this, it flows through coils inside the refrigerator and freezer compartments. As it moves through these coils, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the interior of the fridge and freezer, effectively cooling the air inside. After absorbing the heat, the refrigerant transforms back into a low-pressure gas and returns to the compressor to start the cycle over again.

This lawsuit alleges a significant defect within the compressors of certain GE refrigerators. This defect compromises the refrigerator’s ability to perform its primary function of cooling and preserving food, leading to a failure well within the expected lifespan of the appliance.

Compensation Plaintiffs Seek

The plaintiffs claim that when the defect becomes apparent, GE Appliances charges customers diagnostic fees ranging from $100 to $300 to identify the problem. Additionally, consumers are reportedly required to pay for replacement parts and labor, which can cost between $1,100 and $1,800, even though the compressor and related labor are covered under GE’s warranty.

The lawsuit alleges further complications for consumers, including prolonged waits for replacement parts due to shortages and additional failures due to the replacement compressors also being defective. Consumers also report that the refrigerators become noisier after compressor replacement, a change GE allegedly dismisses as normal.

Core of the Claim – What Did GE Know?

The allegations concerning what GE knew about the compressor defect in their refrigerators and when they knew it is central to understanding the gravity of the situation and the basis for the lawsuit. According to the complaint, it is alleged that GE was aware, or should have been aware, of the defect in the compressors of the refrigerators in question due to multiple factors indicating their knowledge prior to the initiation of the lawsuit.  This is what gives the claim real jury appeal – the claim that GE knew of the problem and choose to ignore it.

The crux of the plaintiffs’ argument revolves around the assertion that GE, which is, of course,  as a seasoned manufacturer and seller of consumer appliances, engages in extensive product testing, including pre-market and ongoing quality control assessments. Such testing protocols are standard industry practices, if done correctly, will find potential defects or failures before products reach consumers. The plaintiffs argue that through these testing processes, GE would have, or should have, identified the compressor defect that led to refrigerators failing to cool properly, causing food spoilage and necessitating costly repairs or replacements for consumers.

Further, the complaint highlights that GE received numerous complaints from consumers and service requests related to the compressor defect shortly after the affected refrigerator models were made available for purchase. This influx of complaints and service requests would have served as an additional, unmistakable signal to GE regarding the existence and extent of the defect.

Moreover, the allegations include that GE Appliances was monitoring and should have been aware of numerous consumer complaints. It is 2024. It is easy to look at widely accessible platforms, including GE’s own website, social media, and consumer review website to see what is happening. There were reams of complaints that detailed issues consistent with the compressor defect, serving as a direct line of feedback from consumers to the company.

Despite this alleged awareness, GE is accused of failing to disclose the defect to consumers at the point of sale or thereafter. This omission forms the basis of claims for deceptive practices, as it is argued that GE continued to market and sell the refrigerators without disclosing the known defect, thereby misleading consumers regarding the reliability and quality of their products.

In essence, the lawsuit alleges that GE had multiple avenues of knowledge regarding the compressor defect—from internal testing, direct consumer feedback, and service requests—yet chose not to act on this knowledge in a manner that would protect or inform consumers. This alleged inaction and failure to disclose are pivotal to the plaintiffs’ claims, suggesting a deliberate neglect of consumer rights and safety in favor of financial gain.

Not the First Compressor Defect Claim

Compressor issues across various industries, including appliances and automotive, have led to widespread consumer dissatisfaction, recalls, and legal challenges.

In the automotive sector, for instance, air conditioning compressors are essential for cooling the vehicle’s interior. Defective compressors in this context have resulted in failure of the air conditioning systems, causing uncomfortable driving conditions and necessitating costly repairs. Such defects have sometimes led to class action lawsuits against car manufacturers, with claims that the compressors failed prematurely.


Similarly, other refrigerator manufacturers, like LG, have faced legal actions alleging that their products were equipped with compressors that failed much earlier than the expected lifespan, leading to spoiled food due to loss of cooling. The issue of defective compressors is not limited to personal appliances; it extends into commercial applications as well.

Commercial refrigeration systems used in supermarkets and for food storage rely heavily on compressor functionality. Failures here can lead to significant financial losses due to the spoilage of perishable goods, causing not only business interruptions but also legal disputes over product liability and warranty claims.

Moreover, home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have also suffered from compressor-related failures, affecting the system’s ability to regulate temperatures efficiently and leading to uncomfortable living conditions alongside high repair and replacement costs.

On occasion, manufacturers have had to issue recalls for products with known compressor issues to mitigate safety risks or performance failures, offering repairs, replacements, or refunds to affected customers. These incidents highlight the critical role of compressor reliability in product design and the potential consequences of failure, ranging from inconvenience to financial and legal repercussions for manufacturers.

Read the Complaint

ComplaintDebbie Blurton, et al. v. Haier US Appliance Solutions, Inc. d/b/a GE Appliances, Case No. 3:24-cv-225-GNS (W.D. Kentucky).

Hiring a Class Action Lawyer for Your Claim

Our firm is not currently handling these cases, but if you are interested in filing a lawsuit or joining the existing class action, you should contact the lawyers named in the Complaint (see above).