Ellen Lyons’ two-year-old LG refrigerator makes loud noises, and the company’s technicians can’t fix it. Should LG refund the money she spent on the kitchen appliance? And what, exactly, is an LG refrigerator environmental problem?
Q: My husband and I purchased an LG refrigerator two years ago. Two weeks later, we experienced problems with the freezer coil. An LG representative admitted that our model did not go through LG quality control, and they fixed the problem. At least that’s what we thought.
Six months later the problem recurred. The refrigerator made a loud noise for weeks. LG sent a technician, who charged us $135 for the service call and $65 for an “education in home,” which taught the correct way to open and close a freezer door, advised to keep my air conditioner on 75 degrees, and advised me to defrost the refrigerator every three months to avoid any freezer coil issue.
But three hours later, the noise started again. Another technician took the freezer back cover off and discovered that the motor had frozen. He used my hairdryer to defrost it. I believe the loud noise was a precursor to the freezer coils freezing up.
The technician recommended that I buy a new refrigerator. I contacted LG and the Florida Attorney General. Florida closed the case because LG had determined that this is an “environmental” problem. I don’t even know what that means. I spent more than $4,000 on my refrigerator. Can you help us get it fixed? — Ellen Lyons, The Villages, Fla.
A: Sounds like your LG refrigerator was cursed. Even the technicians couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, other than that the motor was working overtime.
Your refrigerator warranty is pretty standard. It covers failure due to a “defect in materials or workmanship under normal home use.” But scroll down a little and you’ll see real the source of your problem: “Noises associated with normal operation and failure to follow instructions found in the use and care and installation guides or operating the unit in an unsuitable environment will not be covered under this warranty.”
I think the “noises associated with normal operation” are the problem. Apparently, LG believes the loud whirring and humming you’re hearing are normal. As I read the letter you received from LG, it seemed that was the company’s conclusion: the refrigerator works, but it’s just loud. To be clear, LG never explicitly said what the “environmental” issue was. So we don’t know what the LG refrigerator environmental problem was.
How to fix an LG environmental problem
Does this sound like a “Car Talk” case, or what? Maybe we should start a new radio show called “Appliance Talk” and have you as our first guest. LG has an implied warranty that any refrigerator it manufactures will be reasonably quiet. Your possessed appliance did not meet that requirement. The LG representative’s admission that your unit didn’t go through quality control is another red flag. Too bad you didn’t get that in writing.
There’s no way to protect yourself from a loud refrigerator. Certainly, reading online reviews before buying a refrigerator is helpful. Or you could read, ahem, this site, which has plenty of refrigerator cases. But it’s no guarantee.
I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the LG executives on my nonprofit consumer advocacy site.
I contacted LG on your behalf. It agreed to reimburse you for the total cost of your refrigerator.