Electronics giant Samsung is facing a class-action lawsuit from customers who say some of the company's refrigerators don't keep their food cold enough.
Attorneys representing Matthew Jordan and Lisa Saghy filed the lawsuit last Friday in New Jersey, where the South Korean company's U.S. operations are based. The lawsuit accuses Samsung of unjust enrichment, false advertising and consumer fraud.
At issue is a line of refrigerators Samsung sells to American customers, which have double French doors and a bottom freezer, range from $1,000 to $3,000 each and come with a one-year warranty, attorneys said in court documents.
"They run above the temperature at which food can be safely stored," the lawsuit alleges. "This defect is fatal to the operation of the refrigerators, which serve one purpose: keeping food and other consumable goods at a safe temperature."
Samsung declined to comment about the refrigerator lawsuit on Wednesday.
"Our commitment to ensuring product quality and safety for all of our customers is our top priority," the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.
Jordan, a southern California man who bought a Samsung refrigerator for $1,300 in June 2020, noticed months after the purchase that the temperature inside the refrigerator was inconsistent. He then used a thermal imaging camera and found that the temperature was 45 degrees at the top of the refrigerator and 29 degrees near the bottom, court documents state.
Saghy, of southern Pennsylvania, bought her Samsung refrigerator in 2017 for about $2,250, court documents state. She later noticed the refrigerator wasn't keeping a chilly temperature, according to the lawsuit. Saghy asked a Samsung technician to come fix it, but the technician allegedly told Saghy the appliance had a defect and couldn't be repaired, according to the lawsuit.
Jordan and Saghy's lawyers said the issues with Samsung refrigerators have been known for years. They noted that customers sent more than 600 complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission about Samsung refrigerators between January 2019 and December 2021.
The temperature-related lawsuit is separate from the hundreds of complaints consumers have voiced online about the ice maker in other models of Samsung refrigerators. Frustrated consumers created a Facebook group — Samsung Refrigerator Recall U.S.A Now — where they posted videos of their malfunctioning appliance. The group's moderator, Tom O'Shea of Ohio, told CBS affiliate WTKR that he's trying to help people get refunds for their purchase.
"People have been eating foods, getting sick, then realize it was the refrigerator," O'Shea told the station. "After they got rid of the refrigerator, their stomach problems go away."
First published on May 18, 2022 / 6:05 PM
© 2022 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.