Whirlpool exposed customers to an “unreasonable risk of serious injury” after failing to warn about faulty stovetops that turned on by themselves, federal officials say.
Now the Michigan-based appliance manufacturer must pay.
The $11.5 million settlement follows dozens of consumer complaints received between November 2017 and 2019 that included at least four reports of objects catching fire, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Officials say Whirlpool was aware of a dangerous defect in select models of its JennAir, KitchenAid and Whirlpool brand glass cooktops “that could create a substantial product hazard.”
Yet, it failed to immediately report the issue, according to the commission.
“Whirlpool had received at least 157 reports of the cooktops turning on by themselves, including 14 reports of property damage, four reports of objects igniting and two reports of minor burns,” officials said in a news release.
McClatchy News reached out to Whirlpool for comment Aug. 25 and was awaiting a response.
The company recalled the faulty cooktops back in 2019, citing burn and fire hazards. Customers were advised to order a replacement.
Under the terms of the settlement, Whirlpool agreed to improve internal controls and procedures to comply with the Consumer Product Safety Act, the release said. The manufacturer must also submit annual reports on its compliance policies and procedures for the next three years.