EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - Sears Roebuck misleads consumers about the power of its Kenmore Elite Oasis automatic washing machines, according to a class action in Madison County Court. Named plaintiff Therese Dalla Riva says the machine has a defective electronic control board, which controls laundry cycles, water levels and spin speed.
Sears advertised the machine as its "top of the line." It claims that it uses 47 percent less water and 53 percent less energy, can do large loads of laundry in a single, uninterrupted cycle, and cleans clothes better than other washers, according to the complaint.
But Dalla Riva says the machine fails to deliver due to a defective electronic control board. The problems show up in error codes, and the machine stops working and has to be restarted, if it can be restarted, or the machine spins out of control, which could damage it, Dalla Riva says.
Dalla Riva says Sears knew about the defects and reported internally that the machines were service technicians' top concern.
In 2007, Sears issued a service flash stating that the control boards needed to be replaced, but it applied only to floor models that had not already been sold. Dalla Riva claims Sears did nothing to fix the problems of customers who already had bought the machines.
The class consists of anybody in Illinois who bought the Kenmore Elite Oasis washing machines. It seeks an injunction, repairs, and damages for breach of warranty, fraudulent concealment and consumer law violations. The class is represented by Mark Goldenberg with Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli.
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