Whirlpool washing woes not limited to B.C.
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Thursday, November 8, 2012 5:34PM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 9, 2012 7:06PM PST
Flooding problems involving one of Whirlpool’s most popular top-loading washing machines are not isolated to B.C.
CTV’s Steele on Your Side has learned of 30 separate floods in Metro Vancouver linked to the model, commonly used in townhouses and condo complexes. The floods have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and triggered massive insurance claims.
Many homeowners have been forced to completely renovate their brand-new homes because of water damage while others are bunking in at hotels until the work is completed.
CTV News has now learned of washing machine woes in Ontario.
Rose Fata’s brand new Whirlpool washer flooded her brand new Toronto condo not once, but twice.
The stackable unit started flooding her condo without warning while she was doing laundry in September. The water damaged her floors and baseboards.
“The lid was lifting and [water] was gurgling out. It was like a waterfall,” she told CTV Toronto’s Consumer Reporter Pat Foran.
Whirlpool sent a technician to her home to replace a part. But it was only a week until the next flood.
Fata was livid.
“I said ‘this is no way to live.’ I can’t even do my laundry and I can’t even step away from my machine,” she said.
Fata said she hasn’t done a load of laundry in the machine since her latest flood, because she’s scared it’ll happen again.
This week Whirlpool said it has now received 49 general water damage claims from consumers across the country whose washing machines overflowed.
The reports, which the company says are “isolated,” came from a population of approximately 11,000 units.
The news comes after CTV’s Steele on Your Side uncovered a May 2012 memo that pointed to potential problems with washing machine models.
Sent by Whirlpool to independent service technicians across North America (who are not Whirlpool employees), the memo said the washers “may overfill.”
The technical service pointer also warns "the pressure switches will send incorrect water level readings to the timer."
The memo warns about eight models: Y WET 3300XQO, MET3800SW0, MGT3800XW1, WGT3300XQ0, YMET3800XW0, MGT3800XW0, WET3300XQ0, WGT3300XQ1 and YWET3300XQ0. It offered a simple repair kit to fix the problem.
The company has declined multiple on-camera interview requests with CTV News.
In a taped video statement, Kathy Nelson, Vice-president of Consumer and Appliance Care for Whirlpool, said the company is aware of “isolated reports of overfills in our washer/dryer combo units that led to water damage.”
Whirlpool says its policy is to “reimburse our consumers for verified claims of damage that was caused by our products, including reimbursement for any deductibles paid."
Whirlpool has set up a special hotline for consumers who've experienced flooding. The number to call is 1-866-333-4408.