Norcold Inc. Refrigerators May Combust; Judge Approves $36 Million Settlement
Product Safety Recall: Norcold Refrigerators May Combust
Refrigerators are not meant to burst into flames, but corroding boiler tubes in some units have been alleged to leak combustible gases and according to a class action lawsuit “can result in fire, causing property damage, injury or death.”
In December 2012, the suit was filed in California over three models of refrigerators made for recreation vehicles; the 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit (manufactured from January 2002 to October 2012) and the N8 and N6 series (assembled from January 2002 to December 2013).
Instead of going before a jury the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, an international holding company that owns Norcold and its parent company the Thetford Corporation, decided to settle for $33 million in September 2014. But Josephine L. Stanton, the federal judge in California hearing the case, denied the initial agreement that affects more than 500,000 consumers. Some were seeking a payout of $700 million, but reports came out that Norcold Inc. couldn’t even afford the $33 million and might be forced to file for bankruptcy. The company has since publicly made the statement that they are financially sound and are in no danger of bankruptcy regardless of the settlement.
Judge Approves New Settlement
Last week, after four years of waiting, Judge Stanton approved a newly structured $36 million deal. “The Court finds the settlement to be fair, reasonable, and adequate,” she wrote, “and accordingly OVERRULES all objections and GRANTS final approval of the settlement.” This authorization came with a 25% allocation of the gross payment to the attorneys and an “aggregate repair or replacement cost” of up to $7,500 to each of the named plaintiffs. The agreement states that on average the owners of the 1200 Series will be getting $824 and the N6 and N8 owners will receive $164 each. Kurtzman Carson Consultants, the claims administrator, is slated to receive $2 million.
The initial recall of Norcold’s 1200 model was limited to a small batch, but has since been expanded to all 1200, 1201, 1210 and 1211 series refrigerators so that a “High Temperature Sensor” can be installed to prevent a fire from spontaneously igniting. According to the Thetford Corporation’s recall website, “Even if your refrigerator was repaired as part of a previous recall, it is necessary to have it repaired again to minimize the risk of injury or death due to fire.” Consumers with a defective Norcold product have been advised to turn off their refrigerators and contact the company immediately.
To contact Norcold and learn more see: http://www.thetford.com/customer-support/recall-information
Consumer Watch Product Recall: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 A new Consumer Watch Alert...
For the 3rd year in a row automakers have recalled a record...
Approximately 33,000 tire-related crashes occur each and every year, resulting in about...