After more than a decade of class-action lawsuits, Maytag Corporation and Sears have decided to settle with consumers over front-loading washing machines that can accumulate mold and mildew causing foul odors or even ruining laundry. According to a Fox 13 news report, the class-action lawsuits claim that certain front-loading Whirlpool, Kenmore and Maytag washing machines fail to properly self-clean, which leads to the buildup of laundry residue resulting in the mold and mildew.
Details of the Settlement
The companies said they decided to settle the case to avoid “the substantial costs and disruptions of continued litigation” and the risk of the class-action case going to trial. If you own a front-loading washing machine manufactured between 2001 and 2011, you may be entitled to receive a cash settlement.
If your washer qualifies for the settlement, you may be eligible for one of several options including a cash payment, a rebate on the purchase of a new washing machine or dryer or reimbursement for expenses incurred due to past mold or odor problems in your washer. Consumers have only until October 11 to submit a claim form to receive a settlement. For more information, visit washersettlement.com.
Harmful Mold and How to Protect Yourself
It’s appalling that many front-loading washing machines, instead of keeping your clothes clean, turn green with toxic mold that can make you sick. This happens because water accumulates behind the seals and the machines are not designed well enough to self-clean properly. Each time you open and close the washer door you could be releasing tens of thousands of toxic mold spores. In addition to inhaling the spores, touching the mold or ingesting the mold could also cause health problems.
It has taken these companies 10 years and a slew of class action lawsuits to finally do the right thing and take accountability for their defective products. It is shocking how they have been downplaying the issue by trying to tell consumers that mold formation and foul odor is part of normal use. There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from harmful mold in your washing machine:
• Leave the door open after washing.
• Sanitize the door seals, gaskets and glass after laundering.
• Dehumidify the laundry room if the relative humidity remains above 60 percent.
• Run a hot water wash with no clothes and use bleach or white vinegar instead of detergent.
• Remove clothes promptly.
• Use high-efficiency (HE) detergent.