Homeowners May Want To Think Twice Before Buying An LG Fridge. Here's Why

Is your refrigerator running? While the common prank call might make some people chuckle, a broken refrigerator is no laughing matter. According to Forbes, grocery prices are 30% higher than they were just four years ago, so just a few hours without proper refrigeration could spell disaster for your weeknight dinners and your wallet. What does this have to do with LG? Some controversy surrounding LG and Kenmore appliances has recently risen to the media limelight. In short, many customers are frustrated by brand-new LG fridges and freezers that simply don't work or stop working after a very short time. In late 2023, a 191-page lawsuit was filed against LG and its parent company, Kenmore, for faulty parts. One faulty part in particular, the linear compressor, experiences common issues that cause the fridge to stop working long before its 10-year warranty and advertised 20-year lifespan. 

Believe it or not, this isn't the first time that LG has found itself in legal hot water for faulty linear compressors. Even so, many frustrated customers aren't holding high hopes that their problems will be solved anytime soon. Here's what you need to know about the issues reported by customers and the sneaky way that LG "boxes in" customers to prevent legal backlash. 

The linear compressor has consistent problems

LG makes a unique part for their refrigerators that they call a "linear compressor." This part is supposed to help the fridge maintain a consistent temperature while using less energy and making less noise than a traditional compressor. However, many customers have found that the linear compressor stops working after a few years or even just a few months — rendering the appliance practically useless. Research by Consumer Reports also validates the claim that several LG refrigerator models were likely to have broken or faulty compressors. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against LG because the linear compressors so frequently fail before the product's 10-year warranty and 20-year advertised lifespan.  

How is LG able to justify these issues? A mandatory arbitration notice located on the appliance's box, as well as inside the fridge and the manual, requires customers to settle any court cases privately. Coincidentally, many buyers never even see the box because their fridge is delivered and installed by contractors. As for the notice printed inside the fridge or in the user manual, these can only be read and "agreed to" after the consumer purchases the appliance. "Instead of fixing the issue, LG decided to allocate those resources into an arbitration provision on a box," explained the most recent lawsuit's lead attorney, Azar Mouzari (via NBC). Mouzari suspects that LG and its parent company, Kenmore, are fully aware of the issue. 

What you can do if your fridge fails

If you're stuck wondering why your refrigerator isn't cooling, you're not alone in your frustration. Some customers claim that LG will offer to send out a repair person, but often still charge for the time and parts, and end up replacing the broken linear compressor with — you guessed it — another faulty linear compressor. These linear compressors don't come cheap, either. "If I'm going to have to spend $1,500 to repair a refrigerator, and refrigerators cost $2,000, you know, what do I want to do?" one customer explained to NBC News back in January (via Youtube). Many people would rather see LG offer a replacement fridge or a refund in the form of a cashable check.

Interestingly, LG still ranked among the best refrigerator brands for customer service satisfaction, according to a survey by The New York Times, and an LG spokesperson reportedly told NBC News that customer satisfaction is "paramount" to the company. If your LG or Kenmore refrigerator has a failed compressor, reaching out to the company personally may be worth a try. However, those frustrated by repeated fridge repairs may want to consider adding their name to the list of legal consumer complaints. Over 100 plaintiffs' names are attached to the court case, and many others are still waiting to see if it will become a class action lawsuit.