What if a company won’t repair under your air conditioner warranty?
One of the worst things that can happen in the middle of summer is having your air conditioner go out. And it always seems to happen then. You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on it, and you need it to work. If you have a warranty—maybe from the manufacturer, maybe from whoever installed the air conditioning unit, or maybe you bought a home warranty plan from an entirely different company—you may have tried to get them to do the repairs. But sometimes, even when they legally have to, companies don’t honor their warranties. And the only way to make them follow the rules is to take legal action.
Our attorneys have handled lawsuits involving air conditioners that the manufacturer refused to fix for months on end, and we may be able to make sure you get your unit working again, or get compensated for how you’ve been damaged. If your air conditioner is broken and you can’t get the company to honor their warranty and play by the rules, call us at 657-845-3100. We may be able to help. We don’t charge for consultations.
If a company is taking months and months and still won’t fix your AC, you may have a claim against them. Going months without an air conditioner is serious, especially in states in the South like Georgia or Texas. It can even be a life or death matter, not just for you but for your pets. Heat stroke is a serious threat when we’re seeing record temperatures every summer, and you shouldn’t have to wait an entire summer for an AC company to honor the deal you made with them. You may have legal rights to get your repairs sooner if they’re stalling or refusing to do anything. It depends on your contract, but we can review it and see.
What kinds of issues with my air conditioner could be a breach of warranty?
Anything that doesn’t work that they don’t fix, and anything that they promised in their advertisements that turned out not to be true. Our attorneys would look at both.
In a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles, California involving a Goodman air conditioner, the plaintiffs sued over alleged warranties. McVicar v. Goodman Glob., Inc., 1 F. Supp. 3d 1044 (C.D. Cal. 2014). The plaintiffs alleged that after they moved into their home, “[a]pproximately three weeks later, the heating and air condition unit began to fail.” They alleged that “[t]he unit did not produce cold air and would run only on ‘fan only’ mode.” The plaintiffs alleged that after multiple inspections of the unit, the evaporator coil had to be replaced at their expense and a booster had to be installed. The Plaintiffs sued over Goodman and Amana brand air conditioners which allegedly had various representations about how well they worked in their advertising. And advertising can sometimes create a warranty, even if your contract doesn’t.
In another lawsuit against Goodman over their air conditioners, a plaintiff alleged that their home air conditioner had been leaking coolant and that a technician determined it had a defective coil. McVicar v. Goodman Glob. Inc., No. SA CV 13-1223-DOC (RNBx), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186826 (C.D. Cal. May 20, 2015).
A failure to repair the AC—and sometimes a failure to replace the entire unit if it’s not repairable—could be a breach of warranty.
Products Liability Claims for Air Conditioners
If your air conditioner caused damage to your home, you might have a products liability claim against the manufacturer. Some ways this can happen are electrical fires caused by defects in the AC unit or even related parts.
For example, in a lawsuit in Wichita Falls, Texas, an air conditioning unit made by Whirlpool and the power cord made by Chau’s Electrical Company were alleged to have started a serious electrical fire that actually killed one of the people in the house. Munoz v. Whirlpool Corp., Civil Action No. 7:09-cv-096-O, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204982 (N.D. Tex. June 19, 2012). The Plaintiff alleged that “the fire was caused by a defective air conditioner, manufactured by Whirlpool, as well as a defect in the air conditioner’s power cord, manufactured by Chau’s.” The court let the suit go to trial, resulting in a settlement for the family.
Not all cases will be that serious, but a wrongful death lawsuit or other personal injury lawsuit could be an option if an air conditioning unit causes fires or other injuries.
Warranty Claims for Air Conditioners in Your Car
With the AC in your car, the warranty usually comes from the dealer or the manufacturer, but sometimes vehicle service plans cover you as well. Just like with air conditioners in your home, if it’s not working, and you’ve tried to get them to do repairs or a replacement with no luck, you might have a claim for breach of warranty.
Warranty Claims under Home Protection Plans for Air Conditioners
You might have bought a warranty that covers your air conditioner under a home warranty or home protection plan. Sometimes these companies do a good job – but sometimes they’re less than scrupulous. Consumers have sometimes had trouble getting repairs, or if the air conditioner really needs to be replaced, the home warranty company may have a policy of avoiding replacement at all costs to save themselves money.
In a lawsuit in La Jolla, California, a plaintiff sued Old Republic Home Protection Company and alleged that they weren’t honoring their home warranties. Friedman v. Old Republic Home Prot. Co., No. EDCV 12-1833 AG (OPx), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175735 (C.D. Cal. May 18, 2015). He alleged that Old Republic Home Protection “aggressively pushes its contractors to avoid replacing defective items covered under its home warranties, while at the same time advertising to prospective customers that its warranties cover both repair and replacement.” He further alleged that “that Defendant failed on six occasions to replace his broken air conditioner—instead attempting cheaper repairs that didn’t resolve the issue—and when it finally did replace his air conditioner, it installed a cheaper model.”
Whether you could sue depends on your contract, but we can evaluate it and determine if you have a claim.
You may or may not have a breach of warranty claim, but we don’t charge for case evaluations. Call Kneupper & Covey today at 657-845-3100, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We handle lawsuits by consumers against both manufacturers of air conditioning units and companies that sell warranty plans for your home or vehicle but don’t honor them, and we can help you determine if you have a valid breach of warranty claim.