Lawsuits target front load washing machines with mold

First Posted: 07/19/13 EDT Updated: 07/22/13 EDT

Front loading washing machine companies are being accused of selling defective machines, despite knowing that they grow mold. Disgruntled customers have filed lawsuits against several manufacturers, including the three biggest ones: LG, Sears, and Whirlpool. Consumers are demanding reimbursement for their faulty machines -- but companies are not backing down. Instead, manufacturers are calling it a 'biofilm' issue (to avoid the word 'mold'), and they're saying that the machine just needs to be cleaned regularly.

According to Class Action News, consumers have reported that manufactures don't intend to honor their expensive warranties. They're reportedly being told to simply clean the drum after each use or "leave the door open."

In 2005, Maggie O'Brien, a Midwestern mom, bought her machine for $1,000. She thought she was getting a great deal -- until she noticed that her clothes had started to smell awful. "It smelled like a sock had been left ... in an old gym bag," O'Brien said. "It was nasty." And it's not just O'Brien bringing up the issue -- other angry customers have begun complaining via YouTube.

Jonathan Selbin is an attorney in two of the cases being brought against the three biggest manufacturers. He says that the solutions offered by the companies aren't enough, and the problem poses a health risk -- especially to households with children and pets. And apparently, the problems with the machines are primarily happening in washers made before 2010.