January 24, 2017 – The United States District Court for the Central District of California has given a green light to claims alleging that Carrier Corporation failed to disclose chemical contamination of air conditions that creates a sludge inside the system resulting in stuck or gummed-up valves and poor performance. The complaint alleges that the contaminant is a rust inhibitor applied to compressors beginning in 2013, which was inadequately tested prior to use.
The rust inhibitor is incompatible with the refrigerant and oil used in the systems, causing a chemical reaction that forms a sludge. The sludge can accumulate on the valves, resulting in poor performance and system failure. Many consumers experienced valve failures within just months of installation of a brand new system. The complaint alleges that Carrier knew about the contamination prior to sales of the systems but failed to disclose it to the public.
The complaint also alleges that, rather than remove the contamination when the systems fail, Carrier has instructed service personnel to inject yet another chemical into the systems in hopes of dissolving the sludge, but this additive shortens the lifespan of the equipment. Further, the complaint alleges that Carrier has been providing only partial labor coverage, even though it knew about the contamination at the time of sale.
The District Court has allowed claims to go forward based on Carrier’s alleged failure to disclose the defect. The lawsuit is Oddo v. Arcoaire Air Conditioning and Heating, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, case number 15-cv-01985.