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Samsung RF31FMESBSR - 30.5 Cu Ft. 4-Door French Door Refrigerator with Sparkling Water Dispenser - Stainless steel
Kitchen
Appliances
Refrigerators (276)
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC. (SEA)    
Samsung
RF31FMESBSR
W65143BD401254B
8391105
4/1/2013  
D4 
Best Buy
Unspecified
5/21/2013
Product: Samsung French Door Refrigerator
Model: RF31FMESBSR
Serial Number: W65143BD401254B
Purchase Price: $2699.99 + 8.0% Sales Tax = $2,915.99
Purchase Date: 05/21/2013

PROBLEM STATEMENT:
Samsung has over 20 models of refrigerators with a known defect that causes their refrigerators to operate at UNSAFE temperatures. The defect causes the fridge section evaporator to freeze over so much that the ice build-up hits the circulation fan, a causing loud, unsettling noise. This ice over the evaporator also prevents the proper circulation of cold air inside the refrigerator, causing the temperature to rise to unsafe levels for proper food storage.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:
Our family has been having stomach issues off and on for the past few years. Not enough to go to the hospital, but a lot of feelings of queasiness, discomfort, and diarrhea. At first, we thought that it may have been due to food quality, so we start buying more premium brands and all organic product. When that didn't help, we started a food log to try to establish a pattern to rule out food allergies. However, we could not find any consistencies.

However, after I saw on my local news about defective Samsung refrigerators, we did more research and found that there are thousands of people experiencing the same issue. We were shocked to discover that this is not a warranty issue - this is a known factory defect issue with zero fixes on over 20 models and is currently in class action court.

I then purchased a refrigerator thermometer and recorded the inside temperatures at random intervals. I have been recording for a few days now and refrigerator temperature is consistently higher than the indicated temperature on the display panel. The refrigerator is set to 38 Degrees Fahrenheit (DF), but the actual temperature is above the safe zone averaging around 45 DF. It gets worse - after the evaporator freezes up again, I see temperatures between 50-60 DF. When the evaporators get extremely frozen over and the fan hits the ice, the inside temperature feels like room temperature.

The defect defects are: 1) The evaporator coils freeze, which prevents cold air from circulating properly - increasing the inside temperature to unsafe levels, and 2) the temperature reading of the refrigerator is false/misleading, which causes consumers to believe their food is safe when it is not.

Ultimately, the design defects are causing my family (and other unsuspecting consumers) to think their food is safe to consume, even though the temperatures are at UNSAFE levels for days, weeks, even months!

SAMSUNG RESPONSE:
Samsung has not been forthcoming about this issue. Many people I have spoken to have had Samsung try to dismiss their claims by saying this is a warranty issue when this is a known factory defect issue. Samsung has tried to get customers to PAY for repairs that are ultimately temporary and futile because there are ZERO fixes for any of the 20+ affect models - ZERO FIXES!

DESIRED RESOLUTION:
I would like Samsung to provide me and my family a FULL refund of the $2,915.99 purchase price of the refrigerator due to it harming my family because of its design flaw and factory defect causing it to operate at unsafe temperatures and misleading us with a false temperature reading.

I would like for Samsung to also provide refunds/restitution to harmed consumers for their full purchase price including the removal, destruction, and recycling of all defective Samsung refrigerators.
3/6/2016
Home/Apartment/Condominium 
Injury→Injury, No First Aid or Medical Attention Received
Self
Male
41 years

Injury→Injury, No First Aid or Medical Attention Received
My Spouse
Female
29 years
Yes
No
No
I still have the refrigerator because it was nearly $3000 and we can't afford a new one. When it initially happened, I contacted Samsung who just sent me a few non-working links to troubleshooting tips and then closed the ticket without any follow up.
Yes
N/A
File NameDescription
IMG_8452.jpg Refrigerator reports 38 degrees vs actual 54 degrees
IMG_8448.jpg Ice forming beyond the cover panel and peeking out
IMG_5339.jpg Closeup view of the evaporator icing up. The square indentation is where the circulation fan resides
IMG_5670.jpg View of evaporator with the panel cover on the left.
IMG_7634.jpg Icing also seen on the evaporator cover panel
IMG_7633.jpg Cover panel with fan. The cover panel also needs to be defrosted separately.

CPSC does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database on SaferProducts.gov, particularly with respect to information submitted by people outside of CPSC.