Dometic RV Refrigerators

DEFENDANT NAME: Dometic Corporation
CASE NUMBER: 3:16-cv-02117
COURT: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
PRACTICE AREA: Consumer Rights
STATUS: Active
DATE FILED: 04/21/16
206-623-7292 [email protected]

Case Update

In July, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. denied class certification in the case. Hagens Berman is preparing to appeal the court's decision.

Did your Dometic refrigerator explode or cause a fire in your recreational vehicle or boat? You may be entitled to compensation.

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A group of RV owners filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Dometic Corporation, stating that the company sold defective gas absorption refrigerators with cooling systems that can spontaneously ignite in RVs and boats, putting consumers at risk of deadly fires, explosions, loss of property and loss of the value of their RV/boat, according to consumer-rights law firm Hagens Berman.

The lawsuit states that the defective refrigerators have caused or contributed to at least 3,000 fires since 1997, resulting in more than $100 million in property damage and personal injury claims, all of which Dometic tracked through multiple non-public, internal databases. Despite this knowledge, Dometic “failed and refused to eliminate the defects and/or provide consumers with adequate warnings,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit states that every gas absorption refrigerator manufactured by Dometic since 1997 shares common technology, common cooling unit design and common defects, including the propensity of the refrigerator’s cooling unit boiler tube to corrode, crack and expel hydrogen gas at high pressure, which can spontaneously combust, or reach other ignition sources, causing a fire.

The lawsuit seeks to force Dometic to repair or replace defective refrigerators and compensate consumers for the diminution of value of their RVs and boats as a result of these manufacturer defects.

Affected Dometic refrigerator models include:

  • RM2620 (6 cubic feet)
  • RM2652 and DM2652 (6 cu. ft.)
  • RM2662 and DM2662 (6 cu. ft.)
  • RM2663 and DM 2663 (6 cu. ft.)
  • RM3762 (7 cu. ft.)
  • All DMR 7-series (7 cu. ft.)
  • All DMC 7-series (7 cu. ft.)
  • RM2820 (7.7 cu. ft.)
  • DM2852 (8 cu. ft.)
  • DM2862 (8 cu. ft.)
  • RM3862 (8 cu. ft.)
  • RM3863 (8 cu. ft.)
  • RM3962 (9 cu. ft.)
  • NDM1062 (9.2 cu. ft.)
  • RM1350 (12.3 cu. ft.)
  • RM1350WIM (12.3 cu. ft.)
  • NDA1402 (14 cu. ft.)
  • NDA1402IM (14 cu. ft.)

The suit also addresses two recalls issued by Dometic: “Defendants have used and manipulated the recall process to conceal the true dangers and safety risks inherent in their Defective Gas Absorption Refrigerators from both federal regulators and consumers. As a result, United States highways and campgrounds are flush with RVs containing Defective Gas Absorption Refrigerators that can, and with alarming regularity do, spontaneously burst into flames.” The company continues to receive new fire claims “at an alarming rate,” the suit states.

In addition, the suit states that Dometic resorted to “retaining a cadre of regionally based fire investigators, third-party claims administrators, attorneys and various engineering and metallurgical experts” upon each report of a refrigerator fire or explosion deployed “for the express purpose of diverting attention” from the refrigerators as the cause of the fire and to hide the issue from the public.

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Case Timeline

09/03/19: Case Update

In July, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. denied class certification in the case. Hagens Berman is preparing to appeal the court's decision.

08/30/18: Case Update

The case against Dometic has been transferred to the Southern District of Florida, and the multiple cases have been consolidated.