Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Involving Trane and American Standard Air Conditioners
Extended warranties and enhanced warranties offered to certain customers
Posted by Craig Randall
May 28, 2020
A settlement has been reached on behalf of nearly 500,000 current and former owners of Trane and American Standard air conditioners manufactured with an unapproved rust inhibitor that caused many units to fail. The plaintiffs in the class action suit were represented by James C. Shah of Shepherd Finkleman Miller & Shah, LLP and Timothy N. Mathews, Esq. and Zachary P. Beatty, Esq. of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith, LLP.
To get extended and enhanced Compressor Warranty Coverage, claimants must submit a Claim Form postmarked by Friday, September 25, 2020, unless you received a notice specifically stating that they do not need to.
The lawsuit alleges that in certain air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured by the defendants, sticky deposits would form on the thermostatic expansion valve (TXV). When the air conditioners failed due to this problem, Trane instructed service personal to inject an acidic additive into the TXV rather than replace the valve, potentially threatening the compressor’s long-term reliability.
Manufacturer denies wrongdoing
Trane denies any wrongdoing, and the Court did not decide in favor of either Trane or the plaintiffs. Both sides, however, agreed to the settlement and consumers affected have the opportunity to obtain compensation. The settlement provides substantial relief for the class members, including reimbursement of past repair expenses, an approved additive that can help prevent future problems with the air conditioner (and a labor allowance to inject the additive), and an extended and enhanced warranty for certain units.
Who is included in the Settlement?
All current and former owners of Trane or American Standard 1.5- to 5-ton air conditioners and heat pumps with serial numbers listed on Exhibit I to the Settlement who live in the United States are included in this Settlement.
Most of the affected units were manufactured from November 2013 through September 2014, with some manufactured as late as 2017. The manufacture date and serial number are listed on the data plate on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner or heat pump. A list of serial numbers included in the Settlement is available at www.AirConditionerSettlement.com or by calling 800-528-7199.
The following benefits are available in the settlement:
1. Cash reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs that you incurred for certain repairs. Max. of $575 for a valve replacement and $250 for an Additive injection (total of $825 for both, if applicable).
2. A free "light" Additive, which has been shown to be effective at preventing deposits without causing risk to the compressor, and up to $50 for a qualified person to inject it.
3. Extended and enhanced Compressor Warranty Coverage if your air conditioner or heat pump was injected with a full-strength Additive on or before September 30, 2018.
The deadline for affected consumers to either file a claim or exclude themselves from the class is September 25, 2020. To ascertain whether or not your air conditioner is included in the class and to obtain instructions on filing a claim, visit www.airconditionersettlement.com.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.
A copy of the settlement can be found here.
Read more at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP