Pretty amazing! Just because you “think” something, that doesn’t necessarily make it correct, or true. While you many have spent a few moments perusing information on the NHTSB website, you’re now obviously certain that you have all the answers to be judge and jury on the subject. What a shame!
The reality is that in your “extensive” research effort you might just have missed a few of the facts of the matter – like more than a year’s worth of discovery documents, depositions, expert witness and engineering reports and reviewing fire incident logs of the thousands of Norcold owners who have had their refrigerator cooling / boiler units rupture and become defective, explode and / or catch on fire. It isn’t too surprising that you haven’t spent time perusing these incident logs of these Norcold refrigerator failures – Norcold obviously doesn’t make such information widely available to the general public. But just because you didn’t, doesn’t mean that the information doesn’t exist – it does and it is just one piece of the massive amounts of evidence in a lawsuit against Norcold regarding this product!
The FACTS are that Norcold has produced in excess of 1,000,000 N6, N8 and N1200 gas absorption refrigerators since 1999. They have known for more than 12 years that the boiler / cooling units in these refrigerators had a serious, potentially DEADLY design defect associated with the tubing in their boiler which causes those units to rupture, leak, become defective, potentially EXPLODE and / or catch on FIRE.
You probably didn’t see (or understand) that rather than FIX and REPLACE the defective units when Norcold first discovered and documented the design defect more than a decade ago, instead Norcold instead CHOSE to continue to produce and sell hundreds of thousands of additional defective units to unsuspecting RV owners when they KNEW with certainty that this inherent design defect was still present and could occur on any one of their units at any time in the future. (Ref – CPSC / Norocld Recall – October 18, 2001 - https://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2002...Refrigerators/
I’d wager that you probably didn’t speak last week to a RV owner who’s husband almost died as a result of a Norcold refrigerator fire in the middle of the night that totally destroyed their RV just a couple of years ago. If you had, that person would have also told you how just weeks ago sitting in a campground another RV owner told them how their coach had also burned to the ground as a result of a Norcold fire. Or how surprised they would both be the next day to learn that another coach down the road at a campground caught on fire and burned that very evening.
You probably didn’t have the chance to speak with fire suppression guys at a FMCA rally who recounted how that they had just been to another FMCA rally out in California where during the course of the rally 3 RV’s had their Norcold cooling units rupture / explode and one catch on fire during the course of that four day event.
You probably weren’t aware that instead of fixing the problem with the design problem with the cooling unit which would preclude the boiler / cooling unit tubing from failing in the first place, Norcold instead chose a nickel and dime solution to attempted through their high temperature sensor recall kits only to AFTER FAILURE OF THE BOILER UNIT OCCURRED to attempt to shut down the boiler unit so that it didn’t explode and / or catch on fire. Instead of fixing the problem, they chose to implement a band-aid approach, not a cure for the actual problem. Based upon the fact that there have been six (Rev A, B, C, D, E, and F) different recall kits that all have failed and required additional recalls, their recall kits obviously were not successful at doing so. IT IS A DOCUMENTED FACT THAT MANY COACHES STILL HAD THEIR BOILER UNITS RUPTURE AND FAIL, AS WELL AS CATCH ON FIRE AND BURN AFTER THE RECALL KITS WERE INSTALLED. And you probably haven’t spoken to owners who have had four and five of the recall kits fail within minutes of having them installed on their coach and then having their cooling units rupture and leak out all of the fluids and gasses.
I imagine that your exhaustive research didn’t involve personally calling and speaking with numerous municipal fire marshals in multiple locales across the country to be told that yes their fire department was aware of the danger of fires resulting from Norcold refrigerators on RV’s and have them acknowledge this was a nationwide problem that they were more than aware of. Had you done so, you probably would have been as surprised as I was when one fire marshal from a small rural area in central Texas informed me that his department had investigated probably 20 Norcold fires in RV’s in just the prior few years.
You probably didn’t see the RV dealer website that deemed Norcold units “Rolling Hydrogen Bombs” and declared that they wouldn’t work on or allow a coach with a Norcold unit on their lot as a result of a fire they had experienced. From their website:
Billy Thibodeaux’s Premiere RV website (Refrigerator Replacements page)
Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc.
To Our Valued Customers & Friends,
For over a decade, Norcold and Dometic RV Absorption Refrigerators, have been burning down travel trailers, motorhomes and buses. Since fire is indiscriminate, damage is often not limited to the RV. The flames also destroy everything surrounding your RV; garages, homes, automobiles, collectibles and life itself. Although both manufactures have taken steps to prevent these mishaps, fires still occur on a very regular basis.
On July 14, 2010 a 2005 Newmar Essex, a very expensive motorhome, burned on my lot. Fortunately quick response from my neighbor, who noticed the smoke, saved an entire row of motorhomes from being destroyed until the fire department arrived. Inevitably I, along with everyone else who has ever touched this motorhome, will be sued by the customers’s insurance company. Years of expensive litigation will follow even though it is clear-cut that failure of the Norcold refrigerator was the direct cause of the blaze that totally destroyed the coach and this is the process every time someone’s coach burns due to a refrigerator fire, tying you up in court for months if not years before they ultimately settle out of court.
In lieu of these rolling hydrogen bombs, I personally recommend that you allow us to remove your absorption type refrigerator, dispose of it properly and replace it with a conventional household 110 volt refrigerator.
And you probably haven’t read any of the publicly available investigative reports on these fires. For instance:
Investigation Absorption Refrigerator Fires Report (Part 1)
Application Engineering Group, Inc. website
Or seen the photos and reports regarding Norcold refrigerator fires done by fire experts like this - RV Appraisals & Investigations of America
Maybe your research over looked the fact that numerous people have been severely injured as a result of their Norcold refrigerators catching on fire, and that at least one person has died as a result.
$7 Million Products Liability Settlement In Arkansas
$7 Million Products Liability Settlement in Arkansas — Maryland Injury Lawsuit Information Center
An Arkansas woman whose husband died of smoke inhalation and burns in a camper fire resulting from a refrigerator defect settled her lawsuit against Norcold Refrigerators and a camper dealership for $7 million last week.
The cause of the fire was cracked tubing in the camper’s Norcold refrigerator, which resulted in the leaking of flammable hydrogen. Norcold apparently knew of the potential fire hazard as early as 1999 and notified federal officials that it would be recalling more than 40,000 refrigerators. Much like the “FDA approved the drug” defense I have been blogging about in recent months, Norcold contended that it followed federal regulations in conducting the recall.
Or that numerous insurance companies have sued Norcold as a result of their product failures and the resulting damages (e.g. RV’s burning to the ground, houses and garages burning down, etc….
Court of Appeal of Louisiana,Third Circuit.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al. v. NORCOLD, INC., et al.
Decided: April 4, 2012
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY v. NORCOLD INC - FindLaw
In the early morning hours of December 4, 2008, a motor home caught fire due to a defective refrigeration unit. The fire destroyed the motor home and adjacent building, together with all contents therein, all of which were owned by Ronald and Dolores Semar. The Semars' insurers, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (collectively State Farm), paid the Semars' property damage claims pursuant to their respective policies. State Farm filed this subrogation claim against Norcold, Inc. (Norcold) and Newmar Corporation (Newmar), alleging that the fire was caused by the defective refrigeration unit that was manufactured by Norcold and installed by Newmar.
This the simple fact of what the Norcold Class Action lawsuit is all about. There are hundreds of thousands of people who own these Norcold units. The problem isn't a matter of someone not maintaining their unit properly, or doing something that causes it to rupture, explode and / or catch on fire. IT IS AN INHERENT DEFECT THAT IS PRESENT IN EVERY UNIT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT HAS HAD THE RECALL KIT INSTALLED OR NOT. As long as those refrigerators have that defective cooling / boiler unit installed, there is a chance that the boiler will leak, rupture, explode and catch on fire.
You stated that you like facts - well those are the facts and they are supported by reams of documents gathered from more than two years worth of research, depositions, discovery, etc....