LG “Energy Efficient” Refrigerators In Trouble Again…This Time In Australia

LG Electronics, which recently settled with the U.S. Department of Energy over Energy Star issues on select refrigerators after having a challenge tossed out of court, is now in hot water again. This time around the company’s Australian arm being caught with its hand in the cookie jar, according to The Age, “doctoring fridges to make them appear more energy efficient.”

These claims, noticed by The Red Ferret Journal, were exposed by Choice, an Australian consumer advocacy group. Choice said it conducted energy efficiency tests on LG’s new GC-L197NFS side-by-side fridge, which was said by its manufacturer to be an energy efficient model. It was found during testing, according to Choice, that the frig “actually uses considerably more [energy] when it bypasses a special energy-saving mode” and that LG “knows circumvention modes such as these do not comply with the relevant testing standard – the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).” This particular fridge, as well as the similar GC-P197WFS model, were called out as missing the energy efficiency boat.

image via LG Electronics

Choice said it plans to notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on this matter, calling on the regulator to “conduct a thorough investigation.” LG Electronics, for its part, is offering compensation for those who feel the two frig models don’t meet up to standards. It says the frigs in question “were labelled with incorrect energy consumption and energy star rating based on the rules governing energy labelling which took place in October 2009” and that it apologizes two those who made purchases based upon advertising “with [an] incorrect energy rating as per the Australian Standard.”

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I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.