It was in 2014 that Derek Scott filed a complaint against Honeywell, claiming that he purchased and installed one of the Honeywell humidifiers at home and then the product has gone defective after only a few months of use.
Under Honeywell’s “Repair or Replace” policy, Scott was given outright replacement as detailed in the product’s limited warranty. Unfortunately, the replacement humidifier also failed after only about a year or so.
Honeywell consequently informed Scott that he would have to pay for the installed of a new humidifier. Scott contested though that he would never have bought the humidifier if he had known that it would not live up to its marketing claims.
In the motion to dismiss filed by Honeywell, it states that Scott has failed to substantiate that the “Repair or Replace” solution was deemed unacceptable and considered therefore to be a breach of its implied and limited warranties.
Further, Honeywell also stressed out that the policy does not guarantee future performance of their humidifiers in which Scott also rebutted that Honeywell has in fact breached its limited warranty because the humidifier is covered and became defective within the five-year warranty period.
Honeywell is said to be guilty of false advertising or marketing claims. The brand is supposedly marketing its range of humidifiers as one that provides “whole home humidification” and that which also boasts “high performance and efficiency of steam humidification with easier maintenance than traditional humidifiers.”
In line with this, a class action lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts which alleged that the said humidifiers are entirely defective, unreliable, and very hard to maintain overall. Additionally, the humidifiers are said to become clogged with mineral deposits and was observed to be scaling even though it has just been recently bought or has been used for a short span of time. The lawsuit also alleged that the plaintiffs as well as other customers have incurred property damages as well as financial loss due to money spent on replacement or repairs of the faulty Honeywell Humidifiers. Further, the lawsuit stressed that the damage may have been due to the blockages and overheating; which have then triggered the overspill of scalding hot water. This also caused the parts of the humidifier to disintegrate and crack.
More so, the lawsuit details that the sediment buildup could have clogged the exterior drains and led to flooding. This is in contrast to the claims of Honeywell Humidifiers because it is specifically designed in such way that the steam is blown outright into the HVAC duct system which could potentially precipitate fungus and mold growth and thus, reduce quality of air. This said defect may also cause the corrosion of the duct itself.
Honeywell Humidifiers comes with a 5-year limited warranty which says that the product will be considered free from any defects given normal usage and services. This also includes repairs or replacement of humidifier in consideration of certain circumstances as stated in the warranty. This is however not limited to just a specific type of filter or water supply. The lawsuits also contests that Honeywell is aware that their products would actually fail to comply with standard quality and therefore nosedive within the said warranty period but has no intention of complying with the services promised as stated in the product’s warranty.
Evidently, despite the increasing customer complaints, Honeywell was not able to provide easy and fast claims process for its customers which defeats the purpose of having a warranty in the first place.
Philip A. Brimmer, U.S. District Judge of the District of Colorado, tossed out allegations regarding Honeywell’s breach of its limited warranty in its course of action of just replacing a defective Honeywell TrueSTEAM humidifier with another which also happens to have the same defects.
Judge Brimmer has set the records straight in stating that Honeywell’s limited warranty implies that the company will not be obligated to pay for any removal or reinstallations costs. More so, the limited warranty is not at all breached unless the humidifier is found to be defective and the company failed to repair or replace the product.
However, Judge Brimmer also took Scott’s side and said that his negligent misrepresentation claim is valid because Scott based him complaint on Honeywell’s marketing claims regarding the humidifiers’ quality and its limited warranty before deciding to make a purchase.
The judge also allowed the claim for violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to proceed because Honeywell has no intention to honor its supposed warranty and also hampers customers from making any warranty claims due to its very difficult and burdensome process.
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