LG wins dubious Choice ‘Shonky’ award for washer/dryer

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: LG Electronics’ flagship steam washer/dryer has been singled out for a Choice magazine ‘Shonky’ award with judges accusing the Korean manufacturer of ‘greenwashing’ consumers with misleading advertising.

Choice said that while the LG WD-1248RD combined washer dryer’s 107-litre wash cycle compares well to other nine kg front loaders, the thirsty condenser dryer cycle uses an additional 74 litres of water to dry a five kg load — a point the magazine claims LG consistently fails to mention in its advertising.

Condenser dryers use water to condense the steam released from clothes as they are dried back into liquid water, which goes down the drain rather than creating humidity inside the home.

However, the Choice Shonky award judges took exception to LG’s promotion of the product as water efficient.

“Drying a full wash load uses considerably more water than washing it,” the magazine noted in its assessment, taking into account that a consumer would need to run two dryer cycles to dry a full nine kg wash load.

“While this is true for all washer/dryer combos, we didn’t come across other ads that try to greenwash consumers quite so blatantly.”

LG Electronics Australia responded to Choices’ criticisms in a statement this morning.

The LG combined steam washer/dryer WD-1248RD that received the Choice ‘Greenwash Shonky’ Award qualifies for a four star water efficiency rating according to the testing standards for water efficiency outlined by the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO). Currently there are no testing standards outlined by the AGO to assess water usage in the dry cycle,” said the company.

“LG Electronics Australia is very focused on energy conservation and water usage so takes this matter seriously as it wants to ensure all of its products in the Australian market are high quality, efficient and compliant.”

Choice has called for a new water efficiency labeling regime advising consumers of the machine’s total water usage, including washing and condenser drying cycles.

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