By Keri Algar
SYDNEY, NSW: LG Australia has entered into a court enforceable undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the alleged misrepresentation of the energy efficiency of 2007 and 2009 refrigerator models.
The ACCC claims LG did not remove or disable the energy saving storage mode function of three fridges during testing prior to applying for energy label registrations. It was later discovered that when testing the refrigerators in regular mode the energy consumption was 10 per cent higher.
The ACCC alleges LG mislead consumers as to the energy efficiency characteristics of the refrigerators and that LG’s compliance program did not pick up or prevent the situation from occurring.
“The cost of electricity is paramount to all consumers in Australia such that energy efficiency claims can significantly influence consumer purchasing decisions," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said today.
"To ensure companies cannot take advantage of this, the ACCC will thoroughly investigate claims that have the potential to be false or misleading. Companies need to have in place measures to ensure their claims are accurate."
In a reactive statement LG Australia said it will take any claim that its products do not meet high standards seriously.
“LG Australia acknowledges that this may have affected the ability of consumers to accurately compare the energy efficiency of affected LG fridges,” said the company in a statement.
“To address these concerns, LG Australia has offered consumers a number of options and such options are available to consumers until 30 November 2010.”
Customers who purchased a fridge with an affected 2009 energy label have been offered a cash rebate of $331.20 or a refund or replacement refrigerator of equivalent specification without the energy saving mode.
Customers who purchased a fridge with an affected 2007 energy label can receive a cash rebate of $295 or return their fridge to receive a refund or replacement refrigerator of equivalent specification without the energy saving mode.
In a retailer survey conducted last week, Current.com.au found that the energy efficiency of household appliances have a significant impact on purchasing outcomes, with more people asking for and being influenced by star ratings.