Whirlpool employee Elizabeth Riddle assembles the base for a stand-up mixer at the KitchenAid factory in Greenville in August 2012 in this file photo. FILE

Ohio lawsuit claims KitchenAid blenders are weaker than advertised

Plaintiffs are seeking class-action status in a federal lawsuit against the Greenville manufacturer of the KitchenAid blenders, claiming that the blenders aren’t as powerful as Whirlpool Corp. says they are.

“The blenders are incapable for reaching Whirlpool’s horsepower representations for the blenders at any time during household use,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiffs seek damages and equitable relief on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated.”

The lawsuit was filed late last week in federal court in Dayton.

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KitchenAid blenders and mixers are made in Greenville. Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp. has invested in that plant in recent years, completing a $17 million distribution facility in Greenville across from the company’s main production plant there. The company has at least 1,200 workers in Greenville.

The lawsuit was filed by residents of Cincinnati, Maryland, Illinois, New York and elsewhere, seeking certification as a class action “on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.”

The plaintiffs argue that Whirlpool distinguishes itself from competitors by promoting its blenders as “particularly powerful.”

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“But these horsepower representations are inaccurate, misleading and materially overstate the blenders’ true operating horsepower,” the lawsuit’s initial filing states. “Indeed, it is not possible for the blenders to operate at 3.5 or even 3.0 horsepower when plugged into a standard 120-volt, 15- or 20-amp outlet in residential homes found in the United States.”

The suit contends that Whirlpool’s horsepower “representations are designed to mislead consumers into believing that blenders have much more power than they actually have, leading to consumers overpaying for the blenders …”

A message seeking comment was sent to a representative of Whirlpool Monday.

Whirlpool has much of its manufacturing in the state of Ohio, with more than 3,000 people working at a facility in Clyde, for example.

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