June 16, 2011

AHAM Letter to the Editor Published in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A letter submitted by AHAM President Joe McGuire to the editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was published today.  His response rebuts Tom Purcell's opinion column on clothes washer performance, much of which was extracted from an earlier Wall Street Journal column on the same topic.  

The text of the letter is posted below:

Truth comes out in wash

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unfortunately, it appears that in his column "Needed: A washing machine that washes" (June 5 and TribLIVE.com), Tom Purcell regurgitated the bulk of an inaccurate Wall Street Journal article and details from an outdated Consumer Reports. His column is not supported by the facts such as the 2011 blog by Consumer Reports on the very same subject.

Clothes washers' gains in energy efficiency have not come at the expense of performance, particularly top loading clothes washers. Consumer Reports' deputy technical director was quoted in a recent Consumer Reports blog as saying: "As an organization that tests both performance and energy efficiency, Consumer Reports has seen product performance improve or remain at high levels, while energy efficiency standards have become increasingly stringent over the years. Washing machine performance has actually improved while dishwashers and refrigerators performance has remained at high levels."

The blog post also states "that back in 1996, Consumer Reports said 'any (top-loading) washing machine will get clothes clean,' whereas now, only some manage that feat. But that face-off compares apples to oranges: Our testing and scoring protocols for washers are significantly tougher than they were when Bill Clinton was in the White House."

Tom, have confidence in your next purchase — the appliance industry has a long history of making energy-efficient appliances that also offer optimal performance.

Joseph M. McGuire
Washington, D.C.
The writer is president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (aham.org).

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