So Your Cabrio's Got the F51 (AKA Cabrio Flu) -- The FAQ

You've probably found this page because you've been trying to find out why your washer repeatedly quits mid-cycle and starts displaying an F-51 message. Well, I've created this blog in the hopes of sorting out the facts and getting the word out on this apparent major defective part with a $700+ consumer product.

Basically, the F51 error is a rotor position sensor error. And from everything I've gleaned from my research it is becoming a growing problem as more and more owners reach the 1st anniversary of becoming a Cabrio owner.

What has to be fixed?
Well per the service technician I spoke with and my aformentioned research, two parts really need to be replaced. 1) the rotor sensor itself ($43) and 2) the control board ($197). Apparently, Whirlpool has yet to officially recall these parts, but there is a new board that has a reduced or no sensitivity to the rotor sensor and thus the problem should be corrected.

Can I fix it myself?
That depends on your level of handy-skills. If you're one who can work on late model foreign cars with ease, then this probably won't be a challenge. But for most amateur handy-"people" this will require a professional.

Will Whirlpool pay for the repair?
If you're under warranty (either 1 year or extended), then, of course. If you're not, then maybe. Some people have reported online that Whirlpool has allowed a "policy adjustment" for this repair. In some cases this has meant a total repair free of charge. In other cases, this has meant parts or labor free, but not all free. Regardless, you'll have to call Whirlpool and try to get farther with honey. If that doesn't work, then make sure Whirlpool knows how much you know and that you really want to be able to recommend Whirlpool in the future, but this doesn't help. You will do the opposite (i.e. tell everyone to avoid Whirlpool) if this isn't resolved.

Why doesn't Whirlpool recall the part and fix everyone's Cabrio?
This is the ultimate $64k question. First, it would cost Whirlpool nearly $400 per unit to repair, this could amount to well over a million dollars in just repairs, not to mention the embarassment of a recall. The second theory is that this isn't the only problem with this washer. Recent reports of rusting and other error codes may be preventing Whirlpool from wanting to set a precdent. Finally, this is a trend with Whirlpool as can be seen with the model previous to the Cabrio, the Calypso. It began experiencing problems shortly after its release, for which Whirlpool had little to no response. The situation eventually landed in court with a class action suit and multi-million dollar settlement (see http://calypsosettlement.com/).

What should we do about it?
First, continuously encourage Whirlpool to do what's right and recall a defective part for one of their flagship products. Second, as long as Whirlpool continues to do this, make certain that every Cabrio owner knows of the problem before paying for repairs. Third, make sure every consumer considering an appliance purchase knows that Whirlpool should be avoided as long as this issue remains unresolved.

Who are you, and why are you doing this blog?
I am a simple consumer (married, father of 4) that paid over $700 for a product and then found myself with a $380 repair bill a little over a year later. When I began researching and learned that this problem is becoming common with this product, I felt the need to educate as much as possible.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My F51 Experience - Day 1

Today, there are over 300 postings about the dreaded F-51 error and extreme inconsistencies in how Whirlpool is choosing to respond to the lemon issues of the machine.

Naturally, I wouldn't be posting this if I wasn't a "not so proud" owner myself, but here we are with the aforementioned F-51 error. And this isn't actually day one with the error, that started over 10 days ago, but now through my research and experience, this is where I've landed. I just got off the phone with Gloria at the Whirlpool customer "experience" center and while she was very polite, was emphatic that she could only cover labor or parts, but not both. Come on Whirlpool? It's either defective or it's not. Let's get with it.

If anyone has had the same issue with the Cabrio, or would like to post an issue about another lovely Whirlpool product, please feel free to comment. Better yet, to keep a more positive approach I would love to hear from satisfied consumers of other brands, to steer people in the right direction.

Tomorrow from 1-5pm, repair-person should arrive to fix (for a fee)...will update then.

17 comments:

Anthony said...

My experience:
Contacted whirlpool
Spoke to agent
Provided agent with Model No. and Serial No.
Provided agent with date of purchase. My date of purchase was in 2006.
Whirlpool agent reported that parts and labor would be covered, but agent said that there may be a diagnostic fee.
Appt is scheduled for 08/26/09.
Will update if I am charged a diagnostic fee.

360gamer12 said...

I repair these all the time.

There is a simple fix that works 75% of the time.

Get a bottle of electronics contact cleaner.

Spray connections to motor, MPS Motor position sensor. Connections going to the main computer.

You can also do this for the other connections on the main computer.

This method has worker on 4 out of 5 washers that I have fixed.

GashKerwin said...

I have read almost nothing but good things in various LG Washer Reviews that I've been reading prior to making a purchase. IN fact, most of the complaints seem to be more user error related than any mechanical flaws in the hardware.

devin said...

I've got the same problem on a much newer machine, so apparently they haven't fixed it.

I've called and they have offered to do nothing for me -- not paying for anything. Not telling me anything. I went on Amazon and give it a blistering review. I recommend that others do the same. Get them where it hurts

Danny said...

Mine just started doing this last night and I really wished I would have done a litle more research before buying this pice of crap!! Mine is only 7 months old so we will see what Whirlpool says tomorrow..

The Aud Author, Audrey said...

ATTENTION CONSUMERS!!! Do NOT buy the Cabrio washing machine!!!!!! I've had mine for 4 years, paid a little over $1,000 for it. I'm getting the famous F1 error code that everyone else has gotten and Whirlpool is NOT standing behind their product, they told me all parts and labor will have to be paid by me, not Whirpool. It will cost $400 or more to repair it. For that money I could buy a brand new washer. When sooooo many people's washers are doing the same thing then obviously there's some sort of flaw, they need to recall and do the right thing by their customers. DON'T BUY A WHIRLPOOL, once they get your money, they don't care!!!

I've signed the petition. I've joined the Class Action Law Suit. I've joined the Facebook page as well.

Facebook is a powerful tool against companies that don't stand behind their products. "Like" the page and tell your story: https://www.facebook.com/CabrioWasherByWhirlpoolF1ErrorCode

TONYA said...

My Whirlpool is 3 years old and I will never purchase another Whirlpool product. I am receiving F51 error code after having spent $200 on fixing a different error code. Can you say pretty garbage is what the Cabrio is!!

Danny said...

Most of the time there's something under the drum slowing it down,It's simple to remove get your husband to get a flat tip screw driver to snap the lid loose, lift it then take the bolt out holding the top of the drum in place and pull out the drum and see if something is wrapped around the base..Mine had a sock wrapped around it. I would have never thought that would have keep stopping it but it's a safety to keep from burning up the motor.. But I do agree there stuff is junk because they should have it fixed to where a sock couldn't get down in there for almost $1,000!!!! Good Luck..

Courtney Holton said...

ok, so here is my question, do I have to replace the The board and the RPS? can I just replace the RPS and see if that works?

Danny said...

I wouldn't replace anything until I pull the cover and removed the drum to see if something is wrapped around the base like Mine was... Mine had a 15 cent sock shutting down 1k$ piece of equipement!!

KC said...

4/2013 just got off phone w/ customer svcs, have theF51 message. Machine was purchased in 2010...whirlpool response...my model was not in the " problem" database..I was then told that it's out of warranty, they can do nothing for me...no parts, no service. They then told me that it will cost $129.00 for service to come to my door and it would make economic sence to buy extended warranty for $310.00. So ...I own a product that is known to be defective, yet I'm giving Whirpool more money to hopefully save money on repairs. We will never buy anything from either Whirlpool or Kenmore? Lastly...I researched this product through Consumer Reports...they highly recommended the Cabrio, even though they just went through a class action w/ previous products. It makes me wonder if Consumer Reports is " biased paid advertising" !

Marco Renteria said...

Contacted Whirlpool.
Rep said there would be a diagnostic fee...and tried to sell me an extended warranty.
I searched online to fix the problem myself.
I placed the washer on its side to clean the MPS conections with electronic contact cleaner.
In doing so, I noticed that the bolt that holds the motor cover in place was very loose.
I tightened the bolt.
Problem solved.
LOOSE BOLT/LOOSE MOTOR COVER!!!

It's worth a look. Good luck.

dam66phone said...

we are experiencing the F51 Cabrio Flu... after reading 100's of blog entries, contacted Whilpool, who stated that they have never.. EVER.. heard of such a complaint... and that I am out of warranty

TYVM
Darin

Viktoria Easton said...

Have same issue with mine and after researching heard about some units being covered so of course I called whirlpool. They stated that they WERE covering the repairs until the first of this year! Isn't that convenient...it seems to me that they are in CYA mode and saying whatever to placate the customer. I did run mine through the clean cycle with nothing in it and it finished that cycle! Ran a small load and that went through ok too so will do a normal size load now. For those of you that cannot get it fixed like "right now" can try this ...it worked for me so what could it hurt. I know I will still need to fix this but if anyone hears about a lawsuit for this...I am in.

Viktoria Easton said...

Have same issue with mine and after researching heard about some units being covered so of course I called whirlpool. They stated that they WERE covering the repairs until the first of this year! Isn't that convenient...it seems to me that they are in CYA mode and saying whatever to placate the customer. I did run mine through the clean cycle with nothing in it and it finished that cycle! Ran a small load and that went through ok too so will do a normal size load now. For those of you that cannot get it fixed like "right now" can try this ...it worked for me so what could it hurt. I know I will still need to fix this but if anyone hears about a lawsuit for this...I am in.

Trisha Jones said...

I need to know about this class action lawsuit I'm over this mess plus I paid too much money for this nonsense.

bhargavi k said...


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