Nearly 3 million Samsung top-loading washing machines are being recalled, following hundreds of consumer reports involving problems where the machines broke apart or exploded due to excessive vibration, resulting in property damage and impact injuries, including a broken jaw and injured shoulder.
The Samsung washing machine recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on November 4, after at least 733 reports of the top-loading washing machines experiencing excessive vibration or the top piece detaching from the washing machine chassis. To date, officials have received multiple property damage reports and nine impact or fall injuries from consumers nearby the machines when they exploded.
In late September, the CPSC issued a consumer warning about the risk of exploding Samsung washing machines, indicating the high efficiency, top-loading units could begin vigorously vibrating and come apart while in use.
In addition to the CPSC notice, Samsung announced the recall on it’s website, indicating the impacted HE top-loading washing machines can lose balance at high spin speeds with heavy loads, such as bedding or bulkier water resistant items. When the loss of balance occurs, the machines may spin out of control, causing excessive vibration that may result in the top of the frame detaching from the chassis, posing an impact injury risk.
Reports have described the machines as bombs when they begin shaking vigorously before exploding, sometimes projecting pieces of the sharp shattered frame as far as nine feet away.
One customer reported an exploding Samsung top-loading washing machine in May this year, stating the machine did a 180-degree turn when it exploded, projecting pieces of the machine from the unit. When the machine exploded and twisted it caused damage to the dryer beside it, damaged the wall, and broke the water tie-in from the machine causing water to begin flooding the floor, according to the report.
Among other property damage related reports, one customer from Texas reported in August that one of the now recalled Samsung washing machines caught on fire while excessively vibrating, completely burning the back wall and damaging the rest of the house.
The recall affects 34 models of Samsung top-loading washing machines that have mid-controls or rear controls. For a full list of the recalled model numbers, visit the CPSC recall notice linked above.
The recalled machines were manufactured in South Korea, China and Thailand under Samsung Electronics America Inc., of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. They were sold at Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears and various other home appliance stores nationwide from March 2011 through November 2016 for between $450 and $1,500.
The CPSC and Samsung are asking customers to verify whether their washing machine units are included in the recall by checking the model or serial number located of a label affixed to the back of the machine. Customers can verify the unit model or serial numbers by contacting Samsung at 866-264-5636 or by visiting them online at www.Samsung.com and navigating to the “Recall Notice” at the top of the page.
Until one of the recommended remedies has been applied, customers should only use the delicate or waterproof cycles when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items. Using the delicate wash cycles will decrease the chance of throwing off the spin cycle’s balance.
Samsung announced there will be several remedy options for consumers to choose from, including a free in-home repair that will include reinforcing the washer’s top and extending the warranty by one year. The second option is a rebate applied towards the purchase of a new Samsung or other brand name washing machine along with free installation and removal of the old unit. Customers that purchased the unit within the last 30 days may receive a full refund.