If you follow the news at all, you’ve likely heard about Samsung’s troubles. First, it was the cellphones; consumers reported experienced alarming trouble with their smartphones, some overheating, smoking, catching fire and even exploding. Things got so bad that the phones were banned entirely from commercial airplanes. It now looks like things are only going to get worse for the Korean technology company after it announced this week that it will recall nearly 3 million washing machines. What’s the trouble? Concerns about exploding washers.
Samsung’s troubles began months ago when reports started trickling in that the new Galaxy Note 7 was overheating. Since the first reports of problems, dozens of people have come forward saying the lithium-ion batteries in their phones can overheat, leading to fires and explosions. The crisis is bad enough that Samsung recalled millions of the phones and, after several scary incidents, airlines banned passengers from bringing them onboard.
The issue with the washing machines impacts a wide range of products across 34 models of top-loading washers. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the concern is that the top of the washing machine can unexpectedly detach from the base, posing a risk to consumers of injury from impact.
The recall was announced after Samsung received more than 700 separate reports of the tops coming off washing machines. The reports mentioned excessive vibration that typically resulted in the top of the machine coming off. Of the many reports, nine people have identified injuries, including a broken jaw and a hurt shoulder.
The trouble is serious enough that several consumers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Samsung, claiming that the washing machines are defective and can explode during normal use. This suit is on top of other lawsuits already filed by those with Samsung smartphones.
Samsung is saying that they will provide free in-home repairs for their machines and reinforce the top of the washer; hopefully ensuring it remains in place. If you’d rather not try a repair, Samsung has said it will give rebates on buying a new machine and will even cart away your old ones. Finally, if you bought the washer within the past month they’ll give you a full refund. Regulators are encouraged that Samsung is taking some steps to stop further damage, but consumers are being warned to only use their machines on the delicate or waterproof settings, hopefully reducing the risk of serious harm.