Samsung Electronics is having its share of problems these days. We are writing in this issue about the problems with its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Those problems are far from over. Samsung is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to address another appliance conundrum and that involves top-load washing machines prone to explosion. The electronics giant said it is in “active discussions” with the CPSC to address safety issues relating to certain top-load washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016. Affected units could vibrate abnormally, causing risk of personal injury or property damage, during the washing of bulky loads like bedding or water-resistant items, the company said in a statement on its website.
Samsung said the issue does not affect its front-load washers. However, it did not specify the serial numbers of the potential affected units. Owners of the top-load machines manufactured between those dates are instructed to use the “delicate” cycle when washing bulky items, as there have been no incidents reported at that setting. The CPSC said on its website that the lower spin speed “lessens the impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged.” The agency said further:
CPSC and Samsung are working on a remedy for affected consumers that will help ensure that there are no further incidents. We will provide updated information to the public as soon as possible.
The joint statements came six months after homeowners filed a proposed class action in Indiana federal court against Samsung, accusing the manufacturer of selling them brand-new washing machines that exploded violently in their homes just a few years later, causing significant damage. Indiana resident Suzann Moore bought a Samsung washer in January 2014 from a Sears in Indiana, only to have it explode violently the morning of Dec. 23, 2015, with the sides of the machine shooting outward and damaging the dryer next to it, she said.
Michelle Soto Fielder, a Texas resident, alleged that she bought her Samsung washer in June 2012 and that it, too, exploded in February with “such ferocity that it penetrated the interior walls of her garage,” according to the complaint. Ms. Fielder acknowledged that her machine required some previous maintenance.
The statement is the first public acknowledgment by Samsung of reported issues with the top-load washers. It comes just weeks after the company announced it would halt all sales of the Galaxy Note 7 after reports that at least 35 units caught fire due to a lithium-ion battery defect.
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