KNOXVILLE(WATE) – Samsung is issuing a voluntary recall of certain top-loading washers manufactured from March 2011 to November 2016.
The recall follows reports that 730 units exploded, resulting in nine injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The tops of the units weren’t “secured enough based on a design failure, which according to CPSC, could cause the top to blow off.
“We’re talking about … a very serious hazard of the top of these washing machines completely blowing off,” Elliot Kaye, the chairman of the CPSC, told “GMA” Investigates. “It is a lot of reports.”
In a statement, Samsung told GMA Investigates: “Samsung is moving quickly to offer safe and easy choices to consumers impacted by the recall. Our priority is to minimize any safety risk and address the conditions that lead to the rare instance when the top of the washer unexpectedly separates from the unit. Those with the recalled washers are advised to use the delicate or waterpoof cycles when washing bedding, water-resistant or bulky items.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this is creating to our loyal customers. We have worked closely with the CPSC to offer a consumer friendly recall that is safe, easy and complete with choices suited to the needs of anyone who may own a recalled machine. Our service teams are now scheduling visits to consumers’ homes to conduct free repairs and help resolve any concerns they may have.”
Those with the machine are advised to call Samsung at (866) 264-5636 from 8 a.m .to 10 p.m. or visit Samsung’s website.
People with the recalled washers are offered a free in-home repair that includes reinforcement of the washer’s top. Those that choose the in-home repair will receive a free one-year extension of the manufacture’s warranty, regardless of the age of their washer. In-home repair is not available for mid-control washer at this time.
The second choice is a rebate that can be applied towards the purchase of a new washer from Samsung or other brand washing machine, along with free installation of the new unit and removal of the old unit. The rebate amount is based on the manufacture date and model of the recalled washer. Consumers who choose a Samsung washer will receive an additional loyalty incentive up to $150 toward their new Samsung washer purchase.
As an added safety measure, all known washer owners will also receive a Home Label Kit in the mail. The kit will include a new control panel guide (excluding mid-control models), two warning labels and step-by-step instructions for applying them to the machine, and a user manual supplement.
Additionally, consumers who purchased a recalled washer in the last 30 days of this recall announcement are eligible for a full refund from their original place of purchase. Those that purchased the washer in the last 30 days are eligible for a full refund.
ABC News first reported on the risk last month following a year-long investigation into Samsung’s top-loading washing machines. Melissa Thaxton, 32, of Dallas, Ga., said she narrowly avoided getting a serious injury while her machine came apart as the laundry was in its final spin cycle.
“All of the sudden, without warning the washing machine just exploded,” she said of the April incident. “It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear.”
Thaxton says what made it even more frightening was that her then-4-year-old son, Luke, was right next to her.
“I just remember covering my head and leaning towards my son and just screaming this scream that I didn’t even know I could scream,” she said.
Among the nine reported injuries was a case in which a washer lid flew off and hit a woman in the back, causing her to “collide into a cabinet,” according to a complaint.
The lid “struck her head, neck, upper body, chin, and jaw” before falling to the floor, the complaint added. The woman’s name was redacted from the complaint.