Exploding Samsung Washing Machines Add to Company’s Woes

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When it rains, it pours. At least that’s how Korean consumer products maker Samsung must be feeling. The company recently recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to replace a battery that could burst into flames. On Wednesday, the company issued a statement related to some of its top-loading washing machines that consumers report have, uh, exploded.

What the company said in a statement is that, “In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items.”

Samsung recommends that owners of the washers, built between March 2011 and April 2016, use the low-speed “delicate” cycle when washing these items. The company said there were no reported incidents when consumers used that cycle.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it has received over a dozen complaints from consumers about the Samsung washers, some of which report machines that have exploded. The CPSC noted that the issue appears to occur during the spin cycle. According to Consumer Reports magazine, the machines “suddenly and sometimes violently break apart.”

A photo from SaferProducts.gov illustrates the effect:

Consumer Reports has “suspended” its recommended status for any Samsung top-loading washer that originally earned that designation. The consumer products watchdog tested 10 Samsung top-loaders, of which four had been recommended. After checking the serial numbers against a list of affected models, Consumer Reports found that six of the 10 machines tested were among the models affected by this problem.

Consumers who own a Samsung washer can find the serial number on the back of the machine and enter that 15-digit number on the Samsung website to find out if it is one of the potentially explosive machines.

Samsung and the CPSC have yet to come up with a fix for the issue, but they are working on it according to the company. Samsung said it will provide updated information as soon as possible at the website cited above.

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