Despite the recall of nearly 3 million washing machines by Korean company Samsung, a rash of explosions continues. Over the weekend, yet another Samsung washer exploded, this time in Irving, Texas.
Faisal Nuree’s wife put a mattress pad in the top-loading washing machine, and fortunately was in another room when the machine exploded. The force from the blast pushed the washing machine away from the wall and blew off the top of the unit.
“If people were here, especially my kids, it could have been deadly,” Nuree told local ABC affiliate WFAA8. “How can a washing machine just blow up?”
The incident was the latest in a rash of explosions that have plagued Samsung since it revealed the potential for harm in 2016, following nine reports of injuries including a broken jaw and an injured shoulder. In November 2016, the company announced the recall of 2.8 million washing machines that range across 34 of the company’s models. The essential details of the recall can b e found on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall notice.
The explosions reportedly stem from unbalanced drums, which can separate from the washing machine with enough internal force to cause other parts of the machine to detach — and in some cases launch with ample force to cause serious injury.
“Samsung regrets the experience the Nuree family had and takes reported product concerns very seriously,” a Samsung spokesperson told WFAA. “We have reached out to learn more about what happened and to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. Samsung strongly encourages any customer who has experienced an issue with a Samsung product or authorized service visit to immediately contact us at 1-866-264-5636 or at samsung.com/us/tlw.”
It’s not an uncommon problem for the industry. In November 2017, a Whirlpool Duet washer owned by a family in Freeport, Minnesota, exploded, firing off ball bearings with the force of bomb shrapnel. The blast knocked a woman unconscious and left her with a concussion.
In September 2017, a woman in Knoxville, Tennessee, experienced a similar incident when the top of her Samsung washing machine was blown completely off its chassis.
In mid-January of last year, a Samsung washing machine in Fresno, California, exploded with such force that it dented the dryer next to it. Later that month in Houston, a Samsung washer blew up, banging holes in the adjoining sheetrock and denting both a dryer and a refrigerator next to it.
None of these people received a notice from the company about the potential hazard posed by the washing machines. Samsung claims to have mailed “Home Label Kits” to all consumers affected by the recall. These safety labels change the wash cycles consumers are advised to use for heavy bedding and bulky items, which seem to be a factor in the explosive incidents.
The company also says it’s actively communicating with owners of recalled washers through direct communication, social media, and in-store promotions.
Consumers that have taken advantage of Samsung’s recall have been offered a number of options that include a free repair of the washing machine, a rebate, or a full refund.
Consumer Reports recently noted that prices for washing machines are skyrocketing, although Samsung hasn’t yet revealed any new pricing for its numerous models. The company recently began manufacturing appliances in the U.S. for the first time, starting with a new manufacturing plant in North Carolina.
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