Our home appliances do a lot of things. Without them, we’d have a much harder time brewing coffee, heating up leftovers, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. We rely on our coffee makers, microwave ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers, and many other devices to make each day better and more productive.
With all the things appliances do for us, one thing they’re not supposed to do is explode while we’re using them. Unfortunately, if you own one of nearly three dozen models of Samsung top-loading washing machines, you might face exactly that risk. There have been more than 700 reports of problems with these machines, with the most severe ending in the machine self-destructing and causing injury to a user. The company has now issued a recall order affecting approximately 2.8 million machines.
Shaking Themselves to Pieces
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the agency which tracks problems with consumer products and coordinates recalls with manufacturers, has received at least 733 reports of these Samsung machines experiencing excessive vibration. Nine of those reports include injuries that resulted when a machine shook itself loose, fell over, or—in the most dramatic cases—exploded from the problem vibrations. The most severe injury reported to date was a broken jaw, and at least one person was injured in a fire blamed on one of the Samsung machines.
Problem Brewing for Some Time
Trouble with this product line has been on the CPSC’s radar for at least several months. One of the more dramatic failures took place in April when a Georgia woman and her four-year-old son barely escaped injury when their washer exploded during the final spin cycle. Another woman was not so lucky and was injured when the lid of an exploding machine struck her in the back.
In September, Samsung and the CPSC issued a preliminary warning while the problem was under investigation. At that time, users of the machines were cautioned to use only the delicate cycle when spinning heavy items to reduce the risk of harm. That might have been prudent advice at the time, but when a consumer buys a product, they expect to be able to use it as advertised and to be able to make use of all its features. Asking these owners to restrict the way that they use the device, while necessary for safety, in effect serves as proof that the product is defective and can’t be used as intended.
This situation is not as extreme, but it’s effectively the same as a car manufacturer telling its customers that they can’t drive down hills because the brakes aren’t strong enough, or a refrigerator maker telling those who buy its product that they can’t use the freezer compartment to store ice cream because it doesn’t stay cold enough.
Many Products Affected
If you own a Samsung washing machine you can learn if your item is included in the recall by checking the model and serial number on the Samsung website.
The recall, which covers thirty-four models sold between March 2011 and November 2016, offers owners of the defective machines three remedies. For the first option, consumers can contact Samsung to receive a free in-home repair kit to reinforce the washer’s top. That option includes a one-year extension to the machine’s warranty.
The second remedy offers owners a rebate toward a new washing machine, even if it’s not made by Samsung, and will include free installation as well as removal of the old machine.
The third remedy is only available to those who purchased their washing machine within thirty days of the recall announcement: Those consumers will receive a full refund.
Contact a Florida Defective Product Lawyer
Not all owners of these machines will take Samsung up on their repair or replacement offer, especially those consumers who were already injured. When consumers are harmed because of a defective product, they have the right to recover damages from the manufacturer of that product. This is true when the harm is personal, such as an injury due to being struck by an exploding washer part, or when the harm comes in the form of property damage, as in the case of the machine that started a house fire.
At Lavent Law we have experience helping clients navigate their product liability claims through the turbulent waters of the legal system. If you need help building your case and moving it forward, give us a call to find out how we can help. The consultation is free, and you owe us nothing unless your case reaches a successful settlement. Call us today at (305) 440-0450 or complete the contact form on this page to schedule an appointment.
17295 NE 19th Ave
North Miami Beach, FL 33162