Why are Samsung washing machines exploding? Check out here!
Samsung is facing legal and regulatory action for a fault in its washing machines that has allegedly caused some models to "explode", making them the company's second product in a month to be condemned by safety watchdogs.
The company is in discussion with a US regulator about safety problems affecting "top-load" washing machines, which open on the top rather than the front, produced in the last five years.
After a lawsuit was filed claiming that Samsung washing machines had exploded, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that the problem could be widespread.
In response, Samsung said: "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."
The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey, alleges that customers' machines had "blown apart" and "exploded in owners' homes".
"It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear," said Melissa Thaxton, one of the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit. "There were wires, nuts, the cover actually was laying on the floor. 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."
Leiff Cabraser, who is representing the plaintiffs, said: "Beyond damage to the washing machines themselves, reports include descriptions of glass and other machine parts being shot across garages and laundry rooms at distances of over 15 feet, with consequent damage to other appliances, water heaters, and homes."
Samsung has urged customers to use a lower speed setting for bulk washes and bedding to avoid the risk of their washing machines becoming unstable.
"Samsung is recommending that consumers with affected models use the lower speed delicate cycle when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant materials," said the company. "There have been no reported incidents when using this cycle."
The news that certain washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016 could be hazardous follows a "humiliating" global recall of Samsung's "exploding" Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
Analysts estimate the controversy could cost the smartphone and appliance maker up to $1 billion, and it has already wiped millions of dollars off its share price.
It is not clear if the Korean electronics giant will recall the faulty washing machines in the US, a comprehensive list of which has not been released.
Separately, the company recalled 70,000 washing machines in Australia last year after claims they had caused nearly 100 fires in the country.
For customers that think they might have an affected product, Samsung has released a tool that will let them search using the serial number.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said it "is actively and cooperatively working with Samsung to address safety issues related to certain top-load washing machines made between March 2011 and April 2016".
"CPSC is advising consumers to only use the delicate cycle when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items," it added. "The lower spin speed in the delicate cycle lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged."
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