Government agency issues warning over 'exploding' Samsung washing machines
Samsung's standing with consumers became all the more tenuous on Wednesday when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned owners of potential "safety issues" related to the company's top-loading washing machines.
Though an exact model went unspecified by the CPSC, the warning covers certain Samsung washing machines built between March 2011 and April 2016, reports CNN.
Today's news comes more than a month after a class-action lawsuit was filed against Samsung in New Jersey over "exploding" washing machines. Affected customers living in Texas, Georgia and Indiana claim to have heard a loud boom while washing clothes.
Since early 2015, the CPSC received reports of at least 21 similar occurrences, according to ABC News.
Some users suggest the problem lies with a rod supporting the machine's internal basket, which spins at high speeds during wash, rinse and spin dry cycles. One owner in Texas said her unit "exploded with such ferocity that it penetrated the interior wall of her garage," court filings reveal.
To alleviate potential stresses that could lead to malfunction, the CPSC suggests using a delicate cycle when washing bedding and water-resistant and bulky items as the practice "lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged."
Samsung said much the same in a statement posted to its official website. The company is working with regulators to address potential safety issues
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 is recommending that consumers with affected models use the lower speed delicate cycle when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant materials. There have been no reported incidents when using this cycle.
Samsung's washing machine woes come amidst the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Shortly after the first Galaxy Note 7 handsets hit store shelves in August, customers began to complain of battery fires. Photos and video of exploding handsets surfaced online at troubling rates, suggesting the issue was endemic to a vast number of shipped units. Problems progressed to the point where airlines banned the phone from being turned on or charged during flight, or restricted the device altogether.
As the scope of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 plight became clear, the company issued a global recall thought to cost the company between $1 billion and $2 billion.