The bad news just keeps on coming for Samsung Electronics, as the tech giant just announced yet another recall -- this time for the company’s top-loading washing machines. Still reeling from the aftermath of its Galaxy Note 7’s battery cell explosions, Samsung is now addressing further product safety concerns.
Currently facing a class-action lawsuit, Samsung is in negotiations with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about a potentially deadly fault with its top-loading washing machines. This lawsuit alleges that use of the washers could be dangerous, and that the washers could even possibly explode.
Samsung’s recall affects some 2.8 million washing machines.
First Smartphones, Now Washers
Across the U.S., consumers who bought Samsung top-load washing machines even as early as 2011 are experiencing not clean clothes but unexpected injuries from doing their laundry.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the top of Samsung washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and today can detach from the washing machine chassis without warning. Reports say that the drums inside the washers may lose balance and trigger violent vibrations during high-spin cycles, causing the entire machine to fall apart.
Due to falls suffered from the impact, users have reported broken jaws, injured shoulders, and other similar injuries. A Texas woman’s court filings read that her washing machine “exploded with such ferocity that it penetrated the interior wall of her garage.” Others have described the sound as similar to a bomb going off.
So far, Samsung has received 9 formal complaints. However, the particular model of washer hasn’t been specified, nor the potential consequences of this fault that more people could face. The only hope is that CPSC’s involvement will result in more transparency and a speedy resolution before anything worse happens.
How Will Samsung Crawl Out of This Hole?
Samsung has declined to comment on the most recent litigation against them; instead, the company tried to point out that its customers “have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011.”
The company has provided a press release, in which the situation is described as a “risk of personal injury or property damage,” stating plans to compensate its unfortunate customers. These promises include free in-home repairs, extended warranties and rebates that can be applied to new washers – even those of Samsung’s competitors.
“Our priority is to reduce any safety risks in the home and to provide our customers with easy and simple choices in response to the recall,” said John Herrington, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Home Appliances at Samsung. “We are moving quickly and in partnership with the CPSC to ensure consumers know the options available to them and that any disruption in the home is minimized.”
But while the company strives to move quickly to mitigate physical damage, can they do anything to repair the longer-term issue: disgruntled customers?
North of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are being recalled after the battery fiasco shortly after its release. It’s safe to say that Samsung is already under enough scrutiny, and losing a good deal of customers. Added to this, the washing machine recall is set to raise even more questions about Samsung’s quality control measures – and will pose some serious challenges in the company’s ability to win back trust.