Samsung faces US safety probe over washing machines

SEOUL • Samsung Electronics, which is already reeling from a global recall of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones, said yesterday it is in talks with a US watchdog to address potential safety problems related to some of its washing machines.

The South Korean tech company's comments came as the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned of problems with some of Samsung's top-load washing machines, following media reports that they had exploded.

Certain top-load washing machines made between March 2011 and April this year were affected, both the company and the CPSC 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," Samsung said on its website. The company said consumers with affected models should use the lower-speed delicate cycle when washing those materials. Samsung did not mention the models affected but asked customers to enter their washing machine's serial number on its website to determine if their machine is affected.

It was not immediately known how many units were involved, but a Samsung spokesman said models sold outside North America are not affected by the issue.

The company is also facing a lawsuit from US customers who, according to a filing in a New Jersey court on Aug 12, said their machines "explode during normal use".

Samsung, the world's top smartphone maker, announced on Sept 2 a global recall of at least 2.5 million Galaxy Note7 smartphones in 10 markets due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire. Its shares seemed to have shrugged off the latest setback for the company, rising 3.2 per cent as of 0327 GMT yesterday (11.27am Singapore time yesterday), versus the wider market's 0.9 per cent gain.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2016, with the headline 'Samsung faces US safety probe over washing machines'. Print Edition | Subscribe