Dangerous washing machines: Samsung recalls 2.8 million units in US

Samsung washing machines are seen as an employee inspects refrigerators at a Samsung display store in Johannesburg, on Oct 3, 2013.
Samsung washing machines are seen as an employee inspects refrigerators at a Samsung display store in Johannesburg, on Oct 3, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Samsung discontinued its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, which was prone to catching fire, last month. But the company's safety problems have not ended: The manufacturer and a product safety regulator on Friday (Nov 4) announced a recall for 2.8 million washing machines in the United States.

The number of washing machines recalled, which includes 34 models of Samsung's top-loading washers, exceeds the 1.9 million Galaxy Note smartphones that Samsung and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled last month.

The safety commission said the affected Samsung washing machines had tops that could detach from the chassis during use, "posing a risk of injury from impact".

Samsung said this could occur when consumers used a high-speed spin cycle for washing water-resistant clothing or bulky items, including bedding.

"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," Mr John Herrington, a general manager of home appliances for Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement.

In response to a query, Samsung Electronics Singapore told The Straits Times that it "is aware of a voluntary recall announcement regarding issues with certain top-load washing machines sold in North America."

However, it added, "We can confirm that this issue does not impact top-load washer models sold outside of North America."

The US safety commission said Samsung had received 733 reports of washing machines experiencing excessive vibrations or the tops detaching. In addition, there were nine reports of related injuries, including a broken jaw and injured shoulder, the commission said.

Samsung said it was moving quickly with the product safety commission to inform consumers of their options. The company said consumers could choose an in-home repair, in which the top of the washer would be reinforced. The second option for customers is to receive a rebate that can be applied toward buying another Samsung washing machine.

Samsung said it would offer refunds only to customers who bought a recalled washing machine in the last 30 days.

The safety commission has listed the 34 affected washing machine models, which were sold from March 2011 to November of this year. Customers can also enter their serial numbers at Samsung's website to see if their machines are part of the recall.