Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are recalling 2.8 million of Samsung's top-loading washing machines after reports that 730 units exploded, resulting in nine injuries, the CPSC announced today on “Good Morning America.”
“We’re talking about ... a very serious hazard of the top of these washing machines completely blowing off,” Elliot Kaye, the chairman of the CPSC, told “GMA” Investigates in an interview that aired Friday on “GMA.” “It is a lot of reports.”
Kaye said the tops of the affected units weren’t “secured enough based on a design failure. And the top just completely blows off.”
The recall affects 34 of Samsung's top-loading models that were sold from March 2011 to November 2016.
ABC News first reported on the risk last month following a year-long investigation into Samsung’s top-loading washing machines.
Melissa Thaxton, 32, of Dallas, Ga., said she narrowly avoided getting a serious injury while her machine came apart as the laundry was in its final spin cycle.
“All of the sudden, without warning the washing machine just exploded,” she said of the April incident. “It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear.”
Thaxton says what made it even more frightening was that her then-4-year-old son, Luke, was right next to her.
“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,” she said.
Among the nine reported injuries was a case in which a washer lid flew off and hit a woman in the back, causing her to “collide into a cabinet,” according to a complaint.
The lid “struck her head, neck, upper body, chin, and jaw” before falling to the floor, the complaint added. The woman's name was redacted from the complaint.
Kaye stressed the potential gravity of the situation.
“This is the real world for me. I do the laundry in my family. I've got two young boys,” he said. “This would scare the heck out of me, which is why we hope parents and others take advantage of this recall.”
In a statement, Samsung told “GMA” Investigates: “Samsung is moving quickly to offer safe and easy choices to consumers impacted by the recall. Our priority is to minimize any safety risk and address the conditions that lead to the rare instance when the top of the washer unexpectedly separates from the unit.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this is creating to our loyal customers. We have worked closely with the CPSC to offer a consumer-friendly recall that is safe, easy and complete with choices suited to the needs of anyone who may own a recalled machine. Our service teams are now scheduling visits to consumers’ homes to conduct free repairs and help resolve any concerns they may have.”
Consumers who have one of the washing machines included in the recall are advised to contact Samsung toll-free at 866-264-5636 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, or online at www.Samsung.com and click on the recall notice at the top of the page for more information.
The company will offer a free, in-home repair to reinforce the affected washer’s top, a rebate to be applied towards the purchase of a new washing machine --of any brand -– or a full refund for those who bought the machine within the past 30 days.
Until consumers complete one of the above remedies, the CPSC says consumers should only use the delicate or waterproof cycles when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items. The CPSC says the lower speed in the delicate or waterproof cycles lessens the possible risk.
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