Samsung on Friday announced a formal recall of 2.8 million top-load washing machines - more than a month after the U.S. government first issued a warning that the machines are unsafe.
Until the fix is completed, the washer is exchanged or the warning labels are applied, Samsung and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are advising owners of the recalled washers to use the delicate or waterproof cycles when washing bedding, water-resistant or bulky items.
Samsung said drums in affected washers may lose balance, triggering excessive vibrations, resulting in the top separating from the washer. At least nine people have been hurt, including shoulder injuries and broken jaws from the tops of the machines detaching from increased vibration. The washing machines have mid-controls or rear controls.
Customer complaints submitted to the government described washers that exploded and lodged debris in the walls, levitated or ripped sockets from their screws. The rebate amount is based on the manufacture date and model of the recalled washer. "These top-loading washers present a risk of injury when used on a high-speed spin cycle", said CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye in a statement to The Post. The recall affects 34 models sold between March 2011 and November 2016.
Samsung did not respond to a request for comment. Model numbers and serial information can be found on two labels affixed to the back of the machine.
The South Korean company sought the return of 2.5 million smartphones after customers complained the Note 7 model caught fire. Those who purchased the machine for anywhere from $450 to $1,500 can receive a full refund if they bought the machine within past 30 days since the recall was announced.
Those choosing to have the machine repaired will receive a one-year extended warranty from the manufacturer.
Customers who would like to replace their washing machine can get a rebate to use toward the purchase of a new washer of any brand, along with a free installation of the new machine and removal of the old one.
Until users make their decision, they are advised to wash bulky items only on the delicate or waterproof cycles.
If I have a recalled washer, what are my options?
All known consumers will also receive a Home Label Kit that includes a control panel guide and additional safety instructions in the mail.