SAN FRANCISCO – The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), with the cooperation of Samsung, is recalling 2.8 million of Samsung’s top-loading washing machines in the wake of over 700 reports of exploding washing machines resulting in at least nine injuries. The recall covers 34 of Samsung’s top-loading models sold from March 2011 through November 2016.
CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye told reporters, “We’re talking about … a very serious hazard of the top of these washing machines completely blowing off. It is a lot of reports.” Kaye added that the tops of the affected units weren’t “secured enough based on a design failure. And the top just completely blows off.”
In August 2016, Lieff Cabraser filed a federal consumer product defect lawsuit in district court in New Jersey alleging among other things that the Samsung top-loading washers explode in owners’ homes, causing damage to walls, doors, and other nearby equipment and presenting significant injury risks. Lieff Cabraser partner Jason Lichtman stated, “We are pleased that Samsung has taken the step of agreeing to a formal recall of these dangerous machines, and we are monitoring the situation closely.” Lichtman added, “both the federal court and the Plaintiffs have an important role to play in ensuring that consumers are protected fully and compensated appropriately.”
“It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear,” stated 32-year-old plaintiff Melissa Thaxton of Dallas, Georgia. “There were wires, nuts, the cover actually was laying on the floor. 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,” Thaxton added.
Beyond damage to the washing machines themselves, reports include descriptions of glass and other machine parts being shot across garages and laundry rooms at distances of over 15 feet, with consequent damage to other appliances, water heaters, and homes. Several Samsung top-loading washer owners report avoiding injury from the exploding debris and equipment pieces only by fortunate timing or physical blocking from other pieces of furniture or equipment, often mere moments after the owners had their heads or hands right by the machines.
In late September 2016, the CPSC issued a warning about the top-loading Samsung washer explosion dangers, advising consumers only to use the most delicate cycle when washing any bedding, water-resistant, or bulky items. “The lower spin speed in the delicate cycle lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged,” the warning noted.
Searches for video captures of exploding Samsung washers on YouTube show over 8,000 results with frightening owner videos posted showing the machines shaking with wild uncontrolled vibrations and exploding as well as a myriad of news reports on the incidents and owner fears about their homes and washers.
Samsung issued a statement indicating it 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.” The company apologized for what it called the “inconvenience” to consumers caused by its defective exploding washing machines, and offered to schedule home visits to conduct free repairs.
Information on affected models is available on the CPSC’s website at www.cpsc.gov. You can learn more about the lawsuits filed on behalf of owners of Samsung top-loading washing machines and your rights as a consumer on Lieff Cabraser’s website.
Consumer Protection Attorneys at Lieff Cabraser
On August 12, 2016, attorneys at Lieff Cabraser filed a class action complaint on behalf of consumers seeking redress for Samsung’s allegedly defective and dangerous top-loading washing machines, noting that the machines present unreasonable risks of property damage and serious personal injury during normal use as they are prone to “catastrophic failure” leading to unit explosions.
If you purchased a Samsung top-loading washing machine between March 2011 and November 2016, we invite you to visit our Samsung top-load washer explosions webpage to contact a consumer attorney at Lieff Cabraser. We welcome the opportunity to learn of your experiences with your Samsung washing machine and to answer any questions you may have about your legal rights.
About Lieff Cabraser
Recognized as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms” by The American Lawyer and a “Top 10 Plaintiffs Firm” by Benchmark Litigation, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, has successfully litigated and settled hundreds of class action lawsuits in federal and state courts, including dozens of cases requiring manufacturers to remedy a defect, extend warranties, and refund to purchasers the cost of repairing the defective product. It has recovered billions of dollars for consumers in such cases. With seventy attorneys in offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville, we are among the largest law firms in the United States that represent only plaintiffs.
Jason L. Lichtman
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Tel. (212) 955-3500