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Samsung recalls 2.8 million 'explosive' washers due to injury risk

Earlier this fall, we covered news that Samsung might have to recall several million top-loading washing machines due to injury risks associated with the company’s hardware. Now, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a major recall across 34 different types of washing machine, affecting an estimated 2.8 million washers in the US. The washers affected are all top loaders and they all have either rear controls or mid controls.

The problem with the washers is that they lose balance in certain types of heavy loads, or if there’s excessive vibration. This results in the top of the machine detaching in some cases. While this isn’t technically an explosion, you can forgive people for using the word — the top of the washer can be flung clear of the machine or simply destroyed, but the shower of mechanical parts and possibly fire doesn’t exactly look like a minor failure.

Affected machines were sold in the United States between 2011 and the present day, and Samsung has created a webpage detailing how it’s going to respond to the problem.

The first option is a free in-home repair that includes reinforcement of the washer’s top. Consumers who choose the in-home repair will receive a free one-year extension of the manufacturer’s warranty, regardless of the age of their washer. The free in-home repair is not available for mid-control washer at this time.

The second choice is a rebate that can be applied towards the purchase of a new washer from Samsung or other brand washing machine, along with free installation of the new unit and removal of the old unit. The rebate amount is based on the manufacture date and model of the recalled washer. Consumers who choose a Samsung washer will receive an additional loyalty incentive up to $150 toward their new Samsung washer purchase.

As an added safety measure, all known washer owners will also receive a Home Label Kit in the mail. The kit will include a new control panel guide (excluding mid-control models), two warning labels and step-by-step instructions for applying them to the machine, and a user manual supplement.

Additionally, consumers who purchased a recalled washer in the last 30 days of this recall announcement are eligible for a full refund from their original place of purchase.

Samsung recommends that all owners use the delicate or waterproof cycles when washing all bedding, water-resistant, or bulky items. In addition, owners may want to remove the Galaxy Note 7 that was surreptitiously installed on the underside of the washer top to avoid the risk of explosion or fire. Okay, we made that last part up, but Samsung’s corporate image has taken a beating of late. Between the major product recalls and controversies regarding its union-busting practices, 2016 isn’t going to go down as one of the company’s better years.

This recall only applies to top-loading washers, as mentioned above. Front-loading machines are not affected. The company has received nine reports of significant injury, including a broken jaw and injured shoulder, and 733 reports of excessive vibration or complete top detachment without a resulting injury. Given the force involved, property damage is also a clear possibility.

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