CPSC Issues Warning After Reports Some Samsung Washing Machines Exploded

Warning Issued After Reported Washing Machine Explosions

ByABC News
September 28, 2016, 7:48 AM

— -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning about certain top-loading Samsung washing machines after reports that some exploded, ABC News has learned exclusively.

The agency said it is working with Samsung on a remedy to fix the issue, which apparently affects some units made from March 2011 to April 2016.

At first, Melissa Thaxton, 32, of Dallas, Georgia, thought her Samsung washing machine was a lifesaver.

“It was just perfect,” she said.

But she says that changed on the morning of April 8, 2016. She said she was standing next to the running machine when it exploded.

“It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear,” Thaxton said. “There were wires, nuts, the cover actually was laying on the floor.”

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.

In a similar case in Holly Springs, North Carolina, Sarah Price said her two-month-old top-loading Samsung washing machine flew apart too.

“Any one of us could’ve been in here,” she said.

These aren’t the only cases.

“GMA” Investigates has learned that since early last year, 21 people have reported to the CPSC that their top-loading Samsung washing machines have exploded or blown apart.

Thaxton and several other plaintiffs are suing Samsung in federal court in New Jersey. Their lawyer, Jason Lichtman, argues that a support rod in the top-loading Samsung washing machine is insufficient to hold the tub in place and can become unfastened during the spin cycle.

“The rod can slide right out,” he said. “And that’s what causes the washing machine to blow apart.”

In a statement late yesterday Samsung told “GMA” Investigates, “In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items. It is important to note that Samsung customers have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011.”

Until a remedy to this safety issue is in place, the CPSC and Samsung today are advising consumers to use only the delicate cycle when washing bedding and bulky items. They say the lower speed lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage from the washing machine’s becoming dislodged. Consumers can contact Samsung to get more information and determine whether they have an affected washing machine.

Thaxton said that Samsung offered her a refund but that she’s taking the company to court instead because she wants to warn other people about the problem.

“If that would have hit my child, there is no telling — it would have been catastrophic,” she said. “And that’s why I’m speaking out.”

To see if your Samsung washing machine is on the list of affected models, click HERE to visit Samsung’s website and enter your serial number.

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