If you have been keeping an eye on the news recently, you may have heard about a problem with certain models of Samsung top-loading washers losing their tops. It is also possible you have heard these machines are being recalled.
But what is going on with these machines? Which ones are affected? How do I know if my machine is affected? Read on below for the answers to all of these questions and more about this appliance recall
When was the recall issued?
Samsung announced this appliance recall on November 4, 2016, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Which washing machines are affected by this recall?
Thirty-four Samsung top-loading washing machine models with mid- or rear controls are involved in this recall. They were manufactured between early 2011 and late 2016 in Thailand, China, and South Korea. The washers were sold at The Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and Best Buy as well as other home appliance stores across the United States. Consumers purchased these machines for prices somewhere between $450 and $1,500.
This recall is for Samsung’s top-loading machines, and only the ones manufactured between the dates listed above. It does not affect Samsung’s front-loading washers, or top-loading washers manufactured before or after the above-mentioned time frame.
Why is it being recalled?
Some Samsung top-load washing machines are being recalled due to the risk of potential impact injuries from the top of the washing machine detaching from the washing machine’s chassis in the middle of a washing cycle.
How many incidents have been reported? Have there been any injuries?
The CPSC says that there had been more than 700 reports sent to Samsung about machines with this problem at the time the recall was announced. Reports range in extremes from excessive vibration to the top detaching from the chassis.
As of the time of the recall, there had been nine related reports of injury. The list of injuries reported includes a broken jaw as well as shoulder injuries and other impact and fall-related injuries.
Have there been any similar recalls?
There was a similar risk-of-injury recall on a few LG and Kenmore Elite Brand top-loading washers in 2012. The issue it addressed was a drum coming loose while running unbalanced loads.
GE also issued a recall on some of their top-loading machines about two months prior to this one. The problem was with an electrical component overheating in the washer and the potential fire hazard it posed.
What remedies is Samsung offering?
The manufacturer is offering the following options for a remedy as part of the recall program. They are:
- Free in-home repair. Samsung will provide a free in-home repair of your machine which includes reinforcing the top of your washer. If you choose this option, you will also receive a free one-year extension of the manufacturer’s warranty from the date of the repair. This goes for any machine, no matter how old it is.
- Rebate. Samsung will give you a rebate to apply towards purchasing a new washer – Samsung or a different brand. As part of this option, they will also reimburse you for the retailer’s installation and removal fees. How much the rebate is worth depends on your machine’s model information and the date it was manufactured. If you replace your machine with another Samsung washer, you will receive an extra $150 loyalty incentive on top of the rebate.
- Refund. If you are the original buyer and purchased your machine within thirty days of the recall notice, you may be eligible for a full refund from the store you purchased it at.
Samsung has sent a Home Label Kit to all of the consumers it knows has been affected. Its contents include the following:
- a new guide for the control panel
- warning labels (with step-by-step instructions on how to apply the labels to the machine)
- a user manual supplement
Until your Home Label Kit has been installed, or your machine has been repaired or replaced, you are advised to wash bedding, water-resistant and other bulky items on the delicate or waterproof cycles only until your situation has been remedied.
How to verify the status of your machine
There are two ways to determine if your machine is a part of the recall.
First, a search tool has been added to Samsung’s recall notice page for customers to verify the status of their machine. Three search options have been provided. They are:
- New Customers: If you have not already registered your washing machine, you will need both the model number and the serial number in order to do so.
- Returning or Registered Customers: If your machine is registered, log in with the email address and phone number you used to at the time you registered your machine.
- Customers with the Home Label Kit: If you received a Home Label Kit, enter the identification number included and the zip code it was sent to.
Second, you can check the CPSC’s website for a list of the affected models, then call Samsung’s Consumer Contact Line – 866-264-5636. If you do this, you’ll need the model and serial numbers for your machine and the recall number (which can be found on the CPSC’s recall notice report).
Where to find the model and serial numbers on your machine:
For most models, the model and serial numbers can be found on the back of your machine – near the top, with one in the center and the other on the right side. Samsung also notes that one of the labels on later models of the affected machines is located underneath the lid.
If you are in New York City and your washing machine needs work, we repair many washers from many brands – including the ones made by Samsung that are involved in this recall, We would love to talk to you about how we can help you, but if you think your machine may be affected, we strongly recommend that you follow the steps outlined above and reach out to the manufacturer before doing anything else.