Samsung’s bad year keeps getting worse following the debacle that came from the tendency of the company’s Galaxy Note 7 to suddenly catch fire, often when charging. Now, U.S. consumer officials are recalling 2.8 million washing machines spanning 34 top-loading models Samsung has sold over the last five years over fears that the top can be detached during use.
More bad news for Samsung over safety fears
When the Galaxy Note 7 started exploding randomly or catching fire, the company quickly acknowledge battery problems and moved to fix the problem quickly. China state news CCTV would argue that and criticized the company for a speedy recall elsewhere while ignoring China. Samsung denied this suggestion and said that Chinese consumers received only the “safe” batteries that Samsung was issuing to those who received earlier batteries that were blamed for the fires. All the back stories aside, those “safe” batteries weren’t safe at all and began to catch fire forcing the company to further expand the recall on the Galaxy Note 7 and ultimately permanently suspend production.
It’s estimated that the company lost about $6.8 billion in the third quarter due to the recall to say nothing of the damage done to the company’s reputation and brand. Now the South Korean giant is looking at an inevitable wave of stories like this one that reminds consumers of the Galaxy Note with this recall of washing machines.
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The recall was instituted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission which had received over 700 complaints about the top lid flying off during use, which included a claim of a broken jaw and eight other injuries.
Those affected by the recall will be given the option of rebates, refunds, or in-home repairs to fix the problem.
“Our priority is to reduce any safety risks in the home and to provide our customers with easy and simple choices in response to the recall,” said senior vice president and general manager of Home Appliances, Samsung Electronics America, John Herrington, “We are moving quickly and in partnership with the CPSC to ensure consumers know the options available to them and that any disruption in the home is minimized.”
While the Galaxy Note 7’s problems were worldwide and affected consumers in ten countries, Herrington said that the issue with flying lids did not extend beyond North America.
Samsung said that the company had already begun working with retailers and had their own plans for a media blitz to let owners of the 34 models get their machines fixed or out of homes “through direct outreach, including customer service, social media, marketing, and in-store communication.”
Not the first time that Samsung has had to recall washing machines
It appears that more than just the Galaxy Note 7 had the propensity to catch fire when in use. The South Korean manufacturer recalled just shy of 150,000 washing machines in Australia in 2013 after the washers were blamed for a rash of house fires according to fire departments responding to the fire and identified the washing machines as the likely culprit and source of the fire.
That recall, given Australia’s reasonably small population, was one of the nation’s largest and like the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung was quickly criticized for instituting a recall that wasn’t terrifically thorough or well though out before being announced.
While not as far-reaching as the Galaxy Note 7, this washing machine issue hardly helps the company as it tries to repair its reputation and restore customer confidence.