Woman says washing machine exploded, worries it could happen to someone else

Samsung, CPSC looking into potential safety issues with certain top-load washers

By Meaghan St Pierre - Producer

DETROIT - Samsung and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are looking into potential safety issues related to top-loading washing machines.

The machines were manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016.

Kristyn Ryan said she had a problem with her top-load machine while washing bed sheets one morning.

"My washer basically exploded," Ryan said.

Ryan, of Bandera, Texas, said she was sitting down to eat breakfast with her children when she said she heard a loud racket coming from her laundry room.

"I heard what sounded like a tornado just whipping around this room," Ryan said. "It sounded like the roof caving in."

Ryan said her washing machine came unmoored when the machine lurched into a violent spin cycle, and parts were strewn about, including the large plastic ring that encircles the tub. Her washing machine is two years old.

"I'm thinking this ring came off and was actually flying around the room," Ryan said.

Damage from the incident included gashed drywall and a dent to an upright freezer, which was also moved several feet from where it was.

According to Consumer Reports, more than a dozen consumer complaints about the Samsung washers led to the Consumer Product Safety Commission putting out a warning about top-loading machines made between March 2011 and April 2016.

"The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is actively and cooperatively working with Samsung to address safety issues related to certain top-load washing machines made between March 2011 and April 2016," the CPSC said.

"CPSC is advising consumers to only use the delicate cycle when washing bedding, water-resistant and 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.

"CPSC and Samsung are working on a remedy for affected consumers that will help ensure that there are no further incidents. We will provide updated information to the public as soon as possible. Consumers can contact Samsung for more information. Consumers should report any incidents to CPSC via our website."

Samsung also released a statement about the washing machines:

"We are in active discussions with the CPSC to address potential safety issues related to certain top-load washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016. 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.

"Samsung is recommending that consumers with affected models use the lower-speed delicate cycle when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant materials. There have been no reported incidents when using this cycle. It is important to note that Samsung customers have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011.

"To determine if you have an affected washing machine, click here.

"Safety is our top priority. If you have any questions, please call Samsung at 1-844-483-3881."

Samsung offered to pay to replace Ryan's washer and for her damages.

"The reported incident is rare. We regret the inconvenience Mrs. Ryan experienced," said Andrew Bowlins, vice president of corporate reputation for Samsung North America. "Any occurrence, however rare, is taken very seriously."

Ryan would like Samsung to recall the models that have experienced the problem.  She worries what could have happened had her daughters been in the laundry room feeding the pets when her washing machine malfunctioned.

"It's a ticking time bomb," Ryan said. "It's going to happen to someone. "

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