Samsung has announced a recall of 2.8 million washing machines after numerous reports of explosions. The manufacturer says that it has received reports of at least 730 explosions related to its top-loading washing machines resulting in nine people being injured.
The massive recall was announced on the "Good Morning America" program on Nov. 4 by officials from Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall impacts 34 top-loading washing machine models that Samsung sold to consumers from March 2011 to November 2016.
CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye told reporters that the washing machines present a "very serious" hazard with the tops of some washing machines "completely blowing off." These explosions are blamed on a design flaw that fails to adequately secure the washing machine lids.
A 32-year-old Georgia woman says that she almost suffered a serious eye injury when her Samsung laundry machine exploded during its final spin cycle. Melissa Thaxton reported that the explosion was sudden, and sounded "like a bomb." Injuries from defective consumer products can have lifetime repercussions, which is why recalls such as this one should be taken seriously.
Samsung's defective product problem
The washing machine recall comes at a time when Samsung is under increasing scrutiny for its defective consumer products. In October, Samsung issued a worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which also had an exploding problem.
A battery flaw in Samsung's high-end smartphones became apparent in August when reports started emerging that the phones would overheat, smoke, and sometimes catch on fire. According to Reuters, the first report of a Note 7 explosion surfaced on Aug. 24, just weeks after the Aug. 2 product launch.
Samsung announced an unprecedented global recall of 2.5 million Note 7 phones on Sept. 2, and began issuing replacement phones to consumers. However, the replacement phones still had the same battery flaws, which caused yet another recall. Aviation authorities in several countries then banned Note 7 phones from airplanes due to reports of the phones catching fire on planes.
Legal options from consumers with defective products
It is unclear how many more Samsung products will be recalled due to the company's production issues. Individuals who are impacted by defective consumer products may have several legal options available to them.
In many cases, a manufacturer will simply replace a defective item for a consumer for free. However, when an injury is involved, it is important for a consumer to speak to an experienced product liability attorney before accepting any replacements from a manufacturer. Often replacement programs entail liability waivers which may limit a consumer's ability to subsequently sue a manufacturer for damages. To preserve your legal rights, be sure that you seek medical attention if you are injured and speak with a lawyer before contacting a product's manufacturer.