Watch out for flying washing machine parts

First it was exploding smartphones. Now it’s hazardous washing machines.

Samsung’s top-loading washing machines are being recalled after reports that the top of the machine can “unexpectedly detach” during use, “posing a risk of injury from impact.”

The recall, announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Samsung on Friday, affects about 2.8 million units and 34 washing machine models.

The washing machine debacle is the latest in a series of woes for Samsung. Last month the Korean manufacturer stopped production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because they were overheating and catching fire. The company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had previously launched a recall of the phones.

In a Friday news release, Samsung said the washing machine issue is a result of the drum inside the washer losing balance. This may cause the machine to vibrate excessively, and the top to separate from the rest of the device. It’s a particular problem when the high-speed spin cycle is used for bulky items such as bedding.

“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,” John Herrington, senior vice president and general manager of home appliances, wrote.“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.”

Consumers who own an affected washer can opt for a free in-home repair kit that will reinforce the machine’s top. That option includes a free one-year extension of their warranty. Or they can ask for a rebate to be applied toward the purchase of a new washing machine from Samsung or another brand. Free installation of the new machine, and free removal of the old, is included.

Until then, Samsung asks its washing machine owners to stick with the delicate cycle when cleaning bulky items.

All customers also will receive new warning labels in the mail, which they are kindly asked to attach to their washing machines.

For more information about the recall, click here.

Photo: In a file photo taken on April 27, 2012 a logo of Samsung Electronics is displayed on the glass door of its showroom in Seoul. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)


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