Samsung Electronics Co. is a key player in the washing machine industry. The electronics manufacturing company, best known for HDTVs and mobile devices, has shifted focus on manufacturing smart washing machines to gain market share in the household appliances sector.
In 2016, Samsung had issued a recall of its 2011-2016 top-loading washing machine models. The company recalled over two million washing machines when customers complained about the top detaching and the drain pumps breaking down during operation. The detaching of the top from the chassis resulted in a number of injuries.
At the start of 2018, Samsung reached a settlement for a lawsuit for damages due to the defective washing machine. In this blog post, you will learn about the lawsuit, allegations, injuries, and settlements related to the ‘exploding’ Samsung washing machines.
Exploding Samsung Washing Machine Lawsuits
Samsung announced a recall of the defective washing machines. However, the consumers were not happy since the recall didn’t offer an adequate compensation for damages due to the exploding washing machines.
According to Consumer Reports, a number of complaints at saferproducts.gov between the years 2016 and 2017 showed customers complaining about frustrations in the repairs and remedies from Samsung. The allegation made against the company was that customers were offered a rebate that resulted in additional money being paid to the company. The company did not offer a full refund or make payment for the repair of the defective product.
A total of nine injuries were reported due to the exploding washing machines. The injury included fractured shoulder and broken jaw due to being hit by fragments of the broken metal frame or when trying to control the washing machine. Many consumers also reported property damage to the floors and walls in the laundry room.
Details of the Lawsuit and Settlement Amount
The class-action lawsuit alleged that due to a manufacturing defect, the lids of the washing machine detached during the spinning cycle. Moreover, the drain pumps also detached and broke in some models. The washing machine presented a great safety risk to individuals operating the appliance. The devices exploded unexpectedly, causing physical and property damage.
Samsung did issue a recall of millions of exploding washing machines in 2016. However, the company was alleged to have not followed through with the recall. Moreover, it was alleged that many customers were not aware of a recall time limit to get a refund for the exploding washing machine.
The plaintiffs sought compensation for property damages due to the leak caused by a design defect of the drain pipe. The bracket that supports the discharge pump broke due to not handling the force of the motor inside the machine. The plaintiffs also claimed that the washing machine resulted in random explosion.
At the initial stages, Samsung tried to address the issue by suggesting a settlement between the insurance company of the plaintiff and the home electronics retail companies. But the district judge rejected the request and allowed the plaintiff to make a claim for tort liability.
The resulting lawsuit also alleged that Samsung was notified about the problem in 2015. The company was capable of repairing the machines but took no action. Due to the complaints, the company recalled 34 models of their ‘exploding’ washing machines. However, the company did not do enough to redress the problems of the customers.
Samsung’s Effort Not Enough to Resolve the Problem
Samsung offered the customers two options to resolve the issue. The first option allowed customers to request a no-cost repair of the washing machines. Moreover, the customers were offered a free extension of the warranty for up to a year regardless of when they purchased the appliance.
The second option allowed customers a rebate on the purchase of another washing machine. The customers could purchase either a Samsung or any other brand’s washing machine. Samsung also offered free removal of defective washing machines and the installation of a new machine.
A caveat with the second option was that the rebate was equal to the price of a specific model and date of the recalled appliance. The rebate was less than the price of similar latest model washing machines. Later, the company offered an extra $150 to customers to select a newer model Samsung washing machine.
Samsung had also offered a full refund to customers who had bought the defective washing machine about 30 days prior to the notice of recall. The company had listed the affected washing models on this website.
However, most customers were not happy with the options offered by the company to compensate for the losses. The expenses due to property damage and personal injury caused by the exploding washing machine were far greater. Many customers had to bear thousands of dollars in damages due to the defective appliance.
Samsung Exploding Washing Machine Settlement Amount
The class-action lawsuit for exploding washing machine also named Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Home Depot as the defendants. After years of denying the allegations, the defendants agreed to pay $6.5 million dollars to the plaintiffs in 2019.
Customers who had bought an affected Samsung model could file a claim by August 6 2019. Notices were sent to class action lawsuit members and addresses provided by the retailers and Samsung. The lawsuit settlement allowed customers additional options to get compensation for the faulty appliances including:
- Repair within 14 days of making a claim
- A rebate
- Compensation for damages due to the defective top and drain pump
Customers were allowed to request a claim by filing separate claim documents for the above benefits. Moreover, customers who had received a rebate previously were provided an additional rebate if the amount was less than 15.5 percent of the price of the washer.
Individuals who had bought washing machines manufactured between March 2012 and December 9, 2012, were also offered a repair or reimbursement of up to $150 for the repair costs. Moreover, customers were offered up to $400 for certain additional expenses due to the faulty drain pipe such as clean up costs and Laundromat expenses.
The class-action lawsuit against exploding Samsung washing machines includes every customer in the US and the territories. Members of the lawsuit who did not make a claim before the due date will not receive anything from Samsung and electronic retailers. Moreover, the customers also give up the right to sue the defendants for damages.
If you were not part of the lawsuit, you can contact an attorney to initiate your own lawsuit against Samsung and the retail companies. Filing a lawsuit will allow you to seek damages due to the defective Samsung product.