In late 2016, Samsung recalled 2.8 million high-efficiency top-loading washing machines due to a problem with the top detaching, breaking apart or exploding during the spin cycle. The full list of affected models can be found here.
Nine related injuries related to the problem were reported. Now, Samsung — as well as Best Buy, Lowe’s and Home Depot — have agreed to a preliminary settlement of a class-action lawsuit for $6.55 million related to the recall, though Samsung denies that the products are defective.
“This settlement only applies to certain washing machines produced until 2016, that have long been off the market,” a Samsung spokesperson told Consumer Reports. “The company chose to settle to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation.”
The retailers also deny the allegations that they continued to sell defective products after the problem was identified.
“The parties thought that settling this was the most expeditious thing to do, rather than continuing to incur the costs and disruptions of litigation and taking the time of the court system,” Margaret Smith, a spokesperson for Home Depot, told Consumer Reports.
Melissa Thaxton of Dallas, Georgia says she was almost seriously injured by one of the washers.
“All of the sudden, without warning the washing machine just exploded,” she told ABC News in 2016. “It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear.”
The washers were made between March 2011 and October 2016. The model number and 15-digit serial number can be checked on this site to see if your model was affected. Consumers who are believed to have purchased one of the washers are being notified by mail. If you do not receive a notice but think you purchased an affected product, you can still file a claim online or download the form from the Case Documents page and send it in by mail. All claims must be filed by Aug. 6, 2019.
Class members may be eligible for a number of benefits, including a rebate or a repair.