5 On Your Side

Samsung settles suit for customers who claim wash machines explode

Posted February 11, 2019 5:15 p.m. EST
Updated February 11, 2019 5:46 p.m. EST

Owners of some Samsung, high-efficiency, top-load washers can now file a claim to get either a refund, repair or rebate for machines that could suddenly explode without warning.

"Exploding washing machines" kind of sounds like part of a low-grade sci-fi movie, but the problem is real and for some people very serious!

Micah Martin's washer was loaded with sheets.

"About an hour later, we heard a big crash," he said. "It sounded like the roof was caving in. (I) came up stairs to find the top part completely on the floor, blown off."

Owner after owner after owner shared pictures of machines left in pieces. At least nine people were hurt.

Now, Samsung has decided to settle a class action lawsuit that involves nearly 3 million models made between March 2011 and October 2016. The machines were sold through Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy and Sears.

Samsung denies allegations that the washers are defective, saying it "chose to settle to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation."

To find out if your washer is included, look for the model number and 15-digit serial number on the back of the unit or under the lid.

Then go to the settlement site webpage, open the menu at the top-right and click "included top load washers", enter the corresponding numbers and then hit the check button.

Compensation options vary. Some owners may qualify for more than one, including a refund, rebate, repair and/or costs of repairs already made.

Micah Martin's laundry room required some repairs, and he obviously needed a new washer. He says Samsung paid for everything.

"I've never seen anything like it," he said, "It was like a bomb went off inside of the washing machine."

The deadline to file a claim is Aug. 6.