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Federal regulators issue warning after reports of ‘exploding’ Samsung washing machines


NEW YORK — Samsung, maker of the troubled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, has another problem on its hands.

U.S. regulators on Wednesday warned owners of certain top-loading Samsung washing machines of “safety issues” following reports that some have exploded.

The warning from the Consumer Product Safety Commission includes machines made between March 2011 and April 2016. It did not specify a model, however you can check your serial number on Samsung’s website.

The commission suggested people use only the delicate cycle to wash bedding and water-resistant and bulky items because the lower spin speed “lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged.”

4 Fast Facts

  • Federal regulators issue warning about certain top-loading Samsung washing machines
  • Customers have said that the washers can explode
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission is working with Samsung to remedy the issue
  • The company faces a class-action lawsuit

The agency said it is working with Samsung on a remedy.

The warning comes more than a month after Samsung was hit with a federal class-action lawsuit by customers who said their machines had exploded during use.

Customers in Texas, Georgia and Indiana all said they were washing clothes when they heard a violent boom.

A washer belonging to a McAllen, Texas, woman “exploded with such ferocity that it penetrated the interior wall of her garage,” according to court filings. A woman in Dallas, Georgia, said it felt and sounded as if “a bomb went off.”

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Jersey, references similar reports collected by local news and filed online with regulators. It also claims Samsung “has moved aggressively to collect and destroy all evidence of the defective machines” after they exploded.

Samsung declined comment on the litigation. It directed CNNMoney to a statement on its website that says the company is talking to U.S. authorities about how to address potential safety problems.

“In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items,” the statement says.

Samsung also said its customers “have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011.”

A call to the law firm that filed the complaint was not immediately returned.

Samsung earlier this month said it would replace 2.5 million of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after reports of battery fires. And this week, a tech worker in China, which was not part of the recall, told CNNMoney that his device burst into flames while charging.

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