2 Investigators: Recall Doesn’t Cure Problems With Top-Loading Washer

(CBS) — More than 2.8 million Samsung top-loading clothes washers were recalled last November because of dangerous design defects.

But 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found consumers who say the recall has not fixed the problems.

Micah Martin posted the aftermath video on YouTube. It shows his Samsung washing machine torn apart and damage to his laundry room.

“Literally it looked like the washing machine had exploded in our laundry room,” Martin says.

His was one of the 733 complaints that prompted a recall of the 2.8 million machines.

“It’s this incredible vibration from the 1,100-revolutions-per-minute of the loader, and the machine itself has not been engineered to control that type of force,” attorney William Federman says.

Federman has filed a class-action lawsuit charging the Samsung washers not only have a dangerous design defect but the recall fails to do what needs to be done.

“They need to get new machines out there that have been adequately tested, and they need to reimburse the U.S. consumer for the losses they’ve suffered,” Federman says.

Lisa Hirgashime Lober says she feels like she’s been taken. Lober and her husband, Mark, spent $1,100 for their machine. They opted for Samsung’s repair for their recalled washing machine — a  fix that amounted to securing the top so it can’t fly off.

“It’s still not fixing the problem,” Mark Lober says. “The problem is it keeps going on ‘unbalance.’”

That turns the machine off.

“We can’t get a load of laundry done without three days passing by.”

A warning sticker left by the repair man says bedding can only be washed on delicate with no hot water.

“I feel like they think we’re idiots,” Lober says.

Last November, Cindy Bulow opted for Samsung’s other recall offer. She bought a new Samsung washer and, in her case, got a $445 rebate. Months later, she’s still waiting for the check.

“Four hundred and forty-five dollars might not seem a big deal for them, but it is for us. It’s a huge deal. It’s not our problem. We didn’t cause this. They did.”

“I want a new machine that I feel safe with and that I can use as it was advertised,” Lisa Hirgashime Lober says.

In response to CBS 2’s inquiry, Samsung arranged for another repair man to visit the Lober home, and Blow’s check is on the way.

In a written statement, Samsung said its in-home repair system has been tested, validated by an independent engineering firm and approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It has “successfully completed hundreds of thousands of in home repairs,” the company says.

On average, they are done within seven business days. The company says all consumers get a one-year extension of the manufacturer’s warranty, regardless of the age of their washer.

The company says the rebate checks are processed within four to six weeks after all the required paperwork is in.

The company did not answer questions about how all of this could have happened in the first place, and why its testing procedures did not detect the design problems.

A spokesperson for the CPSC says everyone with a recalled model still needs to contact Samsung and have the top secured to the machine because of the potential danger of it flying off due to violent vibration.

You can find out the model numbers of the recalled machines on this link.

To contact Samsung, click here or call 866-264-5636.

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