Samsung isn’t limited to making shiny smartphones and tablets. The massive South Korean company is into most electronics and appliances like giant smart TVs and washing machines. Fresh from its explosive Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, it seems that GTA V modders can add washing machines to Samsung’s weapons of mass destruction.
Samsung recently issued a recall for about 2.8 million washing machines due to reports of several explosions due to excessive vibration. These explosions have already caused several injuries. The recall involves several washing machine models manufactured from March 2011 up to November 2016. That’s a lot of washing machines that could give new meaning to spin dry. At least Samsung is not as vague on the problem as with the Note 7. They say that these washing machines become unbalanced, leading to excessive vibration that cause all sorts of problems including explosions. Out of the 2.8 million washing machines, over 700 machines have been reported to have blown their tops off. Cases include those of a woman in Georgia last April 2016 where her machine exploded so loud it was like a bomb had blown off. Another was in California last October 2013 causing injury to a woman. Samsung has so far managed to fend off class lawsuits. As with the Note 7, they are investigating the exact cause of the problem. For now, the washing machine recall will compensate consumers through home repairs, rebates and refunds.
“Before you do another load of laundry, contact Samsung and respond to this recall… These top loading washers present a risk of injury when used on a high-speed spin cycle…The best way to prevent injury is for everyone who might have a recalled washing machine to contact Samsung—immediately.”
— Elliot Kaye, CPSC Chairman
“Our priority is to reduce any safety risks in the home and to provide our customers with easy and simple choices in response to the recall…We are moving quickly and in partnership with the CPSC to ensure consumers know the options available to them and that any disruption in the home is minimized.”
— John Herrington, SVP and general manager of Home Appliances, Samsung Electronics America
Due to the more high-profile Galaxy Note 7 issue, Samsung is facing intense scrutiny among consumers as well the US and South Korean governments. An earlier recall was made in Australia last April 2013 involving 150,000 washing machines due to their involvement in several house fires. This incident didn’t get as much attention unlike the Galaxy Note 7 issue but is now worth looking back on.
Samsung now seeks to wash away its issues by marketing its upcoming Galaxy S8. For fans of Samsung’s flagships, the company should have learned its lesson by now and exercise stricter quality control, fire those responsible for the battery subsystem and re-implement removable batteries. But marketing a new device so soon could also result in another rush shipment which is what they did with the Galaxy Note 7 and introduce new problems. For this, Samsung need not worry playing catch-up as Apple is also inclined to take its time with new innovative designs as much of the tech industry sees them as lacking in innovation after the recent Macbook Pro launch and Microsoft’s Surface Studio launch. That is unless Samsung gets a hint of Apple’s upcoming game-changer.
Another way for Samsung to wash away its sins is by issuing a public apology through several full-page ads in leading newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
“An important tenet of our mission is to offer best-in-class safety and quality… Recently, we fell short on this promise. For this, we are truly sorry… [Samsung] will re-examine every aspect of the device, including all hardware, software, manufacturing and the overall battery structure. We will move as quickly as possible, but will take the time needed to get the right answers.”
— Gregory Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics North America
So far, Samsung has replaced about 85 percent of recalled Note 7s. There are still hangers-on to which they implemented a battery charge-cap update.
As a manufacturing giant that creates hundreds of models of phones, computers, tablets, TVs and other appliances, some bad eggs are bound to get mixed in their trays which is excusable in the case of many companies. But in the case of Samsung, these bad eggs just came out very rotten. Rotten enough to fry themselves.