Samsung Appliance Crisis Worsens Spin Doctors Called In To Shore Up Brand
Only 42% of the problem top loaders have been recalled since the problem was first discovered in 2013. Samsung has been accused of not doing enough to make consumers aware of the problem that saw two more machines burst into flames this week.
Six Samsung models were recalled in April 2013, and a second warning was issued in March last year however almost 60 per cent of affected machines are yet to be reported and serviced.
Samsung who spend over $60M on marketing are facing an appliance brand crisis said one mass retailers who sells their product.
“TV stations, radio magazines and social media networks are awash with the issue and this is not good for the industry as Samsung are a big brand leader in the appliance category which is already under pressure this year” said a Bing Lee Store Manager.
Fire investigators have now issued another alert to the public to check their models after one of the machines sparked a house fire in Corlette, north of Newcastle, yesterday.
The fire was the 18th in NSW caused by the top loader since March last year.
Despite being one of the largest product recalls in Australian history, the consumer response has been poor, Fire Station Officer Michael Forbes from the Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIU).
The top loading Samsung washing machine had been on for 10 minutes when a smoke alarm alerted the resident to the blaze.
Model name details can be found on the back of the washing machine. Photographs of the six models can be found on the Fair Trading website or visit samsung.com/au/washingmachinerecall
The models are:
The Daily Telegraph said that the owner of the machine in Corlette wasn’t even aware of the recall, despite buying it two years ago.
“She was quite shocked, she did a very good job of containing the fire, isolating the power and was able to prevent the fire spreading to the rest of the house,” an observer said Mr Forbes.
The machine had been on for just 10 minutes when it caught fire, but her quick thinking had helped contain the damage to the laundry.
“It’s obviously a major concern for everyone who has a Samsung top loader machine, if you do have a Samsung machine you should not operate that machine unless you are home,” he said.
“Samsung is doing as much as they can but the message is not getting through to consumers that these appliances need to be recalled and checked.”
The Bing Lee Manager who did not want to be named said “Samsung spend a lot of money on marketing but I have seen very little marketing for this recall. They need to take this issue seriously as our customers are the victims of poor workmanship”.
Samsung has not said where the machines were manufactured or what causes the problem. It is not known whether a design fault or poor assembly were to blame.
SmartHouse wants to know if the issue is specific to “Made for Australia” washing machines or whether the issue is widespread worldwide.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said since the recall was put in place, about 41 per cent of potentially affected models had been serviced.
Samsung is offering a free in-home rectification for any consumer with an affected machine.
As part of the recall qualified technicians will examine the electrical connections and where required enclose them within a plastic membrane to prevent water penetration.
Earlier today Samsung issued a statement it said:
Samsung Electronics Australia takes the safety of its customers extremely seriously.
We are concerned to hear about an incident in Corlette, NSW. The case was brought to our attention today (Thursday 21 May) and we are investigating the matter.
Samsung initiated a voluntary recall on six models of top loader washing machines in April 2013. This recall is an ongoing process and we continue to work closely with the NSW Department of Fair Trading and our retail partners to notify impacted customers and arrange rework services, exchanges and refunds.