Commission Rejects Call For Samsung Washing Machine Inquiry
Samsung has had a major victory, over consumer group Choice and a select group of former customers, who were calling for a State inquiry into a Samsung washing machine recall.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Whybro decided against the move, saying the number of incidents was declining and the recall response rate was “greater than usually expected”.
“A significant manufacturer recall program is in place … and the small number of fires in repaired machines – [we’re] aware of three [in NSW] – may have been caused by incorrect repair procedures by contractors,” he said.
Samsung who have been working directly with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to track down owners of the faulty Samsung washing machines have had to put up with a barrage of complaints and stunts by organisations such as Choice, despite both the ACCC and Samsung mounting a major national campaign to alert customers to the problem machines.
Despite massive exposure across national media 40,000 owners of the potentially faulty Samsung washing machines out of 144,451, have so far failed to inform Samsung or contact the ACCC.
More than 80% of the consumers who purchased an affected Samsung washing machine failed to fill in a warranty card or go online to register their purchase which is a major problem for not only Samsung but the entire appliance industry.
74 per cent of the 144,451 machines have already been remedied by Samsung.
This was not good enough for Choice, who chose to crush a Samsung washing machine in a cheap publicity stunt, over lobbying the Federal Government to fund the setting up of a mandatory national database system, that puts the onus on resellers to register the sale of all electrical goods that are connected to a live power source or charger.
Tarnya Allen and Di Fisher – founders of a 2700-member strong Facebook group of affected machine owners – said the rejection of their inquiry request was a “slap in the face”.
Fairfax Media claimed recently that under NSW laws, the Fire Commissioner can request the State Coroner to hold a mandatory public inquiry into specific fires and explosions, even if there are no deaths.
A spokeswoman for the State Coroner said there had been no mandatory public fire inquiries since Michael Barnes took the top job two years ago.
“Product recalls such as the Samsung one are normally investigated by Fair Trading.
There have been no product recalls referred to the Coroner’s Court over the past two years,” she said.
Fair Trading, the authority overseeing the national recall, approved the plastic-bag-and-tape rework which appears to be working.
In March, Samsung announced it would implement a new, multi-pronged strategy to prevent further fires and other incidents.
Samsung urges consumers who may be affected by the recall to visit samsung.com/au/washingmachinerecall or call 1800 239 655.
The following models are impacted: