Family warns of exploding washing machines

Becky Edwards says her washing machine suddenly exploded

By Aaron Wische - Senior Executive Producer

HOUSTON - Becky Edwards and her family got a huge shock recently, just doing routine chores. She was playing outside with her kids while her husband was on the roof taking down Christmas lights, when they heard a loud noise inside.

"And we just heard this boom. It sounded like a cannon went off, louder than a gun shot," Edwards explained.

The mother of five says while in the middle of a load of bed sheets, her washing machine did something she never expected.

"I would have never in my life expected a washing machine to explode," said Edwards. "I have the child safety locks on all of my doors, and I'm diligent about checking car seats, kids toys, everything. This is not something I would have thought about looking into."

Edwards shared pictures she took of the damage inside her home. The top of the washer had literally blown off.

"The hoses were the only thing holding it together and the water hoses were spraying everywhere," she said. "It was totally sideways in the washing room."

Edwards says the force shook the whole house. Pictures were knocked off of the walls.

"We have floating shelves in the bathroom with a conch shell on it and it knocked that off of the shelf and landed in the tub and put a chip in it the size of a silver dollar," she said.

When the shock wore off, Edwards says she started making calls to the manufacturer, and she decided to do a quick Google search to see if this had happened to anyone else.

"I finally got a hold of Samsung at 10 o'clock the night it happened and I told them I saw that this has happened before and they didn't argue with me about that," said Edwards.

That Google search revealed other similar stories. The same thing happened to Micah Martin.

"I wanted to make a video of what happened to our brand new Samsung top loading machine," Martin said in a YouTube video he gave permission to use.

His family was washing the exact same thing as Edwards: top and bottom sheets with pillow cases.

"We heard something that sounded like the roof was caving in and came up to find the top part completely blown off," Martin said.  

The damage looks eerily similar to Edwards' model and both were purchased around the same time, April 2015. Edwards' model number is WA48H7400AW.

We found page after page of complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  A search revealed dozens of stories and pictures of top loading Samsung machines that had self-destructed. However, there is no voluntary or mandatory recall for these machines here in the United States.

That's not the case in Australia, however. That country recently re-issued a recall for six different top loading Samsung models after the same type of exploding incidents were reported there. Of those, more than 30 of led to fires with severe damage.

But, Samsung is responding to consumers. Edwards is getting the same offer Martin and others say they received months ago.

"They offered to refund the washer and dryer and they said they would fix the repairs. We just had to let them know how much," Edwards said.

But she says that's not enough. She wants to know what Samsung is doing to prevent this from happening to someone else.

"That's one of the things I asked the executive," said Edwards. "'You obviously know this is a problem but you choose to have these out there. What is it going to take to get these off of the market someone to get seriously hurt because so far sounds like they've been lucky."

Andrew Bowins, vice president, Corporate Reputation Samsung North America, provided the following statement:

"The reported incidents are extremely rare. That said, Samsung takes any instance seriously and works very closely with affected customers to investigate the unique circumstances that may have led to the exceptionally rare occurrence. In each unique case, we provide our customers with a new washer or refund and cover any expenses related to the incident. It is important to note that Samsung customers have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since we entered the category in 2011."

If you have any issues with your washer or another appliance, you can report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission on this page.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2