Recalling and ultimately discontinuing their brand new Galaxy Note7 smartphone, due to its tendency to catch on fire or explode, was difficulty enough. But now Samsung is recalling washing machines due to safety concerns as well.
The end of 2016 has been a difficult hurdle for Samsung, now looking at two major recalls within the span of only a few months.
What exactly happened with these popular consumer items and what will happen with Samsung in the future? We can only assume the recall troubles will mean a long road of financial hardship for Samsung, but here is the rundown of what it all means for consumers.
The Explosive Galaxy Note7
First, it was the burning smartphone. Samsung released their highly anticipated Galaxy Note7 in August. Well-loved tech sources like CNET called it in anticipation “one of the best phones of the year.”
It was all good and well until the smartphone’s lithium-ion battery started overheating and catching on fire in many devices. Even as Samsung attempted to put in new batteries, the smartphone continued to have heating and burning issues.
Just in the United States alone, 92 complaints have been lodged in regard to overheating. Of those, 55 reported burns and 26 reported some level of property damage.
Samsung’s initial recall of the Galaxy Note7 began in September, then the smartphone was officially discontinued in October, right about the same time the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned the Galaxy Note7 from passenger planes.
Undoubtedly this significant move put the final nail in the Galaxy Note7’s coffin. According to the FAA, if you try to bring your Galaxy Note7 on a plane, you “will be denied boarding and passengers may face fines.”
Detaching Samsung Washing Machines
Next, it was the malfunctioning washers. On November 4th, only one month after discontinuing the Galaxy Note7, Samsung faced a brand new safety issue with a common household appliance: top-load washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and today.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), this malfunctioning is not only coming from one problematic model, but from 34 various Samsung top-load washing machine models, totaling 2.8 million units. For a list of these models, see CPSC’s website.
While running on a high-speed cycle, these Samsung washing machines have a malfunction that causes a loss of balance, ultimately resulting in the top portion of the washing machine detaching. Consumers are getting injured from the sudden and unexpected impact.
There have been 733 reports of this top portion detachment. Of these incidents, nine ended up with injuries, some bad enough to break a jaw and injure a shoulder.
Is Samsung Still a Safe Brand?
These recall troubles beg the question: how safe are Samsung products? As a company that creates everything from TVs and laptops to wall ovens and security systems, what do these two recent recalls say about Samsung as a trusted family brand?
John Herrington, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Home Appliances at Samsung Electronics America, spoke to the matter:
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.
While Samsung is putting in a valid effort to ease the burden through their recall practices, the introduction of yet another safety hazard with the washing machine recall does not bode well for the company at large.
Keep in mind, however, that Samsung is not the only major tech company to deal with large scale recalls in the past few years.
What Is Samsung Doing Now?
In order to aid customers in the recall process, Samsung has some policies in place for both product problems. For those who currently own a Galaxy Note7, know the recall offers consumers either a smartphone exchange or refund.
To remedy the washing machine matter, Samsung is offering two alternatives for those who have one of the 34 washing machine models. Consumers can either receive free washing machine repairs for those who would prefer to keep their unit or rebates for those who would prefer a new unit altogether. If the washing machine is less than 30 days old, however, consumers are eligible for a full refund.
You can also access Samsung’s online tool that allows you to enter your washing machine’s model and serial numbers to see if your washer is included in this multi-million-unit recall.
Of course, all of these measures come at a weighty financial loss for Samsung. Even before early November’s washing machine recall, Samsung was anticipating a $3 billion loss on the Galaxy Note7 problems alone.