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Hardware IT

US Warns Samsung Washing Machine Owners After Explosion Reports (cnn.com) 164

Samsung may have a new problem on its hands, and it feels too familiar. The U.S. regulators on Wednesday warned users of certain top-loading Samsung washing machines of safety issues following reports that "some have exploded." CNN reports: The warning, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, covered machines made between March 2011 and April 2016. It did not specify a model. The commission suggested people use only the delicate cycle to wash bedding and water-resistant and bulky items because the lower spin speed "lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged." The agency said it is working with Samsung on a remedy.
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US Warns Samsung Washing Machine Owners After Explosion Reports

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:29PM (#52978787)

    I'll be here all week, folks!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They made the mistake of partnering with space ex.

    • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @03:05PM (#52979113) Journal

      Samsung's management originally stated that they wanted their products "built to last"

      However, somebody typo'ed the translation as "built to blast"

    • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
      Now they're having issues with their home appliance line too? They really need to iron out the wrinkles in their build process!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Good ole Slashdot, where every energy releasing failure is called an explosion.

      • Good ole Slashdot, where every energy releasing failure is called an explosion.

        I was standing right next to it when it exploded, my first impulse was to protect my son who was near; if he had been standing closer to it... this morning on "Good Morning America".

        And from the debris it looks like it did.

    • I actually had to look to make sure this was not April 1st.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I was going to buy one, but I think I will wait for the fire sale

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Someone needs to replace the "IT" Red Stapler logo with an "IoT" Exploding Washing Machine logo.

  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:30PM (#52978805)

    ..... needs a complete overhaul as catching bugs are the least of their problems.

    • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:36PM (#52978851)
      This isn't a "bug". It's a case of an overloaded drum being spun at high speed creating forces that the drum cannot handle after some use.

      Anyone who has used a top loader knows that it needs to be at least somewhat balanced when it goes into spin mode. The problem is certain kinds of "washables" that aren't distributing themselves around the drum and instead stay lumped up and heavy.

      Try suing a centrifuge manufacturer when it self-destructs after you've put something in only one of the slots. That's that this is.

      • by cnaumann ( 466328 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:40PM (#52978885)

        So why doesn't it detect the imbalance and reduce speed or shut down? Pretty much every washing machine I have owned does this.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Considering your UID, that's unlikely. Most if not all of the machines from the 80s and 90s were dumb. They'd walk across the floor if the load's unbalanced.

          • by bev_tech_rob ( 313485 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @03:38PM (#52979405)

            Considering your UID, that's unlikely. Most if not all of the machines from the 80s and 90s were dumb. They'd walk across the floor if the load's unbalanced.

            Uhhhh....my mother's Kenmore washing machine (bought back in the late 70s) had an out-of-balance detector on it that would stop the motor and sound a VERY loud buzz when the machine was out of balance and would not continue until the condition was resolved.

            I call bullshit or very shitty machine design...

            • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

              I remember that buzzer. My Mom had a Kenmore and when it was out of balance the neighbors across the road knew it.

            • Had similar Kenmore washing machine with off-balance buzzer until only a few years ago, it lasted way past 30+ years, it finally started leaking somewhere inside. The sticker on the back said 'parts availability guaranteed for 30 years'. Yup they don't make em like that anymore.

              New top load whirlpool washer, will detect imbalance and actually try to redistribute the load itself before finally crying for help. Someone is always trying to reinvent the wheel, and hitting the same problems that have been solved

              • . Although I bet in this case Samsung just went too cheap on the drum material, it probably develops stress fatigue and eventually fails. These new washers spin really fast.

                There are four rods that attach to the bottom of the drum then to the top of the washer frame.
                Unbalanced one or more of the rods slip out of their top retainer.

            • And you could almost always fix those beasts with a $5 belt too. Instead of "$450 + $250 labor (for a ~$1000 machine".
          • Considering your UID, that's unlikely. Most if not all of the machines from the 80s and 90s were dumb. They'd walk across the floor if the load's unbalanced.

            My parent's Kenmore from the mid-to-late 70s had this feature. It would shut down if the load was unbalanced.

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              This is exactly why the Samsung failure. Engineers to finite design to achieve warranty life. I year warranty they are designing the machine to last one year (they had to design to max load for that year otherwise too many warranty claims). That finite design for warranty period only, means pushing the envelope of system failure and hence, major screw up every now and again. From our perspective, the stuff we buy, basically breaks down at the end of warranty plus the safety period for harder use.

              Want cha

          • by Trogre ( 513942 )

            Really?

            I have never seen a washing machine made after 1975 that *didn't* have an off-balance shutdown.

            In what part of the world do you live?

          • My Kenmore washing machine (bought 1969) has an out-of-balance detector. It stops and lets out a very loud buzz.

            Yes, it still works, 47 years later -- it has never had a single problem in all those years.

        • Because then we wouldn't have gems like this:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:42PM (#52978897) Journal

        Any halfway-decent washing machine will detect such an extreme imbalance and shut down. Any washing machine that is so shoddily built that it can actually "explode" (not just damage itself) due to an unbalanced load shouldn't be legal for sale in the US.

        Exploding batteries. Exploding washing machines. I'm going to keep a safe distance from my Samsung TV.

        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

          Exploding batteries. Exploding washing machines. I'm going to keep a safe distance from my Samsung TV.

          My Samsung TV was on the wish list for replacement, but now I have a (semi) legitimate reason. Time to look at OLEDs!

        • Any halfway-decent washing machine will detect such an extreme imbalance and shut down.

          Only after it happens. I don't know of any that have actual load sensors that will refuse to spin if the load is imbalanced. And mine is quite happy spinning with an unbalance.

          Any washing machine that is so shoddily built that it can actually "explode"

          It didn't explode. It broke apart from overload.

          due to an unbalanced load shouldn't be legal for sale in the US.

          Manufacturers cannot predict every use for their product. Such a prohibition on sale of anything that can be mechanically overloaded to the point of failure would mean you are stuck using a rock at the side of the river to wash your clothes -- as long as you promise not to hit the rock a

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            as long as you promise not to hit the rock against another rock too hard.

            I did, and the results were horrible. My attorney is working on my lawsuit against the inventor of rocks for all the damages including my pain and suffering, and my dog's pain and suffering.

          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            Only after it happens.

            But before it causes any problems. Heck, I had a washer that would spin down, shake things up a bit in hopes of better distribution, and spin up again. Most just stop and alarm.

            Any washing machine that is so shoddily built that it can actually "explode"

            It didn't explode. It broke apart from overload.

            Thus "explode" in scare quotes. Totally unacceptable for a washing machine to conduct "unscheduled rapid disassembly" because of such a common problem.

            Manufacturers cannot predict every use for their product. Such a prohibition on sale of anything that can be mechanically overloade

            We're not talking hypotheticals here. We're talking about the single most common failure mode for a washing machine. It's not "fit for purpose". Selling it as a washing machine is

          • Manufacturers cannot predict every use for their product.

            I think Samsung could reasonably expect people would put clothing in their washing machines. That's foreseeable, right? Now if people put hand grenades in there and then complained that their washing machines kept exploding, I'd blame the consumer. In this case I think Samsung has some culpability.

          • Like what? Washing a fucking blanket

            As someone who has replaced every Samsung appliance that came with my house I assure you they gave zero thought out side of useless whiz-bang features and absolute shit quality

      • This isn't a "bug". It's a case of an overloaded drum being spun at high speed creating forces that the drum cannot handle after some use.

        Anyone who has used a top loader knows that it needs to be at least somewhat balanced when it goes into spin mode. The problem is certain kinds of "washables" that aren't distributing themselves around the drum and instead stay lumped up and heavy.

        Try suing a centrifuge manufacturer when it self-destructs after you've put something in only one of the slots. That's that this is.

        If it isn't a bug, as you claim, then it must be a mechanical limitation.

        If it's a mechanical limitation, then every washing machine on the planet would have this problem.

        Since that obviously is not the case, then your statement that it is not a bug is obviously wrong.

        • Hmmm. I don't know. Is this machine connected to the internet? Perhaps it became infected with Stuxnet.
        • This isn't a "bug". It's a case of an overloaded drum being spun at high speed creating forces that the drum cannot handle after some use.

          Anyone who has used a top loader knows that it needs to be at least somewhat balanced when it goes into spin mode. The problem is certain kinds of "washables" that aren't distributing themselves around the drum and instead stay lumped up and heavy.

          Try suing a centrifuge manufacturer when it self-destructs after you've put something in only one of the slots. That's that this is.

          If it isn't a bug, as you claim, then it must be a mechanical limitation.

          If it's a mechanical limitation, then every washing machine on the planet would have this problem.

          Since that obviously is not the case, then your statement that it is not a bug is obviously wrong.

          Well... not every washing machine.... The front loading ones seem to be more robust.... It's probably because they are supported better and can't generate the type of wobble that affects the top loading models....

          • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @03:15PM (#52979201)

            The front loading ones seem to be more robust....

            Front-loaders spin around a horizontal axis, which means that when they start to spin the load is subject to gravity to assist in distribution around that axis. As it rotates, some things fall to the bottom, some stick to the side. As the speed increases, more things stick.

            There is no similar distributive force in a top-loader. The lump at the bottom is pushed to the outside as soon as the tub spins and it sticks where it is.

        • If it isn't a bug, as you claim, then it must be a mechanical limitation.

          Name one device that doesn't have at least one mechanical limitation.

          If it's a mechanical limitation, then every washing machine on the planet would have this problem.

          Mine does. And there are many many stories of washing machines walking across the floor due to such an imbalanced spin.

          Since that obviously is not the case,

          When an argument requires the word "obviously", it has failed. It is not obvious that washing machines have no mechanical limitations. In fact, it seems to be exactly the opposite, at least to anyone who has actually used a washing machine.

          Were I to use a common /. meme, I'd say "go upstairs and ask your Mom who does yo

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            Walking across the floor is a lot different from jumping up and punching a hole in the wall and doing itself structural damage.

            The old washers had a 'tilt switch' that would stop them if the load wasn't well balanced. The '80s and '90s models had motors too wimpy to get dangerous. The newest ones spin much faster and must take imbalances into account.

      • Mmmm, I disagree a little. A centrifuge does only one thing: spin something very fast. And it has no prior control over what you put into it, so the user must take on the responsibility of making sure the load is balanced. Of course, the maker of the centrifuge certainly could put some sort of out of balance detection. Who knows, some might already.

        With the washing machine, though, it does a bunch of other things first. You could try to balance the clothes out first (you should), but that doesn't mean th
        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          I suspect if the washing machine manual came with the warning "If you don't balance your clothes, this washer very well might sling itself apart, and cause personal injury or property damage" people would pay much more attention.

          What fraction of consumers would you guess RTFM for their washing machine? Or even have one - A great many of us inherited our washer with our residence with no manual.

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Not to mention that a centrifuge is not a household appliance and so can demand a bit more from the user.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        How about if it jumps up and puts a hole in the wall? That's what the washer did.

        I have seen imbalanced centrifuges walk on the table before, but I've never seen one go airborne.

      • I have a Panasonic front loader washing machine that weighs the load before it starts to load water. Perhaps Samsung should build in the smarts needed to stop these things happening. In the early nineties Samsung television sets were going up in flames due to carbonisation of the adhesive used to hold components in place. ten years ago they were creating expensive two door fridges that just never worked properly due to half-arsed electronic control. LG is a good example of another useless company that only
        • FYI - LG top-loaders had the same exact problem. Mine was re-flashed a few years ago. I thought it was Samsung and had a strange deja vu feeling about this whole post.
      • Maybe it should detect the load imbalance and safely shut down, like every other washing machine ever?

    • Samsung's QA, in my experience, has been a major problem for many years. I don't think any of the Samsung gadgets I've bought have ever worked reliably.

      Samsung Fridge/Freezer: Seemed to work fine for a year or so, then we noticed that after any power outage, it would tend not to cool things when it turned back on. We'd notice that the temperature indicators on the front were happily announcing that the fridge was at 60F and the freezer at 40+. (Unplugging it and plugging it back in again would usually ge

      • I've been avoiding Samsung, just like I avoid Sony, due to their horrible practices towards customers. I don't support colluders and price fixers, just like I don't support companies that try to rootkit my PC.

        And LG got the sale for my recent washer / dryer purchase, and I couldn't be happier with the products.

  • Who the heck designs their washing machines to include Galaxy Note 7s inside?!?! Oh, Samsung, that's who. /s

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:43PM (#52978909)

    Do not wash Samsung Note 7 phones in your new Samsung Washing Machine. They are not compatible.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      Oh, you want a BIG explosion...
  • Hey guys good news is after their third one it's no longer a bug it's a feature. So we have that to look forward to.
  • When the washer is finished it plays this interesting melody.

    It is Die Forelle written by Chopin.

    The title roughly translated to English would be: The Fish.

    I'm less certain, but I believe that the lyrics would translate into something like:

    I'm done, come get your clean clothes
    The cycle is complete
    The wash and rinse have finished
    The spin was fast and strong
    I'm ready now to be emptied
    Don't make me wait too long
    I'll be here patiently awaiting
    I'll soon repeat this song
    • First, need to get some pedantry out of the way

      It is Die Forelle written by Chopin.

      Schubert actually

      The title roughly translated to English would be: The Fish.

      The Trout to be a little more exact.

      Sorry about that, anyway I don't get these lyrics:

      I'm done, come get your clean clothes
      The cycle is complete
      The wash and rinse have finished
      The spin was fast and strong
      I'm ready now to be emptied
      Don't make me wait too long
      I'll be here patiently awaiting
      I'll soon repeat this song

      ...I mean, does your washing machine actually sing to you? Or do you get the lyrics in the manual and are you supposed to gather the family around for a nice sing-a-long around the washing machine...

      • by Thud457 ( 234763 )
        Rachmaninoff. /Mrs. Teevee
      • What's even sadder is that a company has to resort to using a song 200 years old [wikipedia.org] as a notification melody to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuits.
      • The washer does not sing. It only plays the amusing melody. And then again in a few minutes if you haven't removed the clothes. Manual? Was there a manual? And thank you for the corrections! An interesting research project would be to determine how many times the washer will play the melody if you don't remove the clothes. Hours? Days? Months?
  • From the looks of the pictures it's simply shaken itself to pieces. Down here in Australia and New Zealand, Samsung top loaders have a bad reputation for catching fire and burning peoples houses down. Lastest Samsung Washing Machine Fires [stuff.co.nz]
    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      Good thing that won't happen to your Fisher Paykel brand. They don't even get hot enough to dry anything!
  • TFA does not say much... as, for example, an "explosion" of what kind that was supposed to be. There aren't so many components usually built into washing machines that could "explode" on their own, with nobody adding highly energetic substances to the mix.
    • by tsqr ( 808554 )

      TFA does not say much... as, for example, an "explosion" of what kind that was supposed to be. There aren't so many components usually built into washing machines that could "explode" on their own, with nobody adding highly energetic substances to the mix.

      That's what I was thinking. Most washing machine explosions are connected to an idiot washing rags soaked in something flammable.

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @03:31PM (#52979337)

    A number of airlines have announced they will ban passengers from having Samsung washing machines in their carry-ons

    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      A number of airlines have announced they will ban passengers from having Samsung washing machines in their carry-ons

      Now this! You know how hard it was to cram that thing into X-ray machine?! Plus I already paid for priority boarding so I would have space for all of my luggage.

  • A good excuse not to do laundry!
  • Expect to see even more of this corporate warfare from the USA.

    They dipped their toe in the water with the Toyota accelerator pedal scandal.

    They deployed a much improved process with the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

    The exploding Note 7 will be just the beginning of a corporate take-down against Samsung.

    I mean what did you expect? That the NSA would only use its slkilz for foreign security? The USA's foreign security is intimately linked to its economic dominance, so of course they will do all they can to c

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      So true. Corporations should never be held accountable for their products. That's practically communism.

  • The Samsungs are definitely "multiporpoise machines" - they explode as well as wash.

  • This is what happens when you try to cost-reduce designs beyond all rational reason.
  • We snuck out the video of the failure mode of the new Samsung Washing machines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • It's actually rather impressive how long that thing keeps running after it's unplanned rapid disassembly.

      • It's actually rather impressive how long that thing keeps running after it's unplanned rapid disassembly.

        It was a tough one. I figure at least 15 pounds of unbalance.

  • I have a top loader, and there was some kind of recall already on it. They hooked up a handheld to it and queried some parameters to ensure it didn't need actual parts replaced. They flashed a ROM upgrade and put a sticker on the side saying it was updated and a sticker on the top warning you not to put things like raincoats in it (duh?).
    • My wife just informed me that ours is an LG.
      So LG performed the recall for effectively the same thing a few years back.
  • Samsung's home appliances (refrigerators, freezers, stoves, washing machines, dryers) have an absolutely horrible reputation for reliability and worse, for indifferent or non-existant service and repair. A few exploding washers is probably the least of the problems you could expect.

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