15 August 2016
Consumer group CHOICE is encouraging consumers to seek refunds if they have a dodgy Samsung top loader washing machine in their home following yet another house fire in NSW over the weekend, which saw a number of people hospitalised for smoke inhalation.
"Our hearts go out those people who have been injured and whose homes have been damaged as a result of at least 297 washing machines failing or catching fire," says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.
"This latest fire in a unit block in Sydney's west reaffirms the very real danger these faulty washing machines present, and comes in the wake of around 35 incidents or fires since March this year.
"With tens-of-thousands of these machines still in homes across the country, and concerns raised around the adequacy of the repair being offered by Samsung, we encourage anyone with a dodgy Samsung top loader to put their family first and seek a refund.
"When a product has a 'major' failure under Australian Consumer Law, it is the consumer's decision as to whether or not they get a repair, replacement or a refund. When it comes to these top loaders, our advice remains that consumers should push for a refund.
"It is concerning that for a number of years of the recall, Samsung proactively pushed consumers into this repair instead of a refund or replacement, and this involved installing a fire-retardant plastic bag over the electrical connectors.
"While some consumers have exercised their right to a refund, following guidance from Samsung, many machines caught up in the recall have been repaired," Mr Godfrey says.
Last year, CHOICE dramatically crushed two Samsung washing machines to propel the potential hazard onto the nation's TV screens and launched a crowd funding campaign to create a television advertisement to warn consumers.
"We made the decision to crowd fund the television advertisement following research which found 47% of consumers expected to see or hear about recalls through television advertising," says Mr Godfrey.
"We don't want to see anyone die in the dark as a result of one of these machines failing. So please, check the make and model of your top loader and seek a refund if it's one of the recalled machines."
The video of the washing machine crushing is available here:
The crowd-funded advertisement can be viewed here:
Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson - 0430 172 669 - @choice_news
To read more on CHOICE tests, reviews and campaigns, go to choice.com.au
Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias. As vital today as when we were founded in 1959, CHOICE continues to fight for consumers and uncover the truth. By mobilising Australia's largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.
Recalled washing machines
NSW Fair Trading is continuing to work with Fire and Rescue NSW to establish whether the machine involved in the fire over the weekend is one of the models subject to the NSW Government's recall.
The following models were manufactured from 2010 to 2013.
 Samsung.com, incidents up to 18 July 2016, http://www.samsung.com/au/washingmachinerecall/2016-07-22-Samsung-Top-Loader-recall-progress-summary.pdf
 CHOICE with fieldwork by GMI/Lightspeed Research conducted with 1032 consumers aged 18-75 years between 15 and 21 September, 2015