Cancer sufferer not strong enough to put out fire.

An elderly Smithfield man was doing a load of washing yesterday morning when his machine caught alight. The 84-year old, who has cancer, did not have the strength to pull it out of the wall but thankfully his sister came to the rescue and rushed to help him. The man was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Samsung Smithfield fire

There have been 200 incidents of fires caused by Samsung washing machines since the recall began in 2013 and there are still 20,000 affected washing machines across New South Wales that have not been fixed or replaced.

Parliament member for Greenway, NSW Michelle Rowland MP (pictured below) addressed the recall issue in Parliament on Tuesday with concern about the safety of consumers as more than 30% of the recalled machines remain in Australian homes. Rowland is appalled that the NSW Government is standing by the deficient plastic bag and tape fix.

Michelle Rowland MP in front of Parliament House.  Parliament House Canberra23 November  2015. Image David Foote-AUSPIC/DPS

“Elected officials have a fundamental duty of care to the citizens they represent. A routine task of putting on a load of washing should not result in the destruction of family homes and/or physical harm,” Rowland told

“Members of Parliament also have a duty to shine light on these situations and voice the concerns of the people they represent and that is what I am doing. This situation has gone on for far too long and the recall process must be fixed before further damage is done.

“As noted on the ACCC website, the Federal Minister ‘does have the power to order a compulsory recall of a product if it will or may cause injury to a person and where it appears that the supplier has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the goods from causing injury,'” Rowland said.

NSW Fair Trading working with Samsung

Despite the fire yesterday, NSW Fair Trading is maintaining its previously stated position, out of sync with public concern.

On 23 July the NSW Government announced a government recall issued for six affected models of voluntarily recalled Samsung washing machines that pose a fire risk. The Government mandatory recall was issued to formalise the recall process and increase community awareness and action.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to claim either a replacement, refund or compensation from the supplier where a product is subject to a major defect. This applies even if consumers have initially accepted a repair of their machine under the electrical safety recall,” a NSW Fair Trading spokesperson told

Under the provisions of the NSW Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004, there is a requirement on suppliers to supply safe products and to make safe any electrical articles they supply if they become aware they may be unsafe. There are similar provisions in the Australian Consumer Law.

“Samsung is meeting those obligations by undertaking to rectify affected machines with a rework methodology that is approved to Australian Standards by an independent approvals authority. Samsung is also providing replacement machines or refunds to consumers who choose not to have their affected machine reworked.

“Samsung has attempted to and continues to follow up contact with affected consumers by engaging with retailers where the machines were sold, writing directly to consumers, through advertising on social media and via their website as well as through media releases,” the spokesperson continued.

During June 2015, Samsung (in consultation with NSW Fair Trading) conducted another large-scale media campaign promoting the recall and urging consumers to check their washing machines and make contact with Samsung.

“NSW Fair Trading routinely monitors e-commerce sites. If a washing machine that is the subject of the recall is detected for sale, NSW will take action to prevent it being sold and will alert Samsung.

“Fair Trading has been working with Samsung to ensure that consumer complaints regarding delayed payments of refunds are attended to in an acceptable time frame and Fair Trading advises any consumer having difficulty dealing with Samsung to immediately lodge a complaint via the website or by calling 13 32 20.

“NSW Fair Trading will continue to monitor the recall and hold Samsung accountable while ensuring consumer protections are enforced,” the spokesperson said.

Samsung declined to comment.