Consumer group Choice has reacted to the recent publicity surrounding fires starting in Samsung’s recalled washers, taking the opportunity to highlight that product recalls are becoming more frequent, while the rate of faulty products being returned remains low.
“With the number of product recalls increasing 14 per cent last year consumers need to remain vigilant about what products they put in their homes or park in their garages,” said Choice head of media Tom Godfrey.
“It’s also concerning that the rates of returns for potentially deadly products are not higher, with both the Samsung washing machine and Infinity electrical cable recalls not resulting in sufficiently high return rates.”
The 2013 Samsung recall is back in the spotlight after NSW Fire and Rescue took to social media to report that it had responded to the 18th ‘incident’ in 12 months caused by a faulty Samsung washing machine. It is estimated that 83,000 recalled top loader washing machines are still in the market.
— CHOICE (@choiceaustralia) May 22, 2015
“As we have seen with the latest Samsung washing machine fire, it often takes a serious incident before the recall message receives enough attention,” Godfrey said.
A spokesperson from Fire and Rescue NSW also noted that many consumers weren’t aware the washers had been recalled.
UPDATED: Samsung has issued a statement urging customers to check the model details of their Samsung washing machine to determine if it is affected by the recall.
We are concerned to hear about reported incidents across NSW. These cases are currently being investigated.
Samsung initiated a voluntary recall on six models of top loader washing machines in April 2013. This recall is an ongoing process and we continue to work closely with the NSW Department of Fair Trading and our retail partners to notify impacted customers and arrange rework services, exchanges and refunds.
Since the recall was initiated, Samsung can confirm that 60,765 affected models have been serviced or replaced. There are 83,686 washing machines that are yet to be serviced or replaced of the 144,451 that were recalled.
There have been 180 confirmed incidents as a result of the impacted models. These incidents reflect cases of the washing machines over-heating, smoking or catching fire.
The Infinity cable recall is another large scale product recall thought to potentially affect 40,000 people. The poor quality plastic insulation coating on the cable may become prematurely brittle from 2016 onwards, meaning there is no immediate risk, however next year degraded cable could start to cause fires and electric shocks.
Anyone who purchased new properties, undertook renovations or had electrical work carried out in the past few years should contact a licensed electrician for a safety inspection to determine if Infinity cables were installed.
“It’s very concerning that something like poor quality electrical cables are lurking in our homes with the long term risk of electrical shock or fire ever present. With only 5 per cent of the recalled Infinity cables being remedied, unless a house fire occurs most home owners will be unaware of the potential danger until it’s too late,” Godfrey said.
“It’s often the case that a product recall will go by unnoticed by most consumers unless there is a well publicised injury or health issue as we saw with the recent frozen berries fiasco.
Samsung top loader washing machines in the following six models are being recalled for immediate repair:
For further details visit www.samsung.com/au/washingmachinerecall or call our dedicated customer service line Toll-Free product safety hotline on 1800 239 655.