Consumer Protection is concerned that apathy over the recall of Samsung top loader washing machines is putting the lives of Western Australians at risk.
Samsung has released figures showing that only half of WA owners of the affected machines have responded to the recall, leaving more than 6,500 dangerous units remaining in WA homes and continuing to pose a serious fire hazard.
The recall response rate for WA is only 54 per cent and the worst in the country, with most other states recording a response rate of 64 to 70 per cent. The defective machines have caused more than 200 house fires throughout Australia.
The models subjected to the recall were manufactured between 2010 and 2013 and include model numbers: SW75V9WIP; SW65V9WIP; SW70SPWIP; SW80SPWIP; WA85GWGIP and WA85FWWIP. A total of 14,483 of these models were sold in WA. The affected units have an internal fault where condensation can penetrate an electrical connector causing deterioration which may in turn cause a fire.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard urges WA consumers to check the model of their washing machine immediately and take urgent action if it is on the recall list.
“This is not a matter that should be left to luck or chance, as it involves the safety of you, your family and other occupants of your house or housing complex,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Don’t gamble with your life and the lives of others by ignoring this recall. If you have a Samsung top loader washing machine with a model number subject to the recall, take urgent action now as your safety is at risk!
“Affected WA consumers should discontinue use immediately, unplug it from the socket and organise to obtain a refund and the removal of the washing machine from their home as soon as possible. Samsung are footing the costs of this program so consumers will not be out of pocket.
“The machines should not be re-sold or placed on the verge for bulk rubbish collection, as we want to remove any possibility that they are purchased or picked up by people who may not realise the danger.
“I urge consumers to treat this issue with the highest priority.
“Owners of all washing machines should ensure they follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially during installation. Unstable machines that vibrate during use could cause mechanical failure which may also pose a fire risk to the home.”
Customers with affected models should contact Samsung on 1800 239 655 between 8am and 8pm AEST on any day or email email@example.com to verify if the machine is affected by the recall. Further information is available at www.recalls.gov.au.
Consumers who have any problems securing a refund from their retailer should contact Consumer Protection by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 30 40 54.