As It Happens

'Like a tree fell on our house' Samsung customer describes exploding washing machine

Micah Martin of Bangor, Pennsylvania isn't surprised that Samsung is under fire. Last year, he posted a video on YouTube of what happened to his top-loading washer. It exploded.
Micah Martin's Samsung top-loading washer exploded last year. (Micah Martin/YouTube)

We've all been there, cramming a heavy load into a washer, only to find our machine is vibrating loudly. But some Samsung top-load appliances aren't just shaking. They're exploding. 

This week, US consumer watchdog group, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has warned against overloading some Samsung products. Now, the company says it's working with Health Canada to address potential safety issues. On Friday, Samsung released a list of affected models sold under its name and the Kenmore brand. 

Micah Martin of Bangor, Pennsylvania knows all too well what an exploding Samsung machine looks and sounds like. Last year, he posted a video on YouTube of what happened to his machine.

"It sounded like a tree fell on our house," he tells As It happens host Carol Off. "The washing machine had spun itself to a point that it had exploded." 

The force was so strong it even damaged his laundry room.

"The full-top section came flying off, the barrel inside had been completely out of whack, water on the floor, it was an absolute disaster, quite a scary situation considering that it was right next to our kids' bedroom and had someone been in there, they could've been severely hurt," says Martin. 

A top view of Micah Martin's exploded washer. (Micah Martin/YouTube)

Samsung insists that the affected washing machine models have performed "hundreds of millions" of loads of laundry without incident.

A company statement reads: "In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items."

I refuse to ever buy a Samsung appliance ever again.- Micah Martin 

Martin believes Samsung has known about the problem for a long time.

"I feel strongly that they were well aware of what was happening. It should have been recalled after the first couple of reports came in."

When he told Samsung what had happened he says the company didn't even ask for photographs or act surprised. 

"They paid for everything and really never put up a fight about it at all"


Samsung refunded Martin about six months later. He says he now owns a GE machine. 

"I refuse to buy a Samsung appliance ever again." 

Here in Canada, there have been no reports of personal injury.

For more on this story, listen to our full interview with Micah Martin.