Samsung Crises Spin out of Control

Suds won’t clean this crisis up

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is actively and cooperatively working with Samsung to address safety issues related to certain top-load washing machines made between March 2011 and April 2016. CPSC is advising consumers to only use the delicate cycle when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items. The lower spin speed in the delicate cycle lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged.

CPSC and Samsung are working on a remedy for affected consumers that will help ensure that there are no further incidents. We will provide updated information to the public as soon as possible. Consumers can contact Samsung for more information. Consumers should report any incidents to CPSC via our website www.SaferProducts.gov.

This CPSC bulletin signifies what was probably the last thing Samsung wanted to see right now – an entirely different type of device also “exploding” in the midst of the massive Galaxy Note 7 recall. According to court documents connected to a Texas woman’s case, her Samsung washer, “exploded with such ferocity that it penetrated the interior wall of her garage”, while another described her experiences as if “a bomb went off.” While the washers aren’t igniting as has been the case with the recalled Galaxy devices, they have had physical problems that cause the spinning drum (which can get up to 1,500 RPM, or the same as an idling car) to suddenly stop, transferring the kinetic energy into the device and throwing them across washrooms. Luckily, there have been no reported injuries at this time.

Samsung stayed firmly in character, putting out a dry statement that attempts to minimize the situation:

We are in active discussions with the CPSC to address potential safety issues related to certain top-load washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016.

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.

Samsung is recommending that consumers with affected models use the lower speed delicate cycle when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant materials. There have been no reported incidents when using this cycle.

It is important to note that Samsung customers have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011.

To determine if you have an affected washing machine, visit us at www.samsung.com/us/support/tlw .

Safety is our top priority. If you have any questions, please call Samsung at 1-844-483-3881.

Here’s the thing…compare that statement to this picture from one of the case filing and you’ll see why Samsung’s crisis management as-is can’t hold up.

exploding samsung washer

When you’re battling powerful imagery a bland statement isn’t enough. Samsung is choosing to suffer a “death by 1000 cuts” scenario here by only doing the bare minimum each time a new issue or new development in an existing crisis is encountered. While it’s a massive company with the resiliency that comes built-in to something that size, it’s far from “too big to fail”.

Erik Bernstein
www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com

 

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