Team 10: Woman says washing machine exploded

Posted at 6:38 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 21:38:30-05

A North County woman says her new washing machine exploded -- and she's not alone. 

Yan Gao said she was eating dinner with her husband when she heard a loud sound she'll never forget. She felt the wet floor, then made her way into the laundry room. She saw her new washing machine in pieces.

"At that moment, we both realized something really bad happened," Gao said.

The top of the washer disconnected from the bottom half. The frame was bent out of shape and the wall was also pierced by the metal. She is just glad she wasn't standing next to the machine when it happened.

She and her husband bought it just a few weeks before she says it exploded.

"First thing I thought, I could be dead or I could be really hurt," Gao said.

She wanted the model because it saved water and had more space. They paid about $577 for it, even though her husband wasn't a fan.

"I convinced him, let's give it a try. See how we like it," Gao said.

The model for the washing machine was #WA45H7000AW.  

Team 10 found similar reports of exploding top loading Samsung washing machines all over the country.

Micah Martin's Samsung washer is a different model than Gao's, but he said his exploded as well.

"We heard a big crash," Martin from South Carolina said in the video. "Sounded like the roof was caving in."

Renee DeLemos from New Jersey also sent Team 10 photos of her Samsung washer and the damage it caused. She said the washing machine was just a few weeks old when it exploded. DeLemos said she had to write Samsung's corporate office to get it replaced, which took a few months.

A Samsung spokesperson emailed Team 10 the following statement about the local case: 

We apologize for the experience that the Yi [Gao] family has had with one of our top loading washing machines. Although the reported incident is very rare, we want to assure consumers that they can rely on Samsung. We are working now with Mr. Yi [Gao] to understand the unique circumstances that led to this incident. We will be providing a full refund for the washer and reimbursing the family for any related damages. It is important to note that Samsung customers have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since we entered the category."

Team 10 contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A CPSC spokesperson said any cases of exploding washing machines should be reported on its website, That will trigger an investigation and let other consumers see what happened. It will also help them figure out if they will do an independent analysis of what happened.

"We really want Samsung to take action, to look at what they can do to prevent this from happening again," Gao said.