Samsung reaches settlement over ‘exploding’ washing machines

The South Korean consumer goods titan has suffered several blows to its reputation in recent years. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Samsung reaches settlement over ‘exploding’ washing machines

  • The faulty appliances were recalled in 2016 after reports some of the washers were “exploding”
  • In 2016 it was forced to issue a worldwide recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics has reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over 2.8 million “exploding” washing machines recalled in the US, the South Korean company said Tuesday.
The faulty appliances were recalled in 2016 after reports that the top “can unexpectedly detach from the washing machine chassis during use, posing a risk of injury from impact,” according to The US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The lawsuit claimed some of the washers were “exploding.”
“Samsung has chosen to settle class-action lawsuits involving top-load washing machines that were subject to a voluntary recall,” Samsung said in a statement, adding the decision was reached to “avoid distraction and expense of litigation.”
The washing machines in question have long been off the market, Samsung said.
Those covered by the settlement may receive benefits ranging from a “rebate, refund or reimbursement of certain expenses, costs, and repairs,” according to the statement.
Samsung said at the time that the recall applied to models built between 2011 and 2016 for “reports highlighting the risk that the drums in these washers may lose balance, triggering excessive vibrations, resulting in the top separating from the washer.”
The South Korean consumer goods titan has suffered several blows to its reputation in recent years.
In 2016 it was forced to issue a worldwide recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries, costing the firm billions of dollars.
The group’s heir, Lee Jae-yong, was soon after embroiled in a major corruption scandal that ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye, and he spent nearly a year in jail for bribing her close confidante.
But in just a decade, Samsung has gained considerable ground in the US washing machine market with its share jumping from 1.8 percent in 2008 to 19.8 percent in 2017, according to market research firm TraQline.


Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

Updated 1 min 22 sec ago
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Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

RIYADH: The head of the state-owned Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) has made an unprecedented offer to the Kingdom’s home-seekers to underwrite
future mortgages.
Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Fabrice Susini, SRC CEO, told the audience: “Ask them (the banks) for a mortgage, and we will refinance it.”
Although Susini later clarified his remarks to show that he still expected normal standards of mortgage applications to be met, the on-stage show of bravado illustrates SRC’s commitment to facilitate home-ownership in the Kingdom.
“Obviously if you have no revenue, no income, poor credit history, that will not apply. Now if you have a job, it is different. We have people in senior positions at big foreign banks that could not get a mortgage,” he explained.
He said that Saudi banks have traditionally assessed mortgages on the basis of “flow stability” of earnings. Government employees, or those of big corporations like Saudi Aramco and SABIC, found it easy to get mortgages “because you were there for life.”
“One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people. The government is pushing for entrepreneurship, private development, private jobs. If you work in the private sector and cannot get a mortgage the next thing you will do is go to the government for a job,” Susini said.
Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest rates of mortgage penetration of any G20 country — in single digit percentages, compared with others at up to 50 percent.