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Fridge explosion sparks worldwide recall

Published: 29 October 2009 - 00:00
SAMSUNG has today announced a 'home visit repair programme' on two ranges of fridge freezers in Korea and Europe following the case of a domestic fridge explosion in West Bromwich in May and a more recent case in Korea.
The repair programme involves the now-discontinued RS21 and RS60 range of domestic fridge freezers, manufactured between March 2005 and June 2006

The repair announcement follows the ACR News story on our website (acr-news.com) in August, questioning the safety of domestic fridges. It detailed a number of incidents including one in May in West Bromwich in which, according to the local Express & Star, a family was woken by the sound of its fridge-freezer exploding 'like an earthquake', smashing windows and doors, blowing holes in the ceiling and ripping the roof off the conservatory.

A press statement from the Korean manufacturer said: 'Samsung Electronics has decided to take this action after concluding that in a minority of cases the models' defrost system may require repair to put right a defect in its assembly. In very rare cases, there is the potential for internal sparking to occur and in consequence, damage to the appliance.'

The company told ACR News: 'In very rare cases, the rubber seal that provides insulation may carbonise when subjected to excessive temperatures, caused by the assembly issue. This can result in a partial short circuit within the defrost heater. In some cases this may lead to possible internal sparking. The sparking can rupture the external surface of the heater allowing the sparking to concentrate on the surrounding surfaces or adjacent internal components - which depending on the location of the sparking could, in very rare occasions lead to leaking of the coolant.'

While the number of fridges affected in the UK is unclear, in Germany, 38,000 units are thought to be involved. In Korea, it is reported to affect 210,000 units in that country. According to the Korean JoongAng Daily, the recall came after a refrigerator exploded on October 10 at an apartment in Yongin, Gyeonggi.

A Samsung UK spokesman told ACR News: 'Whilst, as I'm sure you appreciate the chances of similar incidents occurring are extremely remote, Samsung is committed to providing the highest standards of customer care, and has decided to run a home visit repair programme, starting November 2nd.'

Investigations continue into the separate and more widely-reported case of the explosion of the Creda fridge owned by Kathy Cullingworth of Normanton, West Yorkshire.

Customers of Samsung fridge freezers can visit the website at www.samsung.com/uk/homevisit to identify if their appliance is part of this programme. In addition, if customers have further questions they can contact a helpline on 0800 988 0123 which has been put in place for this programme.

Comments

02 March 2015 13:21:22
Mrs Amanda Kempton

I have a stand alone fridge freezer 2 door in black bought 2 years ago a samsung can you tell me if the back on it is plastic or metal as it is the plastic backing I fear most just finished watching " Watch dog" and the fire safety campaign by the fire brigade.

Published prior to March 2014
By ali
I think this is being played down too much... we didn't know there was a problem until ours sparked and we paid an engineer to visit... we live in a thatched cottage with 4 children... Its scary to think that samsung have known about this for so long, but made no effort to inform its all customers....
Published prior to March 2014
By Barta Ferenc
I had purchased a Samsung RL 38 HCIH refrigidare at Media Markt in Hungary, Debrecen on 05.10.2009. Since it has been put into operation I had a personal meeting with the Department's Manager, who had sent me to their official service contractor saying, he has nothing to do with the problem, can not help. I went the the so called service company, they came to see the problem, but according to them the fridg. is working properly, they can not ask for a replacement, or a money back quaranty. I contacted Samsung directly in Hungary several times. Even today I did receive a letter from Mr. Hanyez J zsef who is working as Samsung Electronics Hungarian ZRT, rejecting my problems as far as the functioning of the fridgidare is concerned.

Now, my problem is not the functioning of this machinne is concerned, it cools, it freezes without any problems. MY PROBLEM IS AS TO HOW AND IN WHICH WAY IT FUNCTIONS. IT MAKES SUCH NOISES, ie. crying, screeming, bubbling, and too many noises to mention that we can not sleep because of them.

I just can not imagine that a Company like Samsung would not take a stance after months of complaints for HUF 150.000. I told them that I don't want the money back, I will purchase something else!!!! Even at this good intentions from my side they are stubburn and show an unbelieveably stupid business standpoint.

I would very much like You to direct me to anyone (if you can not) to help me to win this battle. Its not the money, but the unfair business oractice bothers me th most

Thank You for your help, and Yours truely

Ferenc Barta
Tel: 36 52 480 457
Mobil +36 30 240 8512

Email: bartaferenc@chello.hu
Published prior to March 2014
By alan donald
what was the refrigerant? s it inflammable?
Published prior to March 2014
By Editor
Customers of Samsung fridge freezers can visit the website at www.samsung.com/uk/homevisit to identify if their appliance is part of this programme. In addition, if customers have further questions they can contact a dedicated helpline on 0800 988 0123 which has been put in place for this programme
Published prior to March 2014
By iceeee
well checked model no and its RS21DONS
is there a link to check serial no anywhere or does samsung know each and every sale
Published prior to March 2014
By jumbo
air conditioners don't have defrost heaters!!
Published prior to March 2014
By Kenneth Duckett
One missing question (and answer) is whether Samsung have used similar materials/spec on any of their air-conditioners. That would have been good to know.
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