Action 9

‘I thought a bomb had gone off': Woman claims washing machine exploded during spin cycle

ST. CLOUD, Fla. — A Saint Cloud woman fears what could have happened when her washing machine exploded.

She claims Maytag refused to replace the high-end front-loading machine, so she called Action 9.

Consumer investigator Todd Ulrich found more than a dozen similar complaints and turned to the company for answers and results.


Thelma Chattey just returned from walking her grandson and found her Maytag Maxima front-load washer blown apart, halfway through spin.

"I thought a bomb had gone off in the house," Chattey said. "It was scary. I had no idea what happened."

She found a 20-pound concrete block inside the tub that had been a counter balance.

Chattey claims Maytag, owned by Whirlpool, offered $390 to replace her Maxima, which cost
$1,500 six years ago.

Federal safety investigators have heard from other Whirlpool and Maytag owners who've complained about bad vibrations and even explosions.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission had 15 complaints against its front-load washers since 2014.

One owner heard a loud bang, almost like an explosion, then a fire.

Another customer said their unit exploded and a concrete block- "could have easily become a fatal 

Appliance repair expert Mike Mennino said safeguards failed to keep the machine balanced
when it reached very high speeds.

Last year, a Whirlpool Duet exploded inside an Ocoee home and the concrete block blasted a hole
in the drywall.

Whirlpool sent that consumer a $1,200 check.

Since WFTV contacted Whirlpool, it's now offering Chattey a new front-load washer to match what she had.

The company said it regrets her difficult experience and it will analyze her old washer to determine what happened.

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