ORLANDO, Fla. - An Ocoee man claims someone could have been seriously hurt when his washing machine exploded, and he's concerned it could happen to someone else.
Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich found other consumers have complained about explosive failures with Whirlpool washers, and he asked the company about their complaints.
“Came in and saw it and was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” said Jay Kimelman.
He could not comprehend what he found in the laundry room. His front-loading Whirlpool Duet washing machine looked like something had exploded inside.
“I heard what I thought was a car crashing into the house; a loud ‘bang,’” said Kimelman.
He saw twisted metal and plastic. On the laundry room floor, he found a 22-pound concrete block that had been the counterbalance inside the machine.
“Looks like it was bolted to a piece of plastic,” said Kimelman.
But it shot out of the washer and put a hole in the drywall.
Kimelman fears what could have been.
“I'm just glad my family wasn't here when that happened,” he said.
Action 9 checked Consumer Product Safety Commission complaints. Seven consumers claim their front-loading machines by Whirlpool had violent vibration events. One owner said her Whirlpool Duet blew up and ended up on its side. Another consumer claimed a concrete chunk flew out from a Whirlpool front loader in an explosion.
“Thank goodness there was no one in that room when that let go,” said repair expert Mike Mannino.
He looked at images of Kimelman’s damaged washer and said counterbalance weights can cause vibrations and rocking, but this is the worst case he has seen.
“Just a very high rate of spin, a tremendous amount of force,” said Mannino.
Action 9 sent Kimelman’s complaint to Whirlpool corporate. Responding to past events, Whirlpool said it’s committed to delivering safe and innovative products.
Whirlpool sent Kimelman a $1,200 check to buy a new washer.
“At this point we're getting a standard top-loading machine,” he said.
A Whirlpool representative told Ulrich it sent Kimelman a replacement check right away and picked up the washer to investigate.
Repair experts say if your washing machine has loud and abnormal vibrations, have it checked out.
We quickly connected with the consumer and arranged an exchange of the washer so we can analyze what happened. Although we cannot speculate about what happened with this particular product, Whirlpool is committed to delivering safe, innovative products to consumers. We stand behind our products and encourage anyone who has questions about their Whirlpool appliance to reach out to us at 866-698-2538.
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