9 Investigates: Consumers complain about exploding washing machines

Jay Kimelman said his Whirlpool front-loading washing machine exploded.

"I heard what I thought was a car crashing into the house, a loud bang," he said. "Came in and saw it and oh my gosh."

Kimelman said a 22-pound concrete block, which is used as a counterbalance inside the machine, shot out and left this hole in the wall.

"I'm just glad my family wasn't here when that happened," he said.

Action 9 came across similar claims. Last year, Channel 9 even posted this story on its Facebook page: "Exploding washing machine knocks out Minnesota mom."

Whirlpool said it's committed to delivering safe and innovative products, it's investigating Kimelman's machine, and it sent him a check for $1,200.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has seven complaints on this topic involving Whirlpool and its sister company, Maytag.  One says the washing machine "blew up" and ended up "on its side blown apart."  It also claims "the house shook from the force."  Another complaint says the washer "violently [threw] itself around the room."

[LINK: Consumer Product Safety Commission]

Action 9 also came across a class-action lawsuit website posted last month, looking for alleged victims.

"Washers spin at a fast rate," Queen City Audio Video and Appliances owner Roddey Player said. “You go back 20-25 years ago and maybe the highest speed on a washing machine may have been 400 RPMs or 450 RPMs.  Well, now these things are spinning at 800, 900, 1000 RPMs."

He told Action 9 he hadn't heard about the complaints but is asking Whirlpool for guidance and offering consumers with vibration issues a free inspection even if they bought the washer elsewhere.

Other companies have faced similar allegations.  In 2016, Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled almost 3 million top-loading washing machines.  There were reports 730 units exploded and that nine people were hurt.

If this happens to you, take pictures and/or video of the damage, tell the company, and let Action 9 know.

Queen City Audio Video and Appliances is offering free inspections to anyone who may be experiencing vibrations in a Whirlpool or Maytag washing machine regardless of where you purchased. Call 704-391-6000.

Comments on this article