The ignition occurred after water leaked onto electrical connections to the thermal sensor of the washing machine, causing an electrical short and igniting the circuit board. Ignition of the circuit board could potentially lead to fire.
Maytag washers affected by the recall have a model number beginning with either MAH9700 or MAH8700; however not all units beginning with those model numbers are being recalled. Recalled units from 2005 end with the letters GA, GC, GE, GG, GJ, GL, GN, GP, GR, GT, GV, and GX. Recalled units from 2006 end with the letters JA, JC, JE, JG, JJ, JL, and JN.
Samsung washers that are recalled have model number WF306BHW or a model number that begins with WF316. The serial numbers are a six-digits long from 100001 to 799999 followed by a letter.
Customers with the recalled units should stop using the machines immediately and contact Maytag or Samsung for information on receiving a free repair.
The washing machines were manufactured by Samsung Electronics in South Korea and were sold at major appliance stores from April 2005 through August 2006. They were sold for between $1,000 and $1,200.
This is not the first problem Maytag has had with washing machines. Two years ago, Maytag settled a class action lawsuit after customers had problems with its Neptune Washers. The suits claimed that problems with the door latch, was motor, motor control, and circuit boards led to the washing machines not working properly and clothing being covered in mold. According to the settlement, customers were entitled to repair reimbursements, replacement costs up to $500, or purchase certificates of up to $1000. Despite the settlement, consumers are still lodging complaints at consumeraffairs.com, noting multiple problems with the washers including cracked out tubs, torn door seals, and bad odors. Some say that despite having filled out their warranty cards they were never informed of the class action lawsuit and are still dealing with mold in their washers.
One customer notes that he has had repeated problems with wires burning the wiring harness, at one time resulting in smoke coming from the washing machine. However, the washing machine, which is a front loader, is not one of the ones included in the recall and therefore Maytag has not acknowledged problems with this washing machine.
Maytag was also recently involved in another recall, after 2.3 million dishwashers were recalled in February, also due to a fire hazard. At that time customers reported difficulty reaching the company to report their dishwasher and make arrangements for repairs.