LG recalls washing machines after reports of property damage

Consumer Reports News: December 18, 2012 12:38 PM

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After receiving 343 reports of washing machines spinning so violently that 187 caused property damage, LG has recalled 457,000 top-loading washing machines sold under its own and the Kenmore Elite brand names. One injury has been reported, according to the recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The problem with the high-efficiency washers is that an unbalanced load can cause them to shake excessively and the drum to come loose, which poses the risk of both property damage and injury to the homeowner. The recall involves three LG and three Kenmore Elite Brand top-loading washing machine models manufactured between February 2010 and November 2011. Four of the models were included in Consumer Reports' test program although none rose to the level of a recommended model.

The units come in beige, white and graphite steel colors and have the following model and serial number ranges, which can be found on a label fixed on the rating plate on the back of the machine.

The recalled models include:

  • LG: WT5001CW, WT5101HV and WT5101HW with serial numbers ranging from 002KW******* to 111KW*******.
  • Kenmore Elite: 29002, 29272 and 29278 with serial numbers ranging from 005KW******* to 111KW*******.

Made by LG in South Korea, the Kenmore Elite models were sold at Kmart and Sears and the LG models were sold at Best Buy, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears and local retailers nationwide from April 2010 to December 2012 for between $899 and $1,099.

LG and Sears are offering free in-home repairs and supplying consumers with supplemental information to be inserted into their owner's manual and a caution label to be placed on the washing machine. LG is advising consumers who have observed their washing machine shaking excessively to stop using it until it's fixed. Contact LG at (855) 400-4639 or visit LG's website. For Kenmore or LG washers purchased at Sears or Kmart, call (888) 812-2935 or visit the Sears website.

Mary H.J. Farrell

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