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Exploding robots may already be in your house

Some Samsung washing machines are going kaboom.

Demand For Consumer Appliances Strong Despite Weak Global Economies Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Samsung devices are exploding again. Only this time, it’s washing machines.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning Wednesday about repeated reports of Samsung top-loading washing machines exploding in people’s homes.

Samsung was hit by a class action lawsuit last month from people who say their washing machine exploded. The company released a statement in response to the incidents yesterday, noting customers "have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011."

While the CPSC didn’t specify what models to watch out for, the regulators broadly noted that top loading machines made between 2011-2014 might blow up on you.

The warning comes after years of complaints of exploding washing machines from Samsung, with people reporting large parts shot across the room, leaving holes in walls and terrifying their families.

The news comes after the dust has barely settled on Samsung’s last snafu. Earlier this month the FAA banned passengers from taking the Galaxy Note S7 on airplanes due to the phone’s proclivity to catch fire.

The point here is the machines we have in our homes can malfunction and catch fire, and that’s deadly. It’s not just washing machines and cellphones. Vizo HD televisions were recalled after reports the devices would start smoking and shoot flames out the back. There are cases of GE dishwashers overheating to cause fire that spread beyond the machine. Appliances were the cause of over 16,000 residential fires in 2014 alone, according to FEMA data.

Most appliances these days have a microcomputer inside, which are susceptible to electromagnetic interference from other Bluetooth-enabled electronics like phones, speakers and computers. That interference can cause a device to turn on by itself and malfunction. As our electronics become more complex there’s simply more that can go wrong.

Concerned washing machine owners can check if their unit has been affected by entering the serial number on Samsung’s website.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the airplane ban of the Samsung Galaxy Note S7.

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