SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Connie Salinas is afraid to run her own two-year-old washing machine.
Despite two years and eight service visits to repair the washer, it’s still making loud clanging noises, wasting water, and destroying her family’s clothes, the mother of two told Call Kurtis.
“It’s ripping everything apart by the seams,” she said.
The Kenmore Elite brand washer is one of several model numbers recalled — in a large recall affecting 457,000 washing machines made by Kenmore and LG.
But it seems Sears can’t fix the machine, and the company won’t replace it either.
Salinas said after two years of battling her washer, she’s as worn out as her daughters’ torn-up clothes.
“It ripped the shirt from the knot right down the middle,” she said, showing a Call Kurtis cameraman a shirt she bought for one of her daughters.
Salinas noticed the problems start with her washer violently shaking — even with just a few items inside — and then shutting off and draining all the water, she said.
It just doesn’t want to run correctly, she said.
“Imagine wanting to cuss, scream, throw a tantrum, get a headache, want to tell someone off and then go in the backyard and just scream or cry,” she said.
Call Kurtis has learned the machine Salinas bought two years ago for about $1,700 has been recalled.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled the LG-manufactured machine in 2012, saying the nearly half a million Kenmore and LG models can have “an unbalanced load” that can cause the drum to come loose, posing “a risk of injury to consumers and property damage.”
Owners could get “a free in-home repair,” according to the recall notice.
But after eight failed repair attempts, Salinas said Sears refuses to replace the washer.
Gary Almond of the Better Business Bureau said it’s clear Salinas should get a machine that works, even if the recall only promises a “repair.”
“It doesn’t do what it’s designed to do,” he told Call Kurtis. “When you have a recall, there’s a recognition there’s a broad problem on a broad basis.”
“I just want a machine that washes,” Salinas said.
After Call Kurtis got involved, Sears said it was “in the process of replacing the customer’s washer.”
Finally some relief for Salinas and all of her clothes.
“I will take the machine,” she said, “but I will never, ever, ever step foot in that store again.”
California law says if a product doesn’t work and can’t be repaired in a reasonable amount of time, it should be replaced.
Sears would not tell Call Kurtis why it took almost two years to replace Salinas’ washer.