Consumer News

Design Defect Could Affect Millions Of Flat Screen TVs

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
View Comments
Samsung TV (file image)

Samsung TV (file image)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

BOSTON (CBS) – Some of the newer digital TVs take a bit longer to switch on than the older versions. But Phil Hermance knew it was more than that when he started having trouble with his 40 inch Samsung LCD. “About a year-and-a-half into owning the TV, it started acting up,” he explained. When Phil hit the power button, the TV would make a clicking noise and the screen would take a long time to come on.

Phil is just one of thousands of Samsung owners describing the same problem online. Some complain that their nearly new TV takes 30 minutes or even longer to power up. For Phil, the problem was even worse than that. “It wouldn’t come on at all,” he said.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

His manufacturer’s warranty was expired so Phil didn’t even bother to call Samsung, he just paid the $150 it cost to get it fixed.

According to TV repairman, Cliff Allen, the problem is with a tiny $5 part called a capacitor. “It’s not because it’s an inferior product; it’s because the voltage is not enough to do the job,” he said.

Lawsuits filed in three states allege Samsung has known for years about the design and materials defect that results in capacitors failing. Samsung would not say how many TVS have the faulty capacitors but CBS obtained a court document from one of those lawsuits. It quotes a Samsung attorney saying there are more than seven million of the TVs out there.

Samsung sent CBS this statement:

“A small percentage of certain models of Samsung televisions have experienced performance issues caused by a component called a capacitor. Since originally confirming this issue in early 2010, Samsung has voluntarily provided free repairs for U.S. customers with affected televisions.

“As the leading supplier of televisions in the United States, we remain committed to delivering superior technology and excellent service to our loyal customers. We encourage our customers to call 1-800-SAMSUNG if they experience any problems with Samsung products.

“We have recently reached a preliminary settlement, subject to court approval, for a nationwide resolution of a related class action lawsuit in the District Court of Oklahoma County in the state of Oklahoma. Under the settlement, Samsung will continue to offer the free repairs that have already been extended to affected consumers. A second class action lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in late 2010, has been administratively terminated by that court.”

- Samsung Electronics America

When Brian Kowalkowski’s 2-year-old Samsung died, he called the company but they did not offer a voluntary repair. He said he was told that because his warranty was up, he was on his own. The repair cost him $167. “It should have been zero. I feel it should have been taken care of by Samsung.

Well it may be taken care of after all as one of those lawsuits was settled earlier this month.

Additional Statements from Samsung Electronics America:

On February 1, 2012, preliminary approval was officially granted on the settlement of Russell, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., in the District Court of Oklahoma County in the state of Oklahoma. A similar lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in late 2010, was administratively dismissed by the court.

The Oklahoma settlement reaffirms that Samsung’s efforts to voluntarily repair affected products for consumers since early 2010, have been appropriate for the situation. In addition, Samsung will compensate any consumers who have already made repairs at their own expense. A nationwide announcement will be made in the coming weeks explaining the steps consumers need to take if they believe they have an affected product. For your information and reference we have attached the summary notice of that decision, which has been on the public record since the settlement was reached.

As the leading supplier of televisions in the United States we remain committed to delivering superior technology and excellent service to our loyal customers. We encourage our customers to call 1-800-SAMSUNG if they experience any problems with Samsung products.

“The problem does not affect current models so there is no need to contact retailers.”

“Affected consumers will receive a notice as provided for in the settlement agreement, once approved by the court. Per Samsung’s standard policy, in-home repairs are offered for all sizes above 32”. For 32” and smaller, products must be shipped to NJ, but Samsung will cover all costs (in both directions).”

“Also, once the settlement is approved a process will be put into place to compensate consumers who have already paid for a repair.”

CLICK HERE see the notice regarding the settlement.

For additional information call 888-899-7602 between 9am and 9pm EST.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,072 other followers