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Has your washing machine glass door shattered?

Exploding washing machine

Which? Convo community members have helped us uncover hundreds of cases of exploding washing machines. We’ve now talked with experts to find out why this is happening.

We first covered exploding washing machine glass doors on Which? Conversation in 2012, and the response was overwhelming. Almost 100 different commenters reported that their machine’s door had shattered.

Combining those comments with reports from a variety of other sources, we were able to unearth 280 reports of washing machine, washer-dryer or tumble dryer glass doors cracking or shattering.

Most interestingly, 41% of the reports we uncovered were about Beko machines, much higher than Beko’s market share (between 10% and 20%). You can read more about this in our online news story, with in-depth analysis in the May issue of Which? magazine.

‘280’ might be a tiny number compared with the tens of millions of washing machines in UK homes, but the potential danger posed by a shattering glass door is huge. And for those whose machines have exploded, it can be a traumatic experience. Rhona told us:

The stories that washing machine owners shared with us were crucial to our research – so please do continue to share them, as we want to keep investigating this issue.

Why washing machine doors explode

There’s no single clear and obvious reason why these glass doors are shattering. We’ve talked to several experienced repairers, who all agreed that it’s likely to be a combination of factors.

Hard items left in the wash, such as coins, belt buckles or even metal buttons, can hit the glass door at high speed and weaken it over time. The advice here is to put items which have metal parts in a laundry bag before adding them to the wash.

Over-filling the machine can also put excessive pressure on the glass door, with Which? Trusted Trader Chris Talabi telling us: ‘A good rule of thumb is that when you close the door, the clothes should fill up two-thirds of the porthole’.

And under-filling could be part of the problem too. Neil Howieson, secretary of the national trade association for domestic appliance repairers (DASA), told us:

‘Some people tend to wash large or heavy items such as bath mats and large towels on their own. These types of items are extremely heavy once wet. Without other items in the drum to balance them out, the machine might not work as it should.’

Changes to washing machines may also be a factor. Washing machine doors have tended to get larger in recent years, which not only means they’re more prone to being hit, but the larger surface area can make the glass more likely to break. Higher spin speeds can also cause items to hit the door with greater impact. Chris Talabi doesn’t use his machine at anything above 1,200rpm, for example.

Then there’s the fact that washing machines are cheaper than ever, which could have affected the quality of glass doors. However, without testing old doors against newer ones, we can’t be sure about that.

What can be done about exploding machines?

Unfortunately, solving this problem isn’t as simple as making unbreakable glass doors.

One possible solution that several repairers suggested was for manufacturers to add a plastic layer to the door, which will keep glass in the machine if it explodes. Bosch, LG, Miele, Samsung and Siemens have introduced this on some of their newer models and we believe that other brands should consider doing the same.

And there’s another solution which would be even safer – eliminate the door altogether. Old-style top-loading washing machines – which have a hatch in the top of the machine instead of a glass door – have been the norm for years in the USA. Could they become more widespread here? The repairers we spoke to didn’t think so, and the top-loading models we’ve reviewed have tended to be unimpressive.

Would you be more likely to buy a washing machine if it had a plastic cover over the glass window? And would you consider buying one without a window at all?

To keep informed on safety issues, we recommend you register appliances for free on registermyappliance.org.uk. It’s run by the manufacturers trade body, Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances.


I have an AEG front loader washing machine – we use this machine for our clothes only (we have a LG top loader that is abused with all the pets linen etc) – in other words our AEG was handled with kids gloves. My machine is 9 years old – but its predecessor (also an AEG) managed to get to well over 16 years before we “retired” it from service and donated the machine to a friend of mine.
The AEG self destructed at the beginning of this month (May 2017). I heard this continual crashing sound coming from the scullery and I raced indoors thinking it was my epileptic dog having a seizure. There was glass, hot water and steam all over the scullery floor and I had to switch off the machine at the wall. We were incredibly lucky that no one (human or pet) was walking by when the machine exploded ! I was quite dumbfounded by my find.
I have contacted AEG to report this matter – frankly an exploding glass door is shocking and an unacceptable safety hazard. The initial reaction from the AEG representative I spoke to was “but it is 9 years old” and after a promise of sending someone to our house to investigate or take away the machine for testing – this was 21 days ago and I have not heard from anyone since. I wanted feedback on the cause of this ‘self destruct’ because I am not going to throw money at expensive repairs only for the door to explode again.
Clearly AEG do not care about safety / quality service (the only reason we bought the AEG product in the first place).
Why have a glass door anyway? Really this needs to be revisited.

A neighbour has a modern AEG that has a transparent ‘plastic’ shield across the concave glass window in the door. But I agree with you that no window on the washing is required.

My beko washing machine door exploded earlier this evening whilst in the final stages of a wash, luckily none of my 4 children or the family dog were near at the time. It was still spinning with glass everywhere out and in the drum, I had to stretch over the broken glass to turn it off. Very dangerous and scary. Have contacted beko via Facebook and twitter and watchdog. Have yet to receive a reply from beko.

Which model was it Samantha? And how old?

Data can be useful in seeing whether even amongst Beko machines some are worse than others. It may be that a class action is desirable.

Which? staff – What is the data from the 2015 Connect survey into major appliances and incidence of shattered glass in doors

Hi Patrick, it was a WMB81241 LB approximately just over 3 years old. I had to ring them this morning and they are sending out an engineer next Wednesday (30/08/17) I have to keep the damp clothes for them to look at 😩

Thanks Samantha. A quick search does not reveal much but then as people often do not quote the machine type it is rather dispiriting. The actual replacement glass is quite cheap reading the online parts company beloved of Curry’s etc Partmaster

Beko WMB81241LB Door Glass – Porthole at @ £20.00

Hi Samantha
Did Beko ever get back to you? The same thing happened to my machine and they point blank refused to come and look and the machine was less than 2 years old!

Is it time to push manufacturers to offer washing machines without glass doors? The problem of glass breaking without warning has been reported for a wide variety of machines and may be a consequence of the move to higher spin speeds and bigger door.

John Ward has mentioned a machine with a protective shield over the door glass and that is a step forward, but getting rid of the glass would be better. At least this could be offered as an alternative.

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I’ve still got a Mazda data booklet that describes Fenbridge Guards, Duncan. 🙂

There were various ways of protecting people from the danger of implosion of old CRT tubes and monitors. Old TVs were ‘twin panel’ and had a flat sheet of toughened glass mounted in front of the tube. Later the manufacturers moved to installing a stout plastic sheet on the front of the tube, clamped onto the rim. That might be a possibility if a washing machine door glass was convex rather than concave. It would not be practical to have plastic on the inside because the aggressive laundry detergent would make it opaque.

Laminated glass, as in car windscreens, uses a layer of plastic between two layers of glass. That is very effective at protecting drivers from shards of glass, but it may not be possible to construct a laminated glass door because of the shape.

Sooner or later, someone will be seriously injured and the manufacturers might sit up and think, but why wait until this happens.

In his introduction, Matt says: “One possible solution that several repairers suggested was for manufacturers to add a plastic layer to the door, which will keep glass in the machine if it explodes. Bosch, LG, Miele, Samsung and Siemens have introduced this on some of their newer models and we believe that other brands should consider doing the same.”

Does anyone have any information about this? Maybe Which? could give us an update.

You can layer film onto glass to contain it if it breaks. Used in lighting in the food industry for example on case a glass tube should break. Needs to be on the outside of the washing machine door as plastic is not very resistant to abrasion. Could be included in the Which? features along with guarantee length and repairability in general. Miele are offering 10 years on some washing machines.

Anyone who has suffered breakage of a washing machine door might be very interested in improvements in design. Transparent plastics are not renowned for good physical properties and would be likely to be subject to gradual attack by laundry detergent as well as abrasion.

Here is a video showing a machine with a plastic shield on the outside of the glass: http://www.espares.co.uk/advice/careandmaintenance/how-to-replace-the-door-shield-and-glass-bowl

I had hoped that my Miele machine would come with some form of protection for the glass door, but it did not.

“Transparent plastics are not renowned for good physical properties and would be likely to be subject to gradual attack by laundry detergent as well as abrasion.”

Polycarbonate, aka Lexan, is actually remarkably tough. It is used to make motorcycle crash helmets and, in its transparent form, visors and safety spectacles. It does tend to scratch easily but can be coated to resist this.

Polycarbonate would be fine as a protective outer shield because of its toughness, but no use whatsoever as an alternative to glass for the reasons I have given.

I would love to see washing machines without a glass door, at least as an option.

“I would love to see washing machines without a glass door, at least as an option.”

I bet that would not be commercially viable, now that we’ve all got to like watching our clothes go round and round. Let’s face it, it’s more interesting that most daytime (or nighttime ) TV.

BTW- how exactly would laundry detergent attack something like polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate lacks resistance to abrasion, so would loose its clarity. Although you have to ask whether this would matter? If the main aim of a window in the door is to ensure it is empty of water (before opening the door), total clarity is not essential.

I have had no success finding out much about glass doors. Two ways to make glass strong – toughen it and thicken it.

To toughen it you heat it to near softening point, chill the surfaces with air and this puts then into compression. Very resistant to impact and thermal shock. However, it is difficult to toughen deep moulded glass effectively – Corning used to do it in the UK. It requires specialist equipment and high quality glass as far as I remember.

Making a thick moulding gives it inherent strength, but not so good at resisting thermal shock – a change from hot to cold water for example.

There seems to be no standard covering these windows, other than an impact resistance test. I’d be interested to know how the windows are made and processed.

If you don’t want a window door, you could opt for a top loader.

“Polycarbonate lacks resistance to abrasion, so would loose its clarity.”

For motorcycle visors, that problem was tackled a few decades ago, by the addition of harder surface coatings.

When I was a user of polycarbonate projectiles in railguns and two stage light gas guns, we were advised to anneal those projectiles after final machining and prior to use, but neglecting to do that never caused us any apparent problems.

I don’t believe that polycarbonate would withstand extended use with laundry detergents. Back in the 70s our research students were advised not to put polycarbonate centrifuge and ultracentrifuge tubes in the machines used for washing glassware. I have seen tubes damaged when the advice was ignored. If polycarbonate or acrylics were up to the job then I don’t think we would still have glass doors.

At one time polycarbonate was expensive and used only for specialist products but now it is cheap enough for plastic pub glasses for use outdoors. The landlord of a local pub challenged us to break a one of the plastic glasses when he had the first delivery a few years back.

Derek asks how a laundry detergent would attack polycarbonate.

Here is a chemical compatibility chart for a variety of plastics including polycarbonate (PC): http://sevierlab.vet.cornell.edu/resources/Chemical-Resistance-Chart-Detail.pdf It outlines in general terms the way in which plastics can be damaged by chemicals. Not knowing the formulation of laundry detergents I cannot be certain, but as the table shows, there are many chemicals that affect it, particularly at higher temperature. Many use fabric conditioners and these will remain at the end of a wash cycle.

I could be wrong, but if polycarbonate was OK for washing machine doors, surely manufacturers would have adopted it by now.

Table 12 gives some detergents.

I can’t find reference to moulded polycarbonate windows for washing machines. Can anyone? It would be very attractive to manufacturers because the whole door could then be moulded to save much of the assembly. There are abrasion-resistant coatings for plastics, including polycarbonate – spectacle lenses, safety glasses, machine guards. visors….but would they stand up to the continual abrasion from wet fabrics? Can anyone dig out useful information?

There are references to plastic door bowls for tumble dryers on the web.

These presumably fit on the outside to retain any broken glass and would not be subject to the wear from wet washing. White Knight and other tumble dryers list a plastic door window, but White Knight washing machines describe the window as glass. I am sure Kenneth can tell us whether any washing machines use plastic windows..

Dredging through old links I found this page on the Whitegoodshelp website: https://www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/washing-machine-door-glass-danger/

It shows two breakage patterns. Toughened glass is the type that explodes, often as a result of minor damage, and produces large numbers of small pieces that are unlikely to cause serious injury, and ordinary glass that will not explode but produces dangerous shards. Having looked at other photos posted online.

It’s interesting to read the comments at the end of the article. The oldest one suggests contacting BSI.

I did contact BSI about tests for glass “bowl” windows. Another case where, given Which?’s position, it would be good for them to be directly involved with BSI to see what standards apply, what the extent of the breakage problem is, and how it might be dealt with. This is an international standard so amending it would require a consensus; but equally the other participants would be looking at their own evidence to arrive at a pragmatic solution. Nothing can (usually) be made perfect, however.

I am not sure how the number of cases of glass breakage could be estimated. There is no requirement to report door glass breakage and few cases seem to result in injury, so it might be difficult to quantify the problem.

On the basis that breakage has been reported for a wide range of machines, both cheap and expensive, it seems likely to me that the move to faster spin speeds is the main reason that door glass breakage has emerged as a problem.

Maybe Which? could push BSI to make it a requirement to fit guards to contain broken glass in event of breakage, especially since this is being done with a few models. Guards would not prevent glass going into the drum and damaging fabrics, door seals and possibly other internal parts. I will be very impressed when the first manufacturer produces a front-loading washing machine without a glass door.

The standard would need amending, and as it is a European standard that requires the agreement of all the contributing standards organisations, as I said above. Manufacturers could be asked to provide an external plastic shield in the meantime as an option. However their would still be complaints about damaged machine internals and clothing.

This topic would benefit from more detailed investigation. The Convo says “ 280 reports of washing machine, washer-dryer or tumble dryer glass doors cracking or shattering.“. Roughly 0.0015% of machines of all ages in households, I would guess. We need to kinow more about what can cause them to crack or shatter – how much is down to a glass defect, badly fitted glass, consumer misuse or abuse.

One useful bit of info that could help is “41% of the reports we uncovered were about Beko machines, much higher than Beko’s market share”. So we should look at Beko’s glass window design and where they are sourced and manufactured. That might point to factors that increase the breakage chances. Poor manufacture and quality control, and poor quality glass, for example might be found that would help in eliminating a cause. But we would not be able to draw any conclusions without someone doing that investigation.

As I have said before, I would like to see products designed to cope with minor abuse. I wonder how many people who have a broken washing machine door glass would report it.

I would prefer Which? to push for action to be taken rather than devoting resources to investigating which makes are better than others, since it is a general problem within the industry. The fact that some models are fitted with plastic guard means that some manufacturers have recognised there is a problem.

To make a justified change you need good reason. That requires investigation to try to determine why a problem happens; then you can examine the root cause. When 41% of glass door failures are down to one manufacturer that is a good place to make a start.

We know very well why glass breaks and we have both explained the reasons in Conversations. Maybe Which? should draw attention to models that do have protection next time they do a review on washing machines.

We don’t know what causes the glass to break, nor why one manufacturers has a substantially higher number of breakages than the others. Knowing the cause can lead to better solutions. When we have more knowledge we can decide whether a cure or a sticking plaster is the best solution – in my view. Even both perhaps :-).
Another solution might be to incorporate a metal mesh in the glass moulding to contain any breakage, as in wired window glass.
Someone perhaps could explain why we have glass doors in the first place. Maybe a start would be to ask the manufacturers.

A glass door can be useful to see problems such as excessive foaming or unusual water level. My new machine has a design fault and, occasionally, gel capsules get stuck in the door seal even when placed at the back, so detergent is sometimes still being released when the machine is rinsing. Detergent residues on clothing might not be good for those with eczema or other skin conditions. Door seals of this design seem common but I have not watched other makes and models to see if the same thing happens.

Regarding washing machine doors, I would be surprised if any manufacturer makes their own.

My Beko machine WM85135LM made a funny noise spinning last night. Next thing I heard was breaking glass. Thought vibration had made a glass fall off worktop but discovered the machine door had shattered. Glass on floor and in machine. Clothes inside were shredded. Called Beko first thing today and offered engineer visit for 27th! Now been given cancellation for some time on 19th. I’m concerned and unhappy particularly after hearing reports of it happening to others.

Patrick Taylor says:
13 September 2017

Seems to me that where there is physical danger from machines then they should be a required automatic report. Therefore fires, exploding glass should be registered by the company with an authority – problem a centralised Trading Standards department.

These reports to be public – and obviously checkable by the complainant that the logging has been done by, in this case Beko.

The Australians do have a system rather like this and Voerwerks [?] has been dobbed in for not following the procedures.

11 August 2016

Consumer group CHOICE welcomes the ACCC’s decision to officially investigate Vorwerk, the manufacturer of Thermomix, over safety concerns and mandatory reporting requirements but is concerned about the company’s ongoing failure to release vital safety information to the public.
“While we welcome the ACCC’s official investigation into Thermomix, we believe it is unacceptable that companies have the power to prevent vital safety issues and injuries caused by their products being made public,” said CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

In May 2016, CHOICE raised Thermomix safety concerns with the ACCC through Australia’s first mass incident report. CHOICE’s report found 83 incidents with TM31 and 4 incidents with TM5 machines, with at least 18 people needing medical treatment after being injured using their Thermomix.

“Our report highlighted how Thermomix tried to downplay the national recall of its flagship product and detailed numerous cases of the company playing hardball with consumers’ rights after they received severe burns caused by the failure of their TM31 machine,” Mr Godfrey says.

“Companies should not be allowed to run roughshod over basic consumer rights such as the right to a timely refund for a product of unacceptable quality.”

CHOICE’s mass incident report also raised concerns around Thermomix’s compliance with mandatory reporting requirements, noting that the supplier should have made at least 10 mandatory notifications to the ACCC.

“If Australia’s product safety system was more transparent, it’s highly likely this investigation by the ACCC around a company’s compliance with reporting requirements would not be necessary,” says Mr Godfrey.

“It is deeply concerning that vital information about the number and nature of injuries caused by products like the Thermomix TM31 continues to be hidden from public.

“Because these reports are confidential, independent advocacy organisations like CHOICE have no way to confirm whether or not companies like Thermomix are complying with their legal requirements.

“Companies can choose to let the ACCC release this important information but instead Thermomix is playing hardball and gagging the regulator, forcing them to keep a lid on these safety reports despite the public interest in having this information,” Mr Godfrey says.

Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson:

This surely follows on from the proposal to have a central register of the purchasers of certain products, so recalls can be effective. Part of the role of whoever administers such a register would be to log problems with products and decide when there are sufficient instances to require an investigation and possible action. This should be accessible to all of us, both to supply information and to look at what has been reported on specific products. I cannot see a better organisation to do this than a revitalised and properly resourced Trading Standards, operating the system at national level with local Trading Standards as one of the conduits for feeding in information.

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The machine is full of large and small fragments of glass. Even replacing door and whatever caused the ‘rattle’ I wouldn’t be happy about using it. Will be interesting to see what engineer says.

@mclear The image in the introduction is frightening. So much so I wonder how contrived it is. would Which? like to tell us the origin of this picture – is it fact or fake?

I wondered about the source of the photo when the Convo was published. I did not find it in the Shutterstock catalogue but others have the same distinctive orange surround. Whatever the source, it has a good visual impact. Matt left Which? earlier this year.

I find distinctive images useful for remembering what is in various Convos.

A pity it doesn’t show what really happens. But still………

Alison says:
28 October 2017

Our Beko washing machine door just shattered whilst spinning. We had had it for 3 years since 2014.
Quite a frightening experience, it has shredded many of the clothes in the machine, sent glass flying across the kitchen and fine shards of glass are embedded in the rest of the clothes.
This really needs addressing by the manufacturers, clearly it is a serious issue. God forbid our young daughter had been in the kitchen at the time.

Alison says:
28 October 2017

Forgot to add the model…..it was a Beko WM7043CW 7Kg 1400 rpm White Machine

Fortunately the complete door assembly is cheaply available. I could not see anyone else posting with that problem however that may simply be because they do not give the model number.

According to the Daily Mirror article 41% of reported cases are Beko which is higher than the market share.

The glass door on my beko wm84145 smashed today. Glass everywhere, both on the floor and in the drum, and in the clothes. Warranty ran out 2 days ago. Grrr. Will ring Beko tomorrow and see what they say.

Emma says:
6 November 2017

I’m convinced these machines have a ‘break down timer’! Same happened with me and my Indesit machine!

I know what you mean Emma. It does seem like that sometimes.

Our Bosch washing machine packed up a week after the guarantee ran out and cost a couple of hundred pounds to get repaired.

alfa, I have suggested many times that people use the Consumer Rights Act (or SoGA if purchased before Oct ’15) when a product fails too early. Just out of guarantee, unless there has clearly been misuse or abuse – meets that criterion. The Acts require a product to be “durable”, given factors such as price. It is clear that failing just outside a normal guarantee period (1 or 2 years?) for a sensibly priced and used product does not demonstrate reasonable durability.

Which?, I think, should be persuading people to use this provision, and have Which? Legal help with test cases to show retailers what their obligations are. It should be up to the retailer to demonstrated that the machine has been misused.

It is time the consumer was put on an equal footing with the industry. Which?’s stated mission.

That washing machine broke down years before I had heard of the Consumer Rights Act, and has since been replaced.

But maybe Emma can have some recourse with it.

I would like to see Which? push for all retailers to provide customers with a leaflet and have information on their website to explain what their statutory rights are. To many customers – like Jim – are turned away because the guarantee has expired, without considering their statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

It’s important to realise that the Consumer Rights Act is not a guarantee. Rights must be fair to both consumers and retailers. It is essential to examine goods to establish the nature of the fault and the possible cause. In the case of a washing machine door glass that is in hundreds of pieces, it would be difficult to establish the reason for failure. If this happened to my machine I would look for evidence online for other reports of similar breakage. Realistically, I think that the outcome might be a repair at reduced price, but if a retailer told me that ‘nothing can be done’ or to ‘contact the manufacturer’ I would do my very best to push for a free repair on the basis that they have provided me with false information.

Just to provide Emma with a link (and anyone else who may be interested) here’s some more information on the Consumer Rights Act https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act

Our consumer rights page has lots of advice on various issues that consumers face every day.

Wavechange that’s an interesting suggestion and I will pass that on, thank you. While at the moment consumer rights leaflets aren’t handed out at point of sale (of what I am aware) we do make a conscious effort to seek out people via social media who are having consumer issues to make them aware of their rights.

Emma says:
6 November 2017

My washer/drier machine door cracked and fell out yesterday! The machine got so hot which I think was the cause of the glass breaking. Such a relief that I was in the house to stop the machine, otherwise I have no doubt this would have resulted in fire. Indesit are not being very helpful, I don’t think they’re appreciating how serious this issue had the potential to be. It’s resulted in me (reluctantly) taking out a £192 for an engineer to come out to ‘assess’ the situation, otherwise they were wiping their hands of it.

Emma says:
6 November 2017

*a £192 service plan

How old is your washer/drier Emma? When did the guarantee run out?

Emma says:
6 November 2017

It’s 4 years old now. It had a different fault last year which I bought a service plan for, but that service plan expired in July.

I’m convinced that the high spin speeds of modern washing machines is the main reason why door glass breakage has become more of a problem than in the days when the top speed was 800 or 1000 rpm. I don’t use the top speed of my machine. Hopefully this decreases the risk of breakage and it certainly cuts down the noise during spinning.

It also helps the bearings last longer. I’ve never had a glass door break, and their are no signs of any abrasions on the surface. Perhaps it is the kind of clothing that is washed – metal bits on them?

Reducing wear on bearings is another reason that I avoid top spin speed.

When I washed clothing with metal zips, I could hear them hitting the glass. Now that most zips are plastic, there will be less abrasion. Kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the speed, so the effect of impact of hard objects such as buttons will be much greater at high spin speeds.

My old washing machine stayed on the spin speed I had used before whereas the current one defaults to the highest speed on some programmes. Sometimes design does not get better.

Emma says:
6 November 2017

I only had a cushion and pet bedding in my machine when it went. The glass was so, so hot, I’m convinced the high temperature was behind my breakage.

Obviously it depends on what temperature programme you were using, Emma, but if the machine was overheating, it may need repairs other than a new door glass.

Two major faults in 4 years is rather a lot. Have you had a look for your problems on your model on the internet?

I am no expert on the Sale of Goods Act, but is your machine fit for purpose if it keeps breaking down?

Emma says:
6 November 2017

Yes, it’s a washer-dryer combi and I had it on a regular cotton drying cycle. Definitely a technical fault, the machine was so hot after only 10 mins or so I’m sure it would have started a fire had I not been there to stop it. Indesit’s response: Hello Emma,

Thank you for getting back to us.

I understand your comments and frustration, I would like to assure you that as a Company, we are committed to producing good quality products satisfactory for normal domestic use. As I am sure you can appreciate, no manufacturer can 100% guarantee that an appliance will not experience a failure at some stage in its life, nor can we give a life expectancy of a product or part.

Unfortunately as your appliance is outside of the manufacturer’s warranty an engineers visit would be chargeable.

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No manufacturer can guarantee 100% reliability. Correct. However, when a manufacturer’s individual product does fail too early, who is responsible for that? Not the customer, unless they have abused it. It is the manufacturer, and they should look at their processes to try to avoid such early failures and accept their responsibility by giving the customer appropriate help.

That is, in effect, what the law says – the Consumer Rights Act or SoGA. To make it easy on the customer, the retailer is initially responsible because they have the contract of sale; how the retailer passes the cost back to the manufacturer is in their control. Why should the customer suffer from a deficiency caused by the manufacturer?

duncan, as far as I know Indesit machines were made in Italy. Perhaps you know otherwise?

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I’ve had my Beko washing machine for 2yrs and this past Sunday during it’s last spin the glass door exploded with shards of glass flying everywhere thank goodness we weren’t in the kitchen at that time .

At first I was annoyed, now I’m worried. My problem isn’t as serious as those above…yet. The exterior window on my Beko Washer/Dryer WDC7523002W has cracked in two places for no obvious reason. It is 17months old. The concave interior looks ok. Is it safe to use?

Toby says:
4 October 2018

Beko glass door just exploded everywhere. Massive shards of glass flew everywhere and then the spin cycle ground the glass into tiny pieces which then also covered the room. Beko’s response has been to send an engineer round who confirmed that the glass was indeed broken. But he didn’t remove it or anything…

Not needing to view our washing as it goes round we drape an old heavy towel over the front of the machine so that if the door shatters the dispersal of the fragments is more or less contained. A close-mesh fireguard might be effective if it was firmly held in place.

A friend’s four-year old AEG machine has an outer clear polycarbonate safety shield to prevent such an incident causing additional damage or personal harm. Other machines now have this feature I believe and presumably it will become the norm.

I would be happy to have a machine without a glass door, though a protective shield would be the next best option. I’m hoping that by never using my machine on the highest spin speed the door glass is unlikely to break.

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My daughter came home today to find the glass had exploded on her John Lewis machine JLWM1412, which is just within its 3 year warranty period. The machine was not being used nor was it loaded when the incident occurred. There is a large crack across the glass and a chunk of it, around the size of a 50p coin with splinters, had blown out. Hopefully it will be repaired under warranty but given the potential hazard this poses I thought it worth logging on this site.

This just happened to our John Lewis Hotpoint WMJLD943P, 8 MONTHS OLD,I am contacting them today, had a half load. exactly the same fault description.

UPDATE. John lewis say not covered?????? the engineer has to visit and i may be charged???? IT’S 8 MONTHS OLD

I suspect they’re merely reading from a prepared script, Caron. At 8 months I doubt you will be charged. Possibly they also have to check for signs of accidental damage, for which you could be liable.

You could ask JL to explain why the door glass is not covered, Caron. It is not excluded from their guarantee. In any case you would still have protection under the Consumer Rights Act. JL could claim that the problem has been caused by abuse and that could be the case if coins or other hard objects were put in the machine, maybe left in a pocket. After six months they are entitled to ask for an expert’s report to provide evidence that the fault existed at the time of purchase, or you could make a claim under the CRA for poor durability.

In this case I would probably reason with JL and try to get them to provide a free repair. In future I suggest not using the 1400 rpm spin speed unless you have to. It won’t get the clothes much drier than 1200 rpm but it should significantly reduce the risk of damage in future.

It is quite possible that the glass was damaged by a hard object and that would not, I think, be down to the supplier. It would be very difficult to prove one way or the other so I agree, the best way would be to politely negotiate with JL&P and hope they use goodwill to resolve the problem.

No hard objects, only towels and work t shirts etc, no coins not even zips. There are no sctatches or any other markings on the glass. There are sending an engineer on Monday. I will let people know the outcome. Looking at other comments about the spin speed is why we bought it but will make sure it is set to a lower setting.

I had a look at the terms & conditions on the JL website and there was no mention of exclusion of the door glass in their guarantee.

In the days when washing machines had lower spin speeds breakage of door glass was virtually unheard of. I wish that manufacturers would either offer metal doors, a guard to prevent glass being thrown into the room or use laminated glass that would stay in place if broken – like a car windscreen.

Best of luck, Caron.

Hi Caron and Ellie,

We are so glad no one was hurt – it must have been really scary. I’ve flagged your cases with the team who research washing machines. If you could both let us know about the outcome and if it was covered under warranty that would be great.

Update: Sorted
Before the engineer arrived my husband was still upset with JL and posted on Facebook and had many replies, one saying he should check JL on trustpilot. He did and noticed very low score but JL did reply to some comments and gave a direct email. My husband sent off an unflattering email about what happened and we were contacted my a senior case manager who was looking after this. He would also contact us back after the engineer had been.
The agent on the initial phone call had apparently not explained properly the procededure that JL follow. Anyway yesterday the engineer called with jobsheet saying Door replacement but had no door on the van due to computer error. We could wait two weeks and he can come back or can have new door delivered in two days if my husband wanted to fit it (only 4 screws so i said yes). Was contacted by the case manager but missed the phonecall and my husband replied to his email. The manufacturer was sending us the door, and was we happy with the outcome.
Yes, happy now, all covered by manufacturer, no charge.
The engineer did say he has had to do lots of door, glass and handle replacements, but did not say if it was this model or other makers though.
Thanks to all of you on here for your advice

Thanks for letting us know the outcome, Caron. It pays to be persistent.

It would be interesting to know if there is a league table of door explosions per manufacturer and then relative to their market share. I have not made an exhaustive check but I cannot recall seeing Samsung or LG mentioned in this Conversation whereas other brands seem to crop up often. Price should not come into it but probably does although those wanting a cheaper machine should not have to compromise on safety.

I had not appreciated that a glass door was necessary in order to check whether water remained in the machine before opening the door. I had assumed there was an interlock that would prevent the door opening if there was more than a certain amount of water inside. I have no idea how the water can be evacuated if the machine breaks down before the wash programme has ended. Perhaps there is a drain c**k – I have never had to look.

If you loosen the cover of the filter with care you should be able to drain the water into a container, though this might result in a wet floor. Some better designed machines have a drain tube to make this job easier.

Grég says:
3 April 2019

Hi there,
same here, Washing Machine door exploded earlier today,
luckily no one was next to it when it exploded but glass everywhere.
Machine is 5 years old max.
Really upset about this as it could have really injured our little boy who likes to sit in front of it and watch it go. That will not be happening any longer !
Any advice on what to do here ?
Should I complain only to the manufacturer (bosch) or retailer ? or is there a consumer group we can contact ?
Thank you,

It’s always worth informing manufacturers, even if they have no legal responsibility to take any action. It’s a way of making them aware that there could be a problem with that model.

You could pursue a claim with the retailer under the Consumer Rights Act, but after five years you will probably struggle to get a free repair. You might be able to negotiate a useful discount. If they simply deny responsibility then they are breaking the law.

Hi Grég. Sorry to hear about this. One of our researchers would like to hear about what happened in a little more detail. I’ll follow up with you directly to discuss.

@abbysempleskipper – Hi Abby – Exploding or broken door glass is not a common problem but it is a concern, particularly for those who have experienced it or have children. I wonder if it would be possible for washing machine reviews to tell us which washing machines have some sort of protection.

Hi @wavechange,
I have passed this suggestion on to the research team and will let you know what they say. As I am sure you know we have brand alerts for companies who have not taken product safety as seriously as we would expect.

Thanks Abby. What I had in mind was informing us of which machines offer protection. I recall John Ward saying that some AEG washing machines have a guard in front of the door: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/exploding-washing-machines-doors/#comment-1487298 Hopefully there are others with this or other features that protect owners, their kids and pets.

I’m fully supportive of brand alerts where companies are letting us down.

That’s the part I have asked for an answer on and is a great idea to add this to the reviews.