By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has reached a preliminary settlement in a class action suit over complaints about washing machines recalled in the United States in late 2016.
In November 2016, the South Korean tech giant recalled about 2.8 million top-loading washers made between March 2011 and October 2016 and sold in the U.S.
According to the U.S. industry tracker Consumer Report, Samsung and three major retailers that sold the products -- Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe's -- settled the class action suit that alleged certain washers had design and manufacturing defects and the company's voluntary recall didn't adequately compensate consumers.
With the preliminary settlement, consumers who purchased the recalled top-loading washing machines can now file a settlement claim.
Samsung denied that the top-loading washers were defective, but said it decided to settle the case to avoid "distraction" among consumers.
"Samsung has chosen to settle class-action lawsuits involving top-loading washing machines that were subject to a voluntary recall," the company said in an e-mailed statement. "This settlement only applies to certain washing machines produced until 2016 that have long been off the market. The company chose to settle to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation."
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the top of the washer can detach from the body of the machine while in use, posing a possible injury risk to those nearby.
Seoul-Tokyo ties tipped for deeper rift after Japan's expanded export control: experts
Trade row with Japan, another headwind for Korean economy
Japan hides true intentions, leaving export curbs unjustified
Boycott of Japanese goods to intensify as Tokyo expands export curbs
Japan's broader export curbs aim for S. Korea's Achilles heel