After yesterday's tragic accident when two girls were killed in a Haier washing machine, many nervous parents went back home and did experiments on their own washing machines.
The killer washing machine is Haier little genies XQB60-728A. According to specification, it is fully automatic. Features include automatic power off 5 minutes after completion of washing cycles. Also beeping alarm after washing cycles completed. Maximum washing load is 6kg.
The results were unexpected. If the drying key was accidentally pressed, although the washer will not start with the lid open, after the girls get in and close the lid, it will start high speed turning cycle to drain.
Although it is designed to pause and adding water to re-balance in case of imbalanced load is detected, the mechanism may not kick in with the tube full (with two kids squeezed in).
Police examined the washer that had killed the two girls with reporters Monday afternoon. Family members told them that the washer was purchased in 2009, and had shown frequent problems, including starting without any user interaction. With the machine plugged in and before any key was pressed, police closed the lid for three times. In first two times, the machine started all by itself after about one minute delay when no key was ever touched. The third time it did not start (as it was supposed to). Police also used 30kg rice to test the load, and observed the machine had no difficulty to start turning.
Haier Group issued a carefully worded statement in which it claimed that the washer should not start in the condition as described in the news, and that engineers had been dispatched to assist police investigation.
Although it is still hard to comprehend, but with these preliminary report, it is evident that Haier washers may have serious, and in this case lethal, defects.
Update: Xinhua News (reporter Hu Chenhuan): police had ruled out possibilities of wrongdoings based on preliminary investigation.
- Oct 15, 2013. Police concluded no wrongdoings caused the deaths:
- The parents had no previous brush with the law; and they were seen as caring parents;
- No trace of a third person;
- Two toddlers with similar body build were able to get in and close the lib from within;
- Forensic experts ruled out poison, virus or sudden death;