Panasonic washing machines

FAQs I get quite a few emails asking what I think of Panasonic washing machines. It’s a good question because Panasonic have a very respected reputation for brown goods. So people are naturally interested in their washing machines and wonder if they are just as good. I’m a fan of the Panasonic brown goods brand.

I currently have three of their products (a TV, a hard drive recorder, and a Blue-ray home cinema unit). I’ve also previously owned several of their VCR’s and cameras in the past and never had a single problem with any of them.

However, in the UK their washing machines were only launched in 2009, so there’s not much of a track record on white goods yet compared to other brands that have been making washing machines here since the 50s.

It’s highly likely they will be striving to carve an equally good reputation for white goods but white goods are completely different from brown goods.

Any new brand of washing machine has an uphill struggle to become established in an overcrowded market especially against names that have been producing white goods in the UK for many decades.

I can’t help feeling there are already too many washing machine brands to chose from (even though many are owned by the same handful of manufacturers) but I suppose there is always room for genuine innovation or better quality if that proves to be what’s on offer.

Panasonic seem to be pitched in the mid price range competing with the likes of LG or AEG so I would judge their washing machines against those brands and ask, what’s different about them? What are Panasonic offering that AEG and LG aren’t?

Which? have a lot of information about Panasonic washing machines which you should check out before buying.

Panasonic do have an excellent reputation on brown goods products so it would be crazy of them to produce sub standard white goods to sully their name. On the other hand, can we afford to just assume anything they make will be excellent?

Washing machines are very different to a TV, reliability is much harder to achieve because they are far more mechanical and have many moving parts.

If I turn it around and imagine what I’d think if AEG or Hoover started making TV’s it would seem pretty strange. LG made the transition well before Panasonic and sell both brown and white goods in the UK.

However, even after several years they are still very much a newcomer in white goods, and haven’t taken too much of the market from the old established white goods manufacturers.

At the end of the day moving to a completely new field of products such as moving from brown to white goods may take a good few years to get right.

After-sales service is important

An important aspect of selling white goods is a good supply of spare parts and technical information to the trade as well as a good quality after-sales network to cover the guarantee period. White goods, particularly washing machines break down much more often and need a lot more spare parts. Newcomers can take a long time to get these right, especially from a background of brown goods, and my sources tell me spares and technical information can be difficult to get for these brands.

Only time will tell, but after-sales is a vital consideration when buying appliances likely to require some repairs in the future unless you are happy to just get as long as you can out of something (with fingers crossed) and throw it away when it breaks down. My personal preference is to buy washing machines where the manufacturer have their own engineers in this country to repair them under guarantee. Panasonic are like all the brown goods brands in that they do not have their own engineers. They instead use third-party networks of repairers and this in my opinion is far less satisfactory.

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102 thoughts on “Panasonic washing machines”

  1. Our Panasonic NA-148VA2 has been in use since April 2011 in our brand new house and is suffering from noisy bearings… so far Panasonic don’t want to know and their repair agents told me it’ll cost £135 callout and won’t replace bearings – possible write off??? I can get a new drum for £209 +VAT!!! But would rather tackle a bearing replacement (I’m a TV engineer and have repaired many a washing machine). Has anyone had success in sourcing bearings and seals before I replace this otherwise reliable machine!

  2. The drums and tubs are priced at levels no one in their right mind would buy. If the washing machine is designed so that drum bearings can’t be replaced economically then it’s scrap after just 2 years. If it’s just been used normally, I would say it hasn’t lasted a reasonable time (as would any normal sensible person). If Panasonic aren’t prepared to accept any responsibility then under the UK Sale of goods act you have to chase up the retailer you bought it from.

  3. zulkifli rashid

    Hi all, Read almost all comments. In short, this machine is CRAP, to say the least. By the way, I am from Malaysia, but have lived in the UK in the 90’s. Worst in Malaysia as the retailer would not want to know anything when the machines broke down. It would be very kind of them if they called and informed the manufacturer/service people (they dont have service engineers here). In short, I have to call the manufacturer’s service office and ask for helps. And guess what, they dont know crap about the machines they are selling, let alone solve my washing machine problem. I have in the past used many machines, the last one was Electrolux which I bought in 1996 and lasted til 2009. Then it started to go. Then I decide to buy this CRAP machine to replace my old trusty Lux. The CRAP machine just sit in the kitchen doing nothing now. It been there for like 9 months already. I have repaired the old Lux by myself and using that ever since this CRAP machine broke down. It only lasted a year or so. In Malaysia this machine is quite expensive, Malaysian Dollar RM2400 (consider an average salary for household of about RM1500 per month, this machine is expensive/luxury). Only lasted for about a year or so. I dont know what to do to it now. It keep giving Error Code H07. Will never buy this brand again, for anything at all….

  4. Hi Zulkifli,
    H07 is a motor related fault, that in 99% of cases comes back to the PCB, the motors are pretty reliable to be honest and haven’t had a dead one yet, so unless it’s a wiring fault between the PCB and the motor, it’s pretty sure bet that it’s going to be the PCB at fault…which are NOT available to purchase from Panasonic, so therefore is most likely scrap…..You don’t always get what you pay for….personally I would recommend a Bosch machine for reliability and spares backup service….To be honest ALL machines now are not of the same quality they were years ago – they are all just made to a price (some more than others though..)
    Hope this helps….Dave

  5. It’s not only the quality of the machines that have decreased. So has the manufacturers service agents, if my recent experiences are anything to go by. I recently bought, on Ebay, a Miele washing machine which, apparently, required £700 worth of spare parts to repair. This estimate was from the local Miele service guy. The usual £5 worth of components on the PCB was all it needed. Admittedly Miele would only quote for a replacement board. It seemed to be a case of frighten the customer with a high estimate, collect £70 for his call out and leave, knowing full well he would not be coming back. That is why people now prefer to opt for a new machine, usually a pile of Chinese junk, rather than call someone out, because they believe us all to be ‘rip-off merchants’. The likes of ‘Watchdog’ and ‘Rogue Agents’ do not help us honest Service Technicians. Note:- We are not Engineers.

  6. I have problem with my panasonic automatic washing machine. After washing, by right it will also automatically dry .Unfortunately it will stop and have a U error code which is not on the error code list. I do not have any choice but to use my separate dryer to finish my job. Any idea is very much appreciated

  7. Update on bearings replacement on these Panasonic machines.

    I have now done a bearing replacement job on one of these tubs (the MK 2 version but is the same as the MK 1 tubs).
    They are standard bearings (can’t remember the numbers off the top of my head sorry) and are widely available for a marginal cost BUT the seal is a special, is NOT available from Panasonic, there are no pattern ones and the bearing / seal companies I have tried cannot match it up to anything else I could get some made but the minimum order quantity is 1000 to set the machinery up, so is not cost effective!

    If the seal is OK and you can get it out in 1 piece (very carefully) and replace it using plenty of grease then it can be re-used but obviously you can’t offer any guarantees it won’t leak or let water past it to get back into the bearings!

    I did this as an experimental project on one of my own machines and it did take the best part of a day to strip & re-build in a workshop with full range of tools and plenty of space to put all the various items you have to take off not easily done in a customers kitchen !

    As a customer repair I wouldn’t entertain doing a repair especially as I wouldn’t be able to offer any sort of guarantees that it would last any length of time without leaking or the bearings going again quickly

    These are a nightmare to strip compared to most machines and have to know the machines quite well before even attempting to take apart, as there are hidden screws and a certain order in which the parts have to be removed and re-assembled definitely NOT a DIY repair for the untrained !

    The MK 1 & 2 tubs look the same, the MK 3 looks similar but haven’t had one stripped & the MK 4 are completely different machines altogether (they are quite similar to the HEC / Russell Hobbs etc machines with a small access slit on the back big enough to get your finger nail into if you know what I mean..)

    These are not a sealed tub, but might as well be due to the unavailability of the seals and complex construction of the machine I did this bearing job around 4 months ago and is still running fine, but could break tomorrow!

    Bearing replacement, stripped & re-built time on a Hotpoint WF / WMA Machine (non sealed tub) 40 minutes
    Bearing replacement, stripped & re-built time on Bosch non sealed tub machine 60-90 minutes
    Bearing replacement, stripped & re-built time on Panasonic 7-8 hours !

    I hope this info is useful as a reference to all.

  8. We bought a NA-168VX2WG from John Lewis in September 2010 – it cost close to £600 so not cheap by any standards. It’s fair to say we’ve used the machine a lot, from a couple of days a week up to almost every day when our baby arrived. It’s been rock solid up until the last 6 months; the first issue was a H53 error which indicated a motor failure of some description but actually turned out to be a PCB failure, and just last week, the machine started grinding, and flooded the kitchen.

    On both occasions the engineers turned up in a couple of days, the first time they had the part in the van, but today, to my astonishment, they’ve written off the machine as BER (beyond economical repair) as the bearings are shot – under 4 years old and written off – crazy stuff!

    Not sure what happens next as we are waiting for Panasonic to call us to discuss options, the repairers said they’ll either ship a new machine or send vouchers to buy a new one – but not sure what that means for the remainder of the warranty (2+ years) – I guess it’ll depend on whether they fulfil the new machine order themselves (if they send one, balance of warranty will pass to new machine, but if they send vouchers, I’m guessing, if I went with another Panasonic machine, I could get the extended warranty on the new machine?)

    1. My Panasonic washing machine only lasted 3 years before the bearings
      failed . The machine was only used 2 to 3 times a week . Not very good
      for a £500 washer .

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