Posted: Wed 12th Jun 2019

Government to order Whirlpool to recall fire-risk tumble dryers

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 12th, 2019

The UK government is stepping in to order Whirpool to recall around 500,000 unmodified tumble dryers which are deemed to be a fire risk.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has urged consumers to ‘unplug’ unmodified and affected Whirlpool tumble dryers and contact the company.

The warning comes as the Office notified Whirlpool of its intention to serve a recall notice for affected machines.

This is the strongest action taken yet by the Office, part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), amid wide-spread criticism that Whirlpool has not acted quickly or strongly enough to protect consumers from a fire risk associated with its tumble dryers.

Consumer minister Kelly Tolhurst referred to the move as ‘unprecedented’, as she signalled the government action.

The move comes more than three-and-a-half years after an investigation by consumer champion Which? revealed that Whirlpool tumble dryers had caused 750 fires in the previous 11 years.

Which? research revealed the scale of the problem, which affects 127 Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline vented and condenser tumble dryers made between April 2004 and October 2015.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “The government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards continues to take robust action on this issue.

On 4 June, in accordance with legislation, we notified Whirlpool of our intention to serve them with a Recall Notice for those affected machines that have yet to be modified. We await their response.

“We continue to urge consumers with unmodified, affected tumble dryers to unplug them and contact Whirlpool. Consumers who have already had their Whirlpool tumble dryers modified can continue to use them safely.”

Whirlpool urged anyone with an unmodified machine to contact them.

A spokeswoman said: “Safety is our number one priority and we remain committed to resolving any affected tumble dryers that have not yet been modified.

“The crucial message to anyone who still owns an affected dryer and has not already had it modified by Whirlpool is to contact us immediately on 0800 151 0905.

“In the meantime, anyone with an affected dryer that has not been modified should unplug it and not use it until the modification has been completed.”

Chief Executive at Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Leon Livermore, said: “CTSI will support the Office where it takes robust action against unacceptable risks to consumers. Appliance fires can be extremely dangerous and this action is a positive step forward to ensuring consumers remain safe.” 

Check your model here: https://safety.hotpoint.eu/controller?a=pr&country=UK&lang=en_GB

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