THOUSANDS of households could still be at risk from faulty Whirlpool tumble dryers as the government issues a fresh warning to unplug any unmodified appliances.
The call comes from the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) as Whirlpool is in the process of replacing or repairing 3.8million appliances.
1 The government is urging households to unplug their affected Whirlpool machines if they haven’t been modifiedCredit: Alamy
Earlier this week the OPSS, part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), also announced that it plans to force the firm to recall any machines that could still be a risk.
The potentially faulty machines come under the brand name of Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, and Swan.
The appliances can be dangerous because excess fluff can catch in the heating element and cause a fire.
Whirlpool estimates that that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 fire-risk tumble dryers potentially still in people’s homes.
It has so far modified 1.7million machines out of the 3.8million units it identified back in November 2015 as still being in use.
The company believes the remaining 1.6million machines have either been disposed of by customers or are so old that they’re no longer used.
Is your dryer on the faulty list?HERE’S how to know if your dryer is on the faulty list:Whirlpool, which owns the Hotpoint brands, says it has identified a potential concern with two types of tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015.
The affected brands are:
Non-affected machines will have a green sticker on the inside of the dryer door or reverse of the machine.
If your machine doesn’t have a green sticker, you need to check if it’s faulty. You can do this by locating the serial code and model number (found on the back of the dryer or on the back of the dryer door) and entering it onto the online checkers at safety.hotpoint.eu or safety.indesit.eu or safety-swan.eu.
A spokesperson for BEIS said today: “The government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards continues to take robust action on this issue.
“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.”
While, Leon Livermore, head of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said that it will support the OPSS where it takes action “against unacceptable risks to consumers”.
A spokesperson for Whirlpool Corporation told The Sun: “Safety is our number one priority and we remain committed to resolving any affected tumble dryers that have not yet been modified.
“To this end, we are in ongoing discussions with the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) to agree additional measures we have proposed to reach consumers who have not yet engaged with this safety programme.
“We have cooperated with OPSS throughout its recent review of the programme and welcome its findings that consumers whose tumble dryers have been modified can continue to use them safely.
“Anyone with an affected dryer that has not been modified should unplug it and not use it until the modification has been completed.”
If you have one of the affected dryers and it hasn’t yet been modified, you should contact Whirlpool straight away on 800 151 0905 or visit the websites listed in the box above.
In April, the OPSS published a report which told Whirlpool to improve its risk management and communication with customers about tumble dryer repairs.
For more than 15 months the firm told customers that machines with a fault were safe to use, as long as they weren’t left unattended.
But then in February last year it backtracked on the advice to tell customers they should not use the appliances until AFTER they had been fixed.
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But even after being modified there have been concerns that appliances still aren’t up to scratch.
Consumer group Which? revealed earlier this year that it has spoken to 30 people who have said that their “fixed” tumble dryers have caught fire, produced smoke or the smell of burning.
While The Sun spoke to one mum whose tumble dryer caught fire while she was at home with her three kids – after it had supposedly been fixed.
An investigation by Which? in December 2016 also found that Whirlpool tumble dryer customers could wait a YEAR for repairs or replacement.
Watch this Hotpoint tumble dryer as it catches fire in the middle of
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