WHIRLPOOL is to finally recall 800,000 faulty tumble dryers that could catch fire, some four years after safety concerns were first raised.
Today’s announcement comes after the government put pressure on Whirlpool to recall fire-risk machines last month.
1 Whirlpool is to finally recall fire-risk tumble dryersCredit: Alamy
The company has so far “modified” (fixed) 1.7million machines out of the 3.8million at-risk units it identified back in November 2015 as still being in use.
But last week, Whirlpool admitted that there could still be up to 800,000 unmodified faulty appliances still in use – up from the 500,000 it had estimated previously.
As part of the recall, customers with these unmodified machines will be entitled to a replacement.
This will be delivered and installed, with the old one removed, for free.
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.
As part of actions required by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), Whirlpool also has to update it on progress made in the recall or it’ll be committing a criminal offence.
We’ve asked Whirlpool for an updated figure of how many machines are yet to be modified, when the recall will begin, and what customers need to do.
The Sun has also asked Whirlpool why modified machines aren’t been replaced given the manufacturer has previously admitted they’re also a fire-risk.
Earlier this year, consumer group Which? revealed that it has spoken to 30 people who say their “fixed” tumble dryers have caught fire, produced smoke or the smell of burning.
We’ll update this story if we get a response.
Consumer affairs minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “The UK has some of the toughest consumer protection laws in the world.
“Our intervention demonstrates that we will take all the necessary steps to keep consumers safe.
“I want to reassure consumers that we are doing everything to ensure consumers with unmodified machines are made aware and have their tumble dryer replaced.”
Last week, Whirlpool pledged to publish a full list of all of the faulty products, in addition to its existing online checker tool.
You can find the 627 tumble dryer models here.
‘My Whirlpool tumble dryer caught fire after it had been fixed’A MUM of four was forced to flee her home when her Hotpoint tumble dryer caught fire after it had been modified by Whirlpool to fix a fault.Jemma Spurr, 33, from Hampshire was at home with three of her children – Amelia, 5, Freddie, 2, and Amber, 1, when her dryer caught fire.
The blaze even damaged her fridge, freezer and washing machine beyond repair and as they were low on cash and had no home insurance they were left without vital appliances for five weeks.
The dryer was one of 3.5million machines recalled by Whirlpool, which owns Hotpoint and other white goods manufacturers, in October 2015.
Over 1.7million appliances have been modified by the firm to fix a fault, and the company has long claimed that there had been no reports of modifications being uneffective.
But for Jemma, the blaze on her machine, which had been modified two years previously, had a devastating impact.
“The fireman said if it had been five minutes longer it would have been different story.
“Our gas pipe and boiler was really near the tumble dryer, so if that had exploded it could have been so much worse – my neighbour is a childminder and she had kids in the room next to our garage.
“It’s not worth thinking about, what could have happened.
“It’s impacted my anxiety more than anything.
“If I smell burning I’m constantly checking to see where the kids are.”
The potentially faulty machines come under the brand names of Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, and Swan, and they’ve been blamed for 750 fires over the past decade.
The appliances can be dangerous because excess fluff can catch in the heating element and cause a fire.
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 back-tracked on the advice to tell customers they should not use the appliances until AFTER they had been fixed.
Anyone with an affected dryer who has not already had it modified should contact Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905 or visit the websites listed in the box above.
You should also unplug any machines that haven’t been modified and wait until you get a replacement.
GINCREDIBLE You can now get WKD pink gin – and it’s a bargain SPICE UP YOUR LIFE KFC is now selling bottles of its ‘supercharger’ spicy mayo TOY JOY B&M has slashed the price of toys to £5 in its clearance sale SPEND A PENNY Why you could be getting a bum deal on your toilet paper CHICKEN WINNER You can get a KFC double chicken zinger burger with gravy and garlic sauce
An investigation by Which? in December 2016 found that Whirlpool tumble dryer customers could wait a YEAR for repairs or replacement.
But it’s not just tumble dryers, one family say they’re lucky to be alive after a Hotpoint dishwasher fire left them homeless after a major house blaze.
Meanwhile, an expert said in November 2018 that the Grenfell Tower blaze was probably caused by overheating in the wiring of a Hotpoint fridge freezer.
The Sun has asked Whirlpool if it wants to comment and we’ll update this story as soon as we get a response.
Watch this Hotpoint tumble dryer as it catches fire in the middle of
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org