Whirlpool recall urges fire risk tumble dryer owners to unplug machines ‘immediately’

Whirlpool’s recall involving 500,000 dryers was announced by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) on July 10, two days after the company published a full list of affected machines. The affected models are Hotpoint, Indent, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015. Those uncertain whether their tumble dryer is a fire risk can check by calling 0800 151 0905 or by visiting the Whirlpool website and using its model number checker. For anyone with an affected dryer, the Whirlpool safety team has said: “Please unplug and do not use the tumble dryer until it has been replaced or modified.”

The affected models are Hotpoint, Indent, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015

Those with an affected dryer will get the choice of either a replacement, free of charge, the option to upgrade from £59, to have it fixed by an engineer or to choose a refund, which will be dependent on the age of the tumble dryer.

Whirlpool vice president Jeff Noel, addressed customers on the Whirlpool website: “Safety is our top priority and tackling the issue with our tumble dryers has been one of the biggest challenges we have ever faced. We value our customers more than anything and we recognise that we let many of you down. You deserved better from us and for this we apologise to you all.

“We are honoured that our brands have been a part of British homes for more than a century and we are immensely proud to still be manufacturing our appliances in the UK. We recognise the huge responsibility we bear and always strive to do the right thing.

“We work continuously to build better, safer products and help to drive change that improves safety across the industry.”

Whirlpool recently admitted to MPs the number of faulty tumble dryers in homes across the county could be far higher than first thought, with a figure closer to 800,000.

Which? also reported more than 30 cases of tumble dryers that have previously been modified by Whirlpool catching fire, producing smoke or smelling of burning.

In his statement on the Whirlpool website, Mr Noel admits the company “got some things wrong and could have done some things better”.

He explains: “When we bought Indesit in 2014, we didn’t just acquire a great British company, we welcomed its 5,000 employees and pensioners, and its millions of loyal customers in the UK into the Whirlpool family. With that comes a duty of care for their safety that is of the utmost importance to us.

“The safety of Indesit’s tumble dryers was consistent with other brands’ appliances in the market. They met all UK and European regulations too, but Whirlpool demands higher standards, so, we applied our own safety policies to review Indesit’s products.

“Our review found a potential safety issue in Indesit’s tumble dryers concerning the build-up of lint. It affects certain models made between 2004 and 2015 that were sold under the Indesit, Hotpoint, Creda, Swan and Proline brands.

“Even though evaluations under the EU’s official risk assessment system identified this as a low risk issue – its lowest category – we were not satisfied. Shortly after purchasing Indesit, we raised our concerns with the UK regulator and launched a campaign to fix the problem.

“We did that because we believed it was the right thing to do to for people’s safety.

“We are the first to admit we got some things wrong and could have done some things better. Due to the scale of the challenge, we left many consumers waiting too long and did not provide the level of service we expect of ourselves. That should never have happened and we apologise.

“We did everything we could to put that right, hiring thousands of additional engineers and customer advisors to meet demand.

“As a result, we have resolved the issue for 1.7 million people. This represents a success rate of up to five times the UK average for a product recall, but we recognise we have more work to do. There may still be people out there with affected dryers who have not responded. It’s vital that we find and resolve those remaining dryers.”

Faulty Hotpoint dryers have been a big concern for the last couple of years.

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