Whirlpool told to recall ‘potentially unsafe’ tumble dryers

Appliance manufacturer, Whirlpool, has been ordered to recall hundreds of thousands of its tumble dryers due to serious fire risk.

The Government has ordered the recall of an estimated 500,000 unmodified Hotpoint, Creda, Indesit, Proline and Swan. This comes four years after Whirlpool issued a warning about millions of dryers after it found an initial fault – this was subsequently blamed for at least 750 fires over an 11-year period, according to the government.

The machines in question need a fix to make them safe to use – but it is thought there are still around 500,000 unmodified dryers, which could pose a fire risk if used.

Any consumers who own one of these unmodified dryers is being urged to unplug the machines and not use them until they’re fixed – as a matter of importance.

Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, has now told MPs that the recall notice is the “next step of the regulatory process” and it was “unprecedented action”.

A review by the Office of Product and Safety Standards found that there was a low risk of harm from modified dryers and said consumers could carry on using them – but consumer group Which? suggested the recall should include modified machines as well.

The safety warning applies to some types of tumble dryer manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015.

If consumers think they might have one of these machines, they can check whether it needs a fix by following the instructions on the Hotpoint, Indesit or Swan safety websites (see below).

Whirlpool says Whirlpool-branded tumble dryers are not affected by the recall.

Consumers have been urged to stop using and unplug their machine if they find they have an affected model.

Whirlpool said owners should call 0800 151 0905 to book a free safety fix from a Whirlpool engineer.

The effect on the businesses involved

It has been reported that Whirlpool has stated it won’t offer refunds for the affected tumble dryers. However, the BBC claimed that some users have had success going down this route with the manufacturer.

The BBC is also advising that consumers speak to the retailers they bought their tumble dryers from for a refund. It wrote: “If you bought your machine in the last six years (or five years if you’re in Scotland), you can try and get a refund from the retailer you bought it from under the Consumer Rights Act, or the Sale of Goods Act if you bought it before October 2015.”

Elsewhere, stories have emerged this week from consumers who have been badly affected by their faulty tumble dryer, with many catching fire and causing destruction throughout people’s homes.

In a statement provided to ERT, Whirlpool Corporation said: “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.

“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, or visit https://safety.hotpoint.eu/, https://safety.indesit.eu/ or https://safety-swan.eu.