Whirlpool launches recall of thousands of fire risk tumble dryers

Olivia Tobin

Whirlpool has launched a recall of its fire risk tumble dryers by urging remaining owners of unmodified machines to "make contact immediately".

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) announced the recall involving 500,000 dryers that could potentially be a fire risk on July 10, two days after Whirlpool finally published the full list of affected machines.

The recall relates to certain models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015.

Anyone with an affected dryer must unplug it immediately and stop using it.

Under the recall, all consumers with a machine on the list that has not already been modified or replaced are entitled to a free replacement dryer including collection and disposal of the old appliance, a free in-home modification, a discounted upgrade - £59 for a vented model or £99 for a condenser dryer - or a refund up to £150 depending on the age of the original.

Whirlpool recently admitted to MPs that the number of faulty tumble dryers in homes across the country could be far higher than first thought.

Executives from the company told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that the true number could be 800,000 and it was working hard to modify those affected.

Whirlpool also revealed that in recent years, it had logged 54 fires in its tumble dryers and admitted that three of those were models that had already been updated.

MPs were taking evidence over the scandal that has seen 1.7 million products modified.

Whirlpool said it was "vital" that those affected by the recall came forward.

Jeff Noel, vice president of Whirlpool, said: "The crucial message is please contact us immediately if you still own one of these tumble dryers and haven't already had it modified or replaced by us."

People can instantly check if their dryer is one of those affected by calling 0800 151 0905 or by visiting whirlpool.co.uk/dryerrecall.

Consumers whose dryers have already been replaced or modified by Whirlpool need take no further action.

Which? director of advocacy Caroline Normand said: "Whirlpool has failed to trace hundreds of thousands of fire-risk tumble dryers that could still be in people's homes almost four years after this fault was first discovered, so we have serious doubts about the company's ability to get these machines out of circulation now.

"Given it has taken the threat of government action for Whirlpool to act on this vital matter of public safety, ministers must closely monitor this recall and definitively establish the safety of modified machines, which have also caught fire, if they are to be offered as replacements.

"If Whirlpool's approach is found wanting then the Secretary of State must step in and ensure that all potentially dangerous machines are immediately removed from people's homes."

Additional reporting by Press Association