Whirlpool has been ordered to recall 500,000 tumble dryers in what has been described as an “unprecedented” government move.
Around half a million faulty machines, which were produced between 1 April 2004 and 30 September 2015, are estimated to still be in use in UK homes - many of these may be in private rented properties it is thought.
Business minister Kelly Tolhurst has told MPs in the Commons that Whirlpool was informed earlier this month of the intention to serve a notice to recall the 500,000 machines not modified in a programme initiated by Whirlpool two years ago.
This government announcement comes after a report, published in April 2019 by the Office for Product Safety and Standards which considered whether a modification by Whirlpool - designed to reduce the risk of fires arising from its tumble dryers - was proving effective in both design and installation, and then whether the outreach programme by Whirlpool was adequate.
Andrew Griffiths, another MP, has said in the Commons: "The Office for Product Safety and Standards undertook a thorough review into the modification of Whirlpool tumble dryers, yet there still remains great concern not only about the straightness of Whirlpool, but whether people have unsafe products in their homes."
Tolhurst told Griffiths during a debate: "Consumer safety is a government priority. I want to assure (Griffiths) that we have kept Whirlpool's actions under review and I can tell the House we have informed Whirlpool of our intention to serve a recall notice as a next step of the regulatory process. This is unprecedented action.”
Any agent finding an affected dryer which has not been modified by Whirlpool is advised to contact Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905.
* A Whirlpool Corporation spokesperson has been in touch with Letting Agent Today and has given this statement: “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.
“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 .
“In the meantime, anyone with an affected dryer that has not been modified should unplug it and not use it until the modification has been completed.”