Campaigns Environment, Safety and Standards

Anger as Whirlpool closes replacement scheme

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Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

MPs have reacted angrily to the announcement electrics giant Whirlpool has ended its offer to replace faulty dryers.

The firm issued a safety notice in 2015 relating to two types of dryer under its Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline and Swan brands.

It warned consumers that tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 could be a fire risk following reports of fires started by excess fluff catching the heating element in the machines.

The dryers have been blamed for a number of UK fires, including one in a London tower block and a blaze in Wales where two men died.

The company originally told customers they could continue to use dryers while waiting for them to receive their safety modification, as long as they were not left unattended.

However, it changed this advice earlier this year following pressure from the fire service. Whirlpool now advises owners to unplug the machines and not to use them again until the fault is fixed.

It is believed at least a million of the defective machines remain in UK homes.

The firm says it is still offering free repairs, but is ending its £50 offer for a replacement machine after demand fell.

The Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has now written to Whirlpool, asking why it has now chosen to end the scheme.

Consumer rights charity Which? has also questioned the company’s decision.

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: “It is completely unacceptable that Whirlpool has shut down its replacement scheme for these dangerous tumble dryers.

“It is irresponsible that despite one million households potentially still using an affected machine Whirlpool seems unwilling to do everything possible to deal with this issue.

“The Government must step in and force Whirlpool to fully recall the remaining tumble dryers.”

The RLA is backing London Fire Brigade’s Total Recalls Campaign, which is asking for a single, publicly accessible register of product recalls as well as other changes to manufacturing and communication methods.

For more information on white goods safety in your rental homes click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

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