The UK government has ordered Whirlpool to implement an “unprecedented” product recall of around half a million tumble dryers. The company and the government have been at loggerheads for some time over Whirlpool’s “fire-risk” tumble dryers.
Whirlpool issued a safety warning about the issue way back in 2015. The warning related to the company’s Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers and stated the dryers had a fault which could cause them to catch fire.
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Whirlpool launched a programme to modify faulty machines but was criticised for its decision to not implement a full recall. Now, the UK government has reportedly taken the decision out of their hands.
According to The Guardian, UK business minister Kelly Tolhurst stated: “Consumer safety is a government priority. We have informed Whirlpool of our intention to serve a recall notice. This is unprecedented action”.
The government’s decision follows a report by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) last month. The OPSS estimated 500,000 was the number of Whirlpool tumble dryers which still awaited modification. The government has previously stated the overall number of manufactured tumble dryers with the issue could be as a high as five million.
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The issue itself is caused by a build-up of lint around the rear drum seal which could then fall onto the heater and lead to a fire.
Whirlpool issued a statement to The Guardian about the recall – including you how to find out if your tumble dryer may be affected: “Safety is our number one priority and we remain committed to resolving any affected tumble dryers that have not yet been modified”.
“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. 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”.