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Product safety lawyer welcomes MPs criticisms of Whirlpool

A report by MPs published today on the safety of electrical goods in the UK criticises Whirlpool’s approach to customer safety and calls for the establishment of an independent regulatory body for electrical goods.

Tumble-dryer fire

1 November 2019

A solicitor who represents those residents affected by the Shepherd’s Bush Tower Block Fire and the families of the late Douglas McTavish and Bernard Hender, has welcomed the report and urged the government to act swiftly on its recommendations. 
 
The report called it “astonishing” that as many as 800,000 defective machines could still be present in people’s homes four years after Whirlpool revealed defects in its tumble-dryers. 
 
In July 2019, it was announced that Whirlpool’s affected machines would be recalled. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee welcomed this recall but Rachel Reeves, Chair of the BEIS Committee, said that the Whirlpool problems have “dragged on for far too long” and Whirlpool has “failed to live up to the duties it owes to its customers.”
 
The report criticised Whirlpool for reportedly making their customers sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and criticised Whirlpool's efforts to deflect the concerns of safety organisations and customers rather than focussing on practical steps to address the safety problems.
 
The BEIS Committee have called on the government to review the safety of Whirlpool’s recall modifications following concerns from safety organisations, and to investigate other possible sources of fires in Whirlpool tumble dryers. 
 
In November 2015, Whirlpool identified a potential safety concern with two types of tumble dryers from their Indesit, Hotpoint and Creda brands manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. 
  
Thomas Jervis, leading product safety lawyer at Leigh Day said: 
 
“We welcome the Committee’s report which shines a light on this ongoing and concerning issue.  The current product recall system is not fit for purpose.  Consumers should expect that the products in their homes are safe.  We hope that the government reacts quickly and appropriately."

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