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Product safety lawyer backs call for a full recall of some Whirlpool machines from MPs

The chair of the Commons Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industry Strategy has contacted OPSS about Whirlpool

A tumble dryer

13 May 2018

Product safety lawyer Jill Paterson has welcomed a call  from Rachel Reeves MP, the chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee to the Government’s Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) to consider a full recall of certain 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. They have been undertaking a repair programme to modify the appliances to address the issue.
 
The Committee has previously reported on its concerns about Whirlpools’ handling of affected tumble dryers which could be at risk of bursting into flames and causing serious fires. 
 
The Committee’s report on the safety of electrical goods in the UK identified issues with Whirlpool including:
 
  • Slow progress on the company’s modification programme, with Whirlpool admitting up to a million defective and potentially dangerous appliances were still in circulation
  • Advice given by the company that customers could continue to use tumble dryers as long as they were present
  • The failure of the Whirlpool to act on a Coroner’s report into a fatal Llanwrst fire in North Wales which was attributed to a faulty door mechanism.
 
While Whirlpool has carried out a modification programme both the BBC and Which? have suggested that modified machines have caught fire, and that the modification is inadequate. 
 
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:
 
"Whirlpool continue to refuse to take proper responsibility for defects in their tumble dryers, leaving many people still in the frightening situation where machines are acting as potential fire hazards in their own homes. Concerns about safety issues with modified Whirlpool machines and erroneous safety advice are a cause for further alarm.
 
When a company is failing to take adequate responsibility, we need the Government to step in and ensure consumers get the protection they deserve. Given the woeful paucity of Whirlpool’s actions to remedy this situation, the Office for Product Safety and Standards must now act and consider a full recall of defective machines to ensure this national product safety issue is resolved."
 
Product safety lawyer Jill Paterson, who acts for the families who have suffered house fires arising out of household products said:
 
“The product recall system in the UK has been seriously inadequate for years. I welcome the call from MPs to the Government’s new regulatory body to protect consumers for potentially dangerous products, and it remains to be seen whether the new Office will provide any real impact for the consumer.”


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