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Beko plc fined £76,660 after pleading guilty to a charge relating to the safety of consumer goods

A Watford Magistrates Court hearing involving electrical goods manufacturer Beko ends with a guilty plea

Posted on 03 November 2014

At a hearing held at Watford Magistrates Court on 3rd November Beko plc was fined a total of £76,660 after pleading guilty of failing to notify enforcement authorities of risks linked to some Beko cookers made before 2009.

The case was brought by Hertfordshire County Council trading standards service who alleged that Beko failed to adhere to the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

The manufacturer, which produces a range of household goods including fridge freezers, cookers and tumble dryers, pleaded guilty to the notification charge brought under the General Product Safety Regulation 2005.

Product liability lawyers at Leigh Day represent the Cook family, and the families of Richard Smith and Kevin Branton, who are all thought to have died as a result of CO poisoning linked to gas cookers.

The law firm also represents the family of Santosh Benjamin Muthiah who died after a fire broke out in his house in 2010 which is thought by the Fire Brigade to have been caused by a defective Beko fridge freezer. 

Following Mr Benjamin’s inquest earlier this year Coroner Walker recommended that the failure to notify authorities of a fault with a product could result in a prison sentence for manufacturers. This was one of a range of measures recommended by the Coroner to ensure the safety of household appliances.

Consumer safety lawyer Jill Paterson said:

“We believe that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the current system regulating product recalls. Information about potential problems with products needs to be shared and acted on as soon as possible.

“We will be carefully considering what we have heard today with the bereaved families that we represent.

“We have today written to the Attorney General informing him of our intention to apply for new inquests into the deaths of Kevin and Richard.”