Millions of Creda, Hotpoint and Indesit tumble dryers built in the past decade are facing recalls over a potential fire risk.
Five million dryers sold between 2004 and September 2015 could be at risk of catching fire if excess fluff comes into contact with the heating element in the tumble dryer.
The design defect came to light after Whirlpool bought the Creda, Hotpoint and Indesit brands in 2014. A series of domestic fires were investigated, resulting in the company issuing a huge number of warnings and alerts, and undertaking a massive repairs programme.
James Walker, of online complaint-resolution service Resolver.co.uk, said: “Whirlpool has written to more than 3 million customers, and (has) just 1,000 engineers to make the repairs. Even though the repairs take on average just an hour… there is definitely a backlog building.”
“Somewhat incredibly, the company is still suggesting that owners can still use their driers. Just not while they’re around. Or asleep.”
A Whirlpool statement read: “Until the modification has been made for those that require it, as an extra precaution we are asking that consumers do not leave their dryers unattended during operation (i.e. do not leave the house or leave the dryer on whilst asleep).
“They should also regularly clean the lint filter after every cycle and ensure proper venting, in accordance with the original instructions for use.”
Electrical Safety First recently reported that almost 50 deaths each year are attributable to electrical fires, and faulty electrical appliances caused £41.6m of damage in the UK every year.
The charity advised people to register their electrical products with the manufacturer once they’d bought them in order to receive details of any recalls.
In the past five years, there have been recalls on more than 300 different electrical appliances.
However, according to Electrical Safety First, only around 10 per cent to 20 per cent of products due for a recall actually receive it.
James Walker added: “The Whirlpool saga does raise one really important issue – when you buy electrical appliances, you NEED to register them with the manufacturer.”
There are dedicated model-checker websites for both Hotpoint and Indesit machines:
For Hotpoint: https://safety.hotpoint.eu
For Indesit: https://safety.indesit.eu/