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A million homes still have fire-risk tumble dryers

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Nov 1, 2017

There are still a million potentially deadly fire-prone tumble dryers in UK homes.

Manufacturer Whirlpool has admitted that two years after the faulty dryer scandal broke, it still has a million to replace or repair.

Shockingly, it has also admitted that it continued to make the fire-risk dryers for three years after they were warned about the fault in 2012. Whirlpool said it acted in consultation with Trading Standards.

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It made and sold 5.4 million of the dryers over an 11-year period.

The dryers were sold under the brands Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit.

They have been linked to a number of major fires, including one in a tower block in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, which had to be tackled by 120 firefighters and left 50 people homeless, and also a blaze in Wales in which two men died.

Whirlpool has continued to say the dryers are safe to use so long as they are not left unattended. 

Many customers who have contacted us here at A Spokesman Said are not happy with the advice they've received, or the treatment they've had from Whirlpool.

MPs on the House of Commons Business committee accused Whirlpool of being slow to act.

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Slow to act

Rachel Reeves, committee chairwoman, said, “How many fires are needed for a proper recall of these tumble dryers? We have already seen a number of fires and deaths, yet in so many of our homes we still have these appliances.” 

Ian Moverley, the communications director at Whirlpool, told the committee the company had worked “proactively to identify the safety issue and worked closely with Trading Standards to determine what action would be taken.”

Ms Reeves said Mr Moverley was not senior enough to give detailed answers to MP’s questions or to take responsibility for the scandal.

“Why hasn’t someone at a more senior level come in front of us to answer our reasonable questions and take responsibility for the actions of your firm?”

Earlier this year, the company finally advised owners of the dryers to make sure they were unplugged after more than 750 fires had been reported.

The faulty dryers were sold between April 2004 and September 2015. They have turned up all over Europe. The fault is caused by a build up of fluff from clothes coming into contact with the heating element and catching fire.

Whirlpool currently has a programme running to repair or replace the dryers.

It has two websites – safety.hotpoint.eu, and safety.indesit.eu – for dryer owners. People can also phone 0800 151 0905 for advice.

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