Cookers recalled over carbon monoxide risk

BEKO

Beko has issued an urgent warning about a number of its cookers, after it emerged that not following the user instructions can cause the cookers to leak carbon monoxide - which could prove deadly.

So what cookers are affected, what is wrong with them, and what can you do?
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The risk

The ones in question are Beko, Leisure and Flavel cookers, with a separate oven and grill, manufactured before 2009.

The risk emerges when you operate the grill with the grill door closed. If the door is shut, the air supply to the grill burner is restricted, which can cause carbon monoxide to be produced. Beko describes it as 'extremely dangerous' and adds it can: "pose a very serious risk to health."

The instruction is contained in the operating instructions, but over time these may be lost, or forgotten, or the cooker may have changed hands without the booklet.

What can you do?

As a safety precaution Beko will modify any of the affected cookers.

First you need to check whether your cooker is a concern. The specific model numbers are: Beko DCG8511WLPG, DCG8511PLW, DG581LWP, Leisure CM10NRK, CM10NRC, AL6NDW, CM101NRCP, CM101NRKP and Flavel DCGAP5LS, AP5LDWP, AP5LDW, AP5LDSP, Flavel Milano ML5NDS.

If you have one of these models you will need to check the serial number to see when it was made. You can find this on the rating plate at the bottom front edge of the cooker. The key is the first two numbers. If it is anything between 03 and 08 (inclusive) you will need to contact Beko.

It also affects any Beko, Flavel or Leisure cookers with separate oven and grill, made before 2009, and converted to run on LPG (bottled gas).

If your cooker is a risk, you need to call customer services on 0800 917 2018 between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday, or 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

They will then arrange for your cooker to be modified for free - to make it safe. In the interim you can continue to use it, but must make sure the grill door is open when the grill is on.

On its safety recall page, Beko also lists 6kg and 7kg condenser Tumble Dryers manufactured from May-October 2012 and Frost-free Fridge Freezers manufactured from 2000 to 2006 - both of which could be a fire hazard and are being recalled.

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Cookers recalled over carbon monoxide risk

The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.

This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.

Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".

Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.

If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.

If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.

After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.

The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).

Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.

If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.

The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.

Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.

They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.

What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.

You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.

Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.

They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.

In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.

Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.

You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.

You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.

We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.

In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.

Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.

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