Whirlpool to issue recall of unmodified tumble dryers from consumers’ homes

Whirlpool is to issue a recall of tumble dryers not yet modified from consumers’ homes, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has announced.

Last month, the Government said it would issue a recall notice for 500,000 dryers that could potentially be a fire risk.

Under the recall, consumers with an unmodified, affected tumble dryer will be entitled to a new replacement machine. This will be delivered and installed, with the old one removed, all at no cost.

The OPSS said Whirlpool had also agreed to deliver wide ranging publicity of the product recall aimed at reaching affected consumers and driving up awareness, guarantee no charges for delivery, installation or removal of machines and provide the OPSS with “timely” reporting of progress.

According to current advice, owners of unmodified, affected tumble dryers should unplug and contact Whirlpool.

Consumer Affairs Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “The UK has some of the toughest consumer protection laws in the world. Our intervention demonstrates that we will take all the necessary steps to keep consumers safe.

“I want to reassure consumers that we are doing everything to ensure consumers with unmodified machines are made aware and have their tumble dryer replaced.

“Consumers with an unmodified machine should contact Whirlpool to arrange a free replacement.”

The announcement follows Whirlpool admitting to MPs last week that the number of faulty tumble-dryers in homes across the country could be far higher than first thought.

Executives from the company told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that the true number could be 800,000 and it was working hard to modify those affected.

Whirlpool also revealed that in recent years, it had logged 54 fires in its tumble dryers and admitted that three of those were models that had already been updated.

MPs were taking evidence over the scandal that has seen 1.7 million products modified.

One witness Jemma Spurr, a victim whose modified dryer caught fire, told politicians she was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the incident, which MPs said was used for “shutting people up”.

She was given an apology by Whirlpool’s communications chief Jeff Noel. Turning to Ms Spurr, he said: “I apologise to you for whatever distress this situation has caused to you, to your family, to your loved ones and your neighbours.”

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