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Whirlpool launches washing machine recall amid ongoing fire scares

18 Dec 2019
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This is the second Whirlpool product recall in the past year

White goods manufacturer Whirlpool has begun a product recall that could affect over half a million customers across the UK. The recall comes at the end of a lengthy saga that began in 2015, when it was discovered that appliances from the Whirlpool washing machine and tumble dryer ranges were at risk of catching fire.

According to the BBC, the recall is limited to washing machines from the Indesit and Hotpoint lines sold since 2014. It’s estimated that up to 20% – or roughly 519,000 – of these products are at risk of suffering from a heating element malfunction that could cause a fire. Indeed, some 79 house fires are thought to have been a direct result of this malfunction.

This is actually the second such recall. Whirlpool came under fire in July this year after it came to light that up to 800,000 Hotpoint tumble dryers could still be in use by members of the British public. Like the Indesit and Hotpoint washing machines currently being recalled, the tumble dryers were prone to overheating, with several instances of house fires being recorded. Whirlpool reportedly responded to the affected customers by asking that they sign non-disclosure agreements.

The potentially hazardous tumble dryers were recalled in July after a regulatory body stepped in. Until that point, Whirlpool had been offering a repair service that reportedly did not consistently resolve the issue.

Whirlpool has issued a public apology that – among other things – acknowledges how irritating it is to have your washing machine taken away during one of the most hectic times of the year. Aside from commencing a product recall, the firm has also set up a model checking website for customers who are unsure whether their washing machine is one of the affected products. The recall itself will not begin until January 2020.

If you think you might own a Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine that is at risk of catching fire, you can visit the model checker website, or call 0800 316 1442. At the time of writing, however, neither one of these options were functioning as intended; if you’re really concerned, Whirlpool recommends unplugging your washing machine from the mains, or alternatively, using the cold wash cycle.

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