The Whirlpool Group, owner of domestic appliance brands including Indesit, Hotpoint, Creda, Swan and Proline, initiated a product recall in November 2015 of tumble dryers which were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. A fire risk was identified when excess fluff came into contact with heating elements within the appliances and a number of air vented dryers and condensing dryers sold under different Whirlpool brands have been affected.
The Group has now upgraded its warning to consumers with faulty Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda dryers, advising that they unplug the potentially dangerous machines until they have been repaired.
At the time of the announcement in 2015, customers could continue using their defective machines as long as they cleaned the filter after every cycle and ensured proper dryer venting. In October 2016, the London Fire Brigade warned that owners of the faulty dryers must stop using them immediately, after one of the machines was found to be the cause of a huge blaze in an 18-storey tower block in Shepherd’s Bush, London. In December 2016, the consumer group Which? threatened to pursue a judicial review against the trading standards office for its handling of the issue, leading to enforcement notices against Whirlpool from Peterborough Trading Standards being issued in February 2017.
Charlene McAuliffe, an associate in Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team who acts for claimants in product liability claims, said: “When the original announcement was made in late 2015, it was anticipated that consumers faced a lengthy delay before their products would be repaired. The reality is that appliances such as tumble dryers are fundamental in many households, and in the absence of a total recall there remained an ongoing risk that faulty appliances would be used. Manufacturers have a responsibility to their customers and consumers have a right to expect that what they are buying is safe and will not cause damage or injury. There has been a long-standing defect with this category of household appliances and the updated recall information is long overdue.”
If you are concerned about this recall notice or require further details as to whether your product may be affected, further information can be found here.