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Following Whirlpool’s acquisition of the Hotpoint/Indesit brands in 2014, it carried out a safety review of its product portfolio. As part of this review, Whirlpool identified a fault with two tumble dryer models manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. In some cases, excess fluff coming into contact with the heating element, presented a fire risk. The affected brands are: Hotpoint, Indesit, and Creda.

Whirlpool has asked the public to check whether their machine is one of those affected and, if so, to contact the company through its dedicated website. Consumers were advised of a 6-8 week wait for an engineer visit.  However, it has been reported that some consumers have waited as long as 16 months for the necessary repair.[1] Initially, consumers were advised by Whirlpool that the dryers were safe to use provided the following precautions were observed: the tumble dryer was not left on overnight; the machine was not left unattended during the day; the lint filter was cleaned after every use; and the machine was properly vented. However, in February 2017, Whirlpool updated its website advising consumers to unplug faulty machines and refrain from using them at all, until they have been modified.

There was an Adjournment debate on Faulty tumble dryers (fire risk) on 13 September 2016, introduced by Andy Slaughter MP following a serious fire in a block of flats in Shepherd’s Bush on 9 August 2016. Carolyn Harris, Chair of the All-Party Group on Home Electrical Safety, spoke during the debate and Margot James, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, responded for the Government. 

[1] HC Deb 13 September 2016 c867

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