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Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do

Many people have what some of us might consider as dodgy tumble dryers and have asked what they should do if they think they are affected and how long is reasonable to wait. Please read this post before asking what you should do, the answers are here!


In April 2018 I published a report. This report outlines the whole story. It includes contradictions, results of Freedom of Information Requests to Government departments and Peterborough Trading Standards, London Fire Brigade statistics and recommendations, research and investigations. All in one place.

The tumble dryer story without the spin.

Download Whirlpool – the tumble dryer story without the spin


This post below was written in February 2016 and updated in March 2017. Please see the link above for much more and updated information on the story.

So what is going on?

Current situation
1) 113 different Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda tumble dryers have been recalled. However, it is not a full recall in that all machines are being replaced. The machines affected were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. Dryers affected could pose a fire risk if fluff should come into contact with the heating element. 750 fires involving Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers have been reported since 2004, including three injuries. Update 12th March 2017 On the 23rd February Whirlpool has now amended advice and says to unplug and not use machine. It has still stopped short of a full recall. New advice.

2) Despite the potential risk, Whirpool has said the dryers are safe to use following precautions, such as not leaving the tumble dryer on when asleep, not leaving the house when it is on, cleaning the lint filter after every use, and  ensure proper venting

3) Whirpool will send an engineer to check your tumble dryer and have said it will be a 6 – 8 week wait, alternatively they are telling some people that they have to wait until June because they are still recruiting engineers! Update in March now saying 3 weeks to get a call back and wait could be up to 10 months! Given how long everyone involved in this fiasco has known about the issues this is not good enough and in my humble opinion not a good enough reason for delay should you take the matter to court.

4) Trading Standards calls for a full product recall before someone dies.

5) As of end February 2017 Whirlpool has finally changed its advice and said unplug and do not use.

What you should do if you think you are affected
1) If your tumble dryer is not affected there will be a green dot sticker insider the dryer either on the door, rim or back panel. Look for a green dot sticker inside the dryer either on the door itself or on the rim.

2) You may want to not use your tumble dryer despite Whirpool’s advice. After all, do you think it’s ok if it catches fire just because you are in the house?! I don’t!

3) Check to see if your appliances are affected. Hotpoint and Creda tumble dryers can be checked on the website and Indesit ones here Which? also uncovered the models affected and you can find the list here.

4) Contact the company and arrange for your service. Log all your calls, length or time on the phone and costs involved as you are due redress for this.

5) People are really struggling when ‘phoning to get the service sorted. I would advise putting your request in writing see here for why.

6) Check with your insurance company as to whether you are covered if your tumble dryer were to catch fire even if you were following the guidelines about sill being able to use it. If not, then use this information in your complaint/claim. Although, please also see point 6 below!

Your rights and what you can do if not happy with your situation
1) The affected tumble dryers were manufactured before October 1st 2015 and therefore, if bought prior to October 1st 2015 are covered by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. You are entitled to purchases that are fit for purpose and are of satisfactory quality. Whilst I agree that for you to be covered by this law, you should follow maintenance guidelines in the handbook, you should be able to put the machine on like you would a washing machine and dishwasher when you are asleep or out of the house! The affected tumble dryers are therefore not fit for purpose and not of satisfactory quality. Any products bought after 1st October 2015 are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

2) Under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 or Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. the company can legitimately charge you something towards a new machine as it can deduct an amount for use (after 6 months in the case of the CRA). You can argue how much this should be because if they are charging £99 for a replacement to a family of 4 who have used it for 3 years they should not be able to charge the same for a single person who has had the machine for a year! Some months have now gone by and you will only be entitled to a repair or replacement. The company says it will “modify” the appliance, so one assumes that this is the repair. Some people are getting a free replacement when they assert their legal rights and what they expect! Your rights are as with any other item, one chance at repair is enough before demanding replacement or partial refund.

3) If you stop using the machine because you deem it unsafe (and if the engineer carries out modifications then there is your proof that it was!) you are entitled to your out of pocket expenses. So if you go to the launderette for example, you are entitled to these costs plus cost of going there e.g. public transport/petrol. Update 12th March 2017 Whirlpool have now said unplug and do not use the machine.

4) Do not waste much time ranting on social media. The social media teams will be dealing social media simples! So many people are affected that you will be one of many and your case will not rise above another unless you get lucky. A few people have been lucky this way, most haven’t.

5) If you think the time to wait is too long, or you have been kept waiting longer than they advised or you want to claim, then go straight to the top. Go to and contact the CEO outlining the issues and use the Tips for effective complaining here and the bestselling book which has more advice and templates here. State that you want a replacement or engineer appointment brought forward.

6) The Consumer Protection Act 1987 states that if you are harmed by an unsafe product you can sue the manufacturer. You can begin your court case up to three years from the date of the injury. In some cases, you can even sue up to ten years after the product was sold. If for instance you sustain a personal injury or damage to your property. The value of the damage must be more than £275.

7) Your contract normally is with the company to whom you paid the money; however, as the manufacturer has admitted fault your correspondence should be with them as in this case the manufacturer is responsible not the trader. But you could also contact the retailer and request a replacement or repair, you may find that a good retailer will also act on your behalf and get your engineer out to you quicker, or offer a refund. If you find the retailer unhelpful you can also go to the Furniture Ombudsman if the retailer is a member.

8) The “General Product Safety Regulations 2005” dictates that manufacturers must make arrangements for the collection and/or return of the product for destruction from consumers who have purchased the product.

9) If you bought the dryer on your credit card you can also use the Consumer Credit Act 1974 Section 75 as it is equally liable and it should give you a refund.

10) If you are given a replacement machine or parts that develop a fault your rights remain and see 1, 2 and 3 and links within above. Remember consumer rights always override a warranty.

11) See Tips for how to write that complaint and many others: How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! for more help advice, templates for complaining effectively. 





Things still wrong after replacement or modification
Some people are getting in contact to say that they have had the repair or paid the £99 and had a new machine but still have problems. This is what you should do:

1)  Contact them in writing. Most important that you have it in writing as evidence. Give details of date of repair (and all the issues getting to that point if it wasn’t straightforward) and that it is not working properly. Give details of the issue. State that as you have given them a chance under the appropriate law (see above) you are entitled to a replacement. They may still argue for for repairing again. Your choice may well then be between taking one more try or to carry on fighting through the Small Claims Court. See Tips for how you should write your email and what to include.

2) If you have paid the £99 for the replacement you have in effect entered into a new contract under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. As such, if you have had it less than 30 days you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. After this time it is a repair or a replacement. Again, follow the tips for how to write the email and what to include.

3) If you have tried 1 and 2 above or are in the process please email me!

BBC article 11/03/16 Danger dryers in 11-month repair wait

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152 replies on “Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do”

Just had my new tumble dryer delivered (saturday) paid £99 rather than having old one modified. New one is dead does not work rang hotpoint and they sending engineer out. Surly I can have it replaced as its brand new? Do I have to have it repaired???

I had a new replacement dryer in Dec 2015 for my old hotpoint dryer and now it has broken. The 1 year warranty ran out in Dec 2016, do I have any other options available?


Please post above and links within. Consumer rights override any warranty.

My tumble dryer was one identified as ‘faulty’. Had it just over a year. Engineer came out to do the modification 2 weeks ago. Ever since then it does not dry anything properly. Clothes are damp even after 2 hours…and that is just a half load. I have Dom Gen warranty. What csn I do?

Please see post above and links within your rights are more than any warranty.

Shirley snap it would seem part of the fix is to remove the hose that allows the steam to collect in the reservoir this once removed leaves the condensation in the drum leaving everything wet #
thus turning the condenser into a normal tumbler dryer but without the ability to get rid on the condensation
I am on this site trying to find out what the fix is and how it is suppose
to fix the problem

I’ve had the same problem, mine was modified 2016 used it once did not dry.
I spoke to someone recently same problem so called Hotpoint but just been told on the phone my warranty has run out so nothing they can do.
Bad service

I had the repair done and was told at the time that I would get a years warranty for the dryer, now the dryer does not dry, phoned indesit and was told that only the part fitted had a 3month warranty. Where do i stand with regards to getting dryer fixed.


Please see post and links above. Also see tips – don’t write your email/letter in capitals.

I have had a walk letter on my old tumble drier, I actually threw mine away as it broke down and was just over warranty and now I find out it is faulty! So am a bit annoyed as I had to buy new one, never called them as most products out of warranty it’s cheaper to just buy a new one, can I ask for a replacement or refund on this as I really didn’t get much use out of it.. where do I stand on this ?

My Swan dryer was covered by the recall they came to modify it on september 26th last year i followed all the rules and cleaned the filter after each use never left it on at night or when out which was lucky for me because 29th april just 10 minitues after putting it on it burst into flames luckily i was not alone as i have health problems . the fire brigade were called my house is filthy from smoke damage thst is taking days to clean up !!! these machines neef replacing NOT modifying the modification did not make mine safe .and when i rang to complain she said they will send an engineet out to look at it im now without a dryer !!!

Please follow advice in post above. Clearly a fault so entitled to redress.

My dryer which i brought brand new in Feb started to smell funny and made funny sounds it now has stopped heating up but there appears to be burnt fluff at the back on the floor, checked online and just found out mine is one of the affected dryers HOW was it allowed to still be sold with no information on this issue? I’m a single working mum of 2 with no drier and a house that smells of a burning ???? Something

I have a faulty Hotpoint tumble dryer. I have been in touch via e-mail to Hotpoint, threatening to go to the small claims court, as I do not want it modifying, or to pay £99 for a replacement, from which I have heard even those do not work. Going around in circles, getting nowhere. Where can i go from here? Any direct phone numbers? Thanks.

I have a Hotpoint Aquarius tumble dryer bought in 2002 & is in my British Gas repair/insurance contract – it has started to make a grinding noise, so called out an engineer (unfortunately I could not be here, so my neighbour was here instead) – the engineer said it was a manufacturer fault – so I have been on the Hotpoint website to enter the model number & serial number – which the site does not recognise ! I thought the modification programme only applied to dryers bought after 2004 ? Does this mean British Gas are trying to avoid a repair ?

If you have had a tumble dryer that has lasted 15 years without any problem lucky you! If not on the site then it isn’t one of the affected models so is not part of the partial recall programme. If you want to try and claim (nothing to do with the issues in the post as it is prior and a non affected model and a different fault!) then you would need an independent report saying that it was a manufacturers fault but hard to believe because if so why has it lasted this long? You can try but under consumer law an item has to last a reasonable length of time and your tumble dryer has done this and some. Small Claims Court would be for 6 years so don’t threaten that as you will get nowhere as Manufacturer knows this and a court will say lasted reasonable length of time in any case.

i had a hotpoint dryer replaced because of the faults with the dryer which i the new dryer is less than 1yr old and need a new heat element alreadyam i entiteled to a new dryer not ajust a repair

Not really following that comment, but please read post above and links within for advice.

Bought hotpoint dryer in early 2015. Fuss then came out about fires. Was advised to go online and check if affected. Filled in all details and was told it was safe. Too new for problems. Carried on using it. Renewing house insurance they asked if safe otherwise not covered, I proudly told them I had indeed checked and it was a safe one. Smelt burning whilst using it other week. Immediately unplugged it, pulled it out and called out repair man. He looked. Said broken belt, New belt about a tenner. I asked him to fit it, he checked model and refused saying he wouldn’t get working a ‘fire hazard’ !! I checked online again, and low and behold my machine is now on danger list!! I called hotpoint and asked if the list was being updated since dryer fires first came to light. They said yes. I didn’t know this. Please, if anyone checked their model at start please check again as I’m sure information was ‘vague’ at start I am lucky as my insurance would not have covered this. I have been told by a lady on phone not to use it. It is in my laundry room in the basement and so needless to say was never ‘watched’ whilst on.
I tried to broach subject of needing new belt and what had happened, but the lady on the phone wasn’t interested in anything much I had to say, it was ‘if it’s fine then we will come out make it safe, if broke like belt not our problem’. So instead I shut up as my local repair man won’t put new belt on until it is ‘made safe’. Chicken and egg situation.
I am now waiting till end of month when hotpoint are coming out. I’m off to pump more coins into launderette these places are as rare as rocking horse poo) and laugh at the tone of voice that was on the phone cheerfully telling me that they will stop it setting on fire ‘free of charge’ whilst waiting for my thanks at being sold this long after many fires had come to light. I will update you on weather the hotpoint engineer is willing to make safe a machine that has had a belt taken off it and waiting for replacement.
Ps regarding receipts from launderette, like I said very few launderettes exist now, and the one I’ve found to stuff sheets and towels in has a coin slot. It takes the money and goes around. I am unable to get a receipt. Last visit cost 18.00 tomorrow will be more. Has anybody actually been refunded costs? If they offered me a replacement at 100 pounds I’d take it.

Please read the post above regarding what you should you do, particularly in relation to writing and charging for out of pocket expenses. Take photos when you go, record times etc. Yes if you follow the advice above you will (albeit eventually) get refunded. If a court would deem the costs reasonable then you are home and dry if you excuse the pun.

Have emailed you – media are interested in talking to you about your story. Please do get in touch.

The heating element in my drier is broke due to there fault. I only found out about this fault today and rang them immediately. I have had the machine repaired 3 times since buying it in 2008. I have booled a repair but, Are they liable to replace the heating element? As on phone she tried to argue they weren’t

In your opinion, what would constitute “satisfactory quality” for a tumble dryer? How long would you expect it to last?

Would ultimately be up to the court to decide how long a tumble dryer should last. You can go to court up to 6 years from purchase. Personally I would do it right up to that date but a judge may find against me who knows?! But there’s a guide from Which? on most reliable dryers which may help with evidence should you need it You’re welcome.

i have a hotpoint That was bought after october 2015, was on the danger list so they cane and modified it in some way. It has just totally stopped working, not fuse, not thermostat reset. I have replaced many parts on household items including heating elements. I took it apart to have a look and tgere was a 1cm×1cm piece of black burnt fluff on heating element although element shows no sigb of damage. I should have had the sense to photgraph it but i was more concerned about getting it working. I am still unable to get power to it. When the engineer previously came out he asked to use my hoover to hoover the fluff out! I religiously empty the fluff catcher as with having a Grandad who was a fireman for 30yrs the danger of fires is well drilled into me. The repair was about a year ago… what route do you suggest i follow? thanks 🙂

Please see Your rights and what you can do if not happy with your situation above points 2, 3 and 10

I bought my Indesit condenser dryer in August 2017. Last week I turned it on and went to lock up to leave the house when I smelt a strange plastic burning smell. I followed the smell back to the dryer, opened the dryer door and was greeted with a billow of stinking plastic smelling smoke.

I called ao who is bought the machine from as I’m under insurance and they asked me to unplug it and under the terms of my insurance will send an engineer within 2 weeks. However having now read about the recalls I am hugely concerned that a) even following an engineer visit, this machine is not safe, and b) as my machine was bought (and presumably) manufactured after the 2015 recall cut off, the fault goes much further than originally believed and many more homes may be at risk.

Totally disappointed with Hotpoint. I have 2 Timble Dryers both on recall list, Condenser Dryer replaced no problem was a good speedy Servive. Registered my Vented Dryer same time, told by 2 staff by live chat it was registered, when chased up I was told it’s not registered as cannot register 2 dryers at same address so gave another email address and told it was now registered and I asked for the link to pay £99 for the upgrade but never received it. At least 15 phone calls later plus more live chats was told it was not registered, in the same sentence was told it had been modified, I explained if it’s not registered how has it been modified. This has been going on since middle of SEPTEMBER 2019 (4 month). After 4 messages through RESOLVE website (2of them to the CEO) of Hotpoint I am getting nowhere with this. I give up and wish the customers with Washing Macine issues the best of luck with this company as they are not fulfilling their legal rights, I have lost count of the amount of times that I will get a call back, when I do get one I am told they cannot deal with this as it has to be registered by a manager who will call me back but never does

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