Whirlpool, the giant manufacturer of home appliances, has finally seen the light on the issue of dangerous tumble dryers. It has announced today (10 July 2019) that it will issue a product recall of all tumble dryers at risk of fire that have still not been modified.
On 12 June 2019 I wrote a blog post The end of the spin cycle? The Consumer Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, had announced that the Government intended to serve Whirlpool with a full recall notice for all tumble dryers that are at risk of fire. She told the House of Commons at the time that “consumer safety is a priority for the Government”. I said that history would say otherwise, given how long we have taken to get here.
On 4 June the government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) informed Whirlpool of its intention to serve a Recall Notice. And at last, today, it has been announced that Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd is to issue a full product recall of tumble dryers not yet modified from consumers’ homes.
Consumers with an affected tumble dryer that has not been modified will now be entitled to a new replacement machine. This will be delivered and installed, with the old one removed. This will be carried out at no cost to the consumer.
Whirlpool has committed to:
- deliver a significant new consumer outreach campaign with 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
- improve identification of, and outreach to, vulnerable consumers
- provide OPSS with timely reporting of progress made in the product recall
Although there have been stories of some people having issues with modified machines, it looks like these will not be recalled. Should you still be having issues, I would advise following the usual complaint processes following the advice in the link below, the tips, and referring to the full product recall.
My report Whirlpool – the tumble dryer story without the spin outlines what happened up until April 2018. It includes details of apparent contradictions in advice provided by Whirlpool, 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.
It amazes me that a company so large could have taken such a shoddy approach to consumer safety and cared little for its reputation. It has taken many years of campaigning to ensure that the government takes action and forces this company torecall these dangerously defective products.
Will Whirlpool survive this debacle? People often have short memories but I think in this case where a company has shown such disregard for consumer safety and its own reputation that it will struggle to rebuild its badly tarnished reputation.