WARNING: If you have a Hotpoint or Indesit tumble dryer, unplug it immediately


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

If you are concerned, unplug your tumble dryer immediately

The makers of Hotpoint and Indesit tumble dryers have today advised their customers to immediately unplug the machines and stop using them.

If you have a Indesit, Hotpoint, Creda, Swan or Proline dryer that was bought between April 2004 and September 2015, you may have a faulty machine and are being advised by the company, Whirlpool, to register for a free repair.

Concerns were raised after there were at least two high profile severe fires - the most prominent in an apartment block in Shepherd's Bush, London, last August.

19-year-old Katie McSweeney was a resident on the 16th floor of the flat, and said at the time: "We couldn't get out for ages. The stairs were full of smoke and completely blacked out. We were choking. I can't believe nobody died. Apparently nobody was even really hurt. How is that possible?"

After the two fires were found to have been caused by these tumble dryers, investigations were then made and the machines were found to have a fault.

The Whirlpool website now displays a statement which reads: "Trading standards confirmed, following an internal review by independent experts, that the modification programme remains the most effective way of resolving this issue.

"As a result, we will continue with our efforts to provide consumers with a free of charge modification as quickly as possible. The modification programme will continue. Trading standards have also notified us that updated usage advice should be communicated to affected consumers.

"If your tumble dryer is affected by this issue then you should unplug it and do not use it until the modification has taken place."

Alice Beer and Charlie Pugsley appeared on This Morning today (Credit: ITV Pictures) ©ITV Pictures

Earlier today, Alice Beer, a campaigner on behalf of Whirlpool customers, appeared on This Morning along with Charlie Pugsley who is Head of Investigations at the London Fire Brigade.

Alice said to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "We have always maintained - and the Fire Brigade have always maintained - that if there is any risk of a potential fire from a domestic appliance, we should not be telling a consumer they are safe to use.

"First of all you need to unplug the machine. But let's get the scale of it... How many machines are still out there? We know there were 5.3million machines made between that period of April 2004 and September 2015."

"At the time of the safety notice there were 3.5million machines still out there in use. They have 1.5million registered for the modification and they've solved 1.3million of them... So really there are still around 2 million machines in people's homes.

"So these 2 million people need to be made aware by programmes like ours and Whirlpool putting out massive adverts in the press that they must unplug those machines.

"I know one lawyer who have sixty cases of people who have had fires who are pursuing a claim against Whirlpool... It'll take time. First of all, get on the phone and get a date for modification and find out how long you're going to be without one."

"Pesonally, if I had one of these dryers and it wasn't modified, I would want to be getting a replacement. I would unplug it, I would enforce a section 75 which is part of the Consumer Credit Act and if I paid for it with my credit card or even a debit card in some case, I would be calling that financial institution and say 'you are jointly liable for the sale of this faulty good to me, and I want a refund'... that's what I would be doing."

Charlie added: "We are all really pleased, because as you've reported on a whole range of incidences and the fire at Shepherds Bush really made it clear that we had to campaign publicly as well because we thought for us, the next time - as Alice referred to - could be a fatal fire, and we just had to give that right advice."

Alice has been campaigning for Whirlpool customers (Credit: ITV Pictures) ©ITV Pictures

Alex Neill, managing director of home and legal services at Which? said: "Following our long-running campaign and recent application for judicial review, Peterborough trading standards has finally taken enforcement action against Whirlpool for the ongoing tumble dryer safety issue.

"Fundamentally, we now believe a full recall is necessary and the government must now urgently address the issues with the product safety system as it shouldn't need the threat of judicial review to ensure consumers are protected from dangerous products.

"Despite updating the safety notice on its websites, Whirlpool still needs to do a lot more. Our advice to consumers is to go straight to Whirlpool to demand your machine is fixed, but also try speaking to the retailer you bought it from."

If you think you might be affected, you can call 03448 224 224 to book a repair.

Have you been affected by a faulty tumble dryer? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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