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Whirlpool recalls 500,000 washing machines

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Whirlpool will need to replace half a million dangerous washing machines, just months after it was forced to recall 800,000 unsafe tumble dryers.

The manufacturer identified faults in certain models of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines which were made between 2014 and 2018.

It said there’s a risk that the door locks of affected machines could catch fire due to overheating during the washing cycle. The recall does not affect Whirlpool branded washing machines.

Customers with the machines (click here or see below for the list of models) are advised to unplug the appliance and register with Whirlpool for a replacement or repair of the old appliance. Old machines will be removed and replacements installed for free from January 2020. Customers can also call the Whirlpool helpline on 0800 316 1442 for more information.

Customers can find the model number either on the back of the washing machine, or in the recess of the door.

Graham Russell, chief executive of the Office for Product Safety and Standards,  said: “Whirlpool is recalling models of washing machines due to consumer safety concerns. They have advised consumers with affected models to unplug their machine until it is replaced. We will closely monitor Whirlpool to ensure the recall is carried out successfully.”

Whirlpool first issued a safety warning about millions of dryers in 2015 after it acquired the Hotpoint and Indesit brands and discovered some machines had a fault which made them a fire risk.

A statement on its website, read: “Whirlpool proactively notified the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) of the situation and committed to conducting a nationwide product recall. Whirlpool continues to cooperate fully with the OPSS through regular information updates.

“Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and Whirlpool is working tirelessly to ensure it is ready to start offering replacements or repairs to its customers from January.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to our customers, particularly over the Christmas period, but we hope people will understand that we are taking action because their safety is our top priority.”

It added that it will double its call centre team to 800 customer service agents, increase the production of washing machines to prioritise the manufacture of like-for-like replacement models, increase its engineer workforce to 1,100 and will provide specialist training on the in-home modification.

‘Whirlpool’s reputation in tatters’

Sue Davies, strategic policy adviser at Which?, said: “This safety alert will cause huge disruption for millions of people who will have no washing machine over Christmas, and following the tumble dryer scandal, leaves Whirlpool’s reputation as a company that can be trusted on product safety in tatters.

“People will rightly be asking what Whirlpool knew about these fire-risk machines and when, so there must now be a thorough investigation into this public safety issue. We know the company has a track record for appearing to put corporate reputation ahead of public safety in its disgraceful handling of the unsafe tumble dryer crisis.

“Customers will be hugely frustrated that this recall is not set to start for weeks and that they are not being offered refunds for machines from a brand they may no longer want to have in their homes.”

The Hotpoint and Indesit models which are being recalled:

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