Some 750 fires have reportedly been linked to Whirlpool’s faulty tumble dryers. Despite beginning a repair programme, Whirlpool’s fire-risk dryers continue to pose a potential threat to people’s homes. Whirlpool’s seemingly slow, and we think inadequate, response has further highlighted problems with the current product safety system. Join us in challenging Whirlpool to sort this mess out quickly.
If a product could cause a risk to life or serious injury then we think you should expect this to be promptly dealt with by the manufacturers. We don’t believe this is happening with Whirlpool.
– A full recall of these fire-risk dryers.
– The government to urgently address issues with the product safety system.
It shouldn’t take the threat of legal action to ensure people are protected from dangerous products.
We issued a claim for a judicial review of Peterborough Trading Standards’ handling of the Whirlpool tumble dryer safety issue in December 2016. Using the threat of this legal proceeding we’ve successfully forced Peterborough Trading Standards to take action against Whirlpool.
Whirlpool’s UK headquarters are located in Peterborough and so it’s Peterborough City Council’s Trading Standards department that has been dealing with the matter.
Peterborough Trading Standards has repeatedly told us that it’s been advising Whirlpool in its capacity as Whirlpool’s ‘primary authority’. This is a voluntary arrangement on the part of the company, under which Trading Standards can help a business to comply with consumer protection rules.
When this system works well, it may have good outcomes for consumers and businesses alike. But having a ‘primary authority’ relationship with a big business shouldn’t mean that Trading Standards can effectively sideline its duty to enforce the product safety rules where this becomes necessary. And that’s why we believe the system has gone badly wrong.
Since filing for a judicial review, we have found out that Peterborough Trading Standards has now taken enforcement action against Whirlpool. Whirlpool must now change its safety advice to inform owners of affected dryers to stop using them and unplug them until their machines are repaired.
Whirlpool has now done this, but we think they should do more. Consumers are being asked to go without the use of a dryer they have bought for months on end. Whirlpool has now admitted that the affected dryers shouldn’t be used, so consumers are left without usable dryers, inconvenienced and out of pocket. We therefore want the company to do the right thing and issue a full recall of these dryers.
Pledge your support so we can challenge Whirlpool to sort this mess out quickly for safety’s sake.
MPs need to be given the opportunity to press the government on this serious safety issue. If we can get Andy Slaughter MP’s petition on faulty Whirlpool dryers to 100,000 signatures before May 2017, it will be considered for a debate.
In October 2016, a London Fire Brigade investigation found that a fire at a Shepherd’s Bush tower block, where Sharna lived, was caused by a faulty Whirlpool dryer. That dryer was awaiting inspection as part of Whirlpool’s modification programme.
Over 100 models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, Swan and Creda tumble dryers bought before October 2015 are at risk of catching fire.
Since the safety alert issues hit the headlines in 2015, we’ve been shocked by what we can only describe as multiple failings on Whirlpool’s part to sort this issue out fully and promptly. We want anyone coming to Which? for information and advice to know that we have very serious concerns about how Whirlpool has handled this issue.
If you’re worried that your tumble dryer may be affected you can check your model number here. Or you can call Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905. If your dryer is affected, the advice is to unplug the machine and do not use it until it has been repaired.