Whirlpool recalls half a million washing machines over fire risk

17 December 2019, 13:46

Whirlpool is alerting customers to a potential fire safety risk concerning certain models of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines
Whirlpool is alerting customers to a potential fire safety risk concerning certain models of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

Whirlpool has issued a recall of half a million Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines due to a possible fire risk.

The firm said as many as 519,000 washing machines sold under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands in the UK between October 2014 and February 2018 could be affected by a flaw with the door-locking system that could lead to them overheating and potentially catching fire.

It has urged owners of appliances bought since 2014 to contact Whirlpool immediately to check if their washing machine is one of the models affected.

The manufacturer said it was working at "full speed" to officially begin the recall in early January, and in the meantime, it advised consumers to unplug their washing machines and not use them.

It comes just months after Whirlpool recalled 500,000 tumble dryers, again over a fire risk. The manufacturer said owners of certain models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015 had to contact Whirlpool "as a matter of urgency".

In November MPs said it was "extraordinary" that as many as 800,000 of the defective dryers could still remain in people's homes four years after Whirlpool revealed they were a fire risk.

Whirlpool Corporation vice president Jeff Noel said: "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 people's safety is our top priority.

"Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January."

Those who chose to continue using their machines should only use cold water cycles of 20C or lower as this significantly reduces the risk, Whirlpool said.

This is because the issue is associated with the washing machine's heating element being activated during washing cycles above 20C.

Consumers can check if their washing machine is affected by visiting https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk. This site includes an online model checker tool, as well as a full list of model numbers.

Alternatively, customers can call Whirlpool's freephone hotline 0800 316 1442 where an adviser can assist with checking their model and providing further information.