Whirlpool – the manufacturer of popular UK home appliances – embarked on a nationwide repair campaign in spring 2016 following reports of problems with tumble dryers causing house fires.
Now MPs on Parliament's Business Committee have said that manufacturers' responses to product defects has highlighted flaws in the UK's product safety regime.
Whirlpool says that around 5.4 million potentially faulty tumble dryers were sold in the UK between 2004 and 2015, and there have been reports of families left homeless following fires caused by faulty tumble dryers.
You can take action to check if you are one of the millions potentially affected by a faulty tumble dryer, and prevent the risk of a house fire.
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Why is Whirlpool fixing tumble dryers?
Whirlpool has launched a national repair scheme to fix the faulty tumble dryers. Whirlpool says it has contacted 4 million customers directly to ask them to check for a faulty tumble dryer.
If the tumble dryer is faulty, Whirlpool will send an engineer to visit to repair the faulty tumble dryer for free.
What is causing the tumble dryer fires?
In some cases, fluff can come into contact with the heating element in the tumble dryer and potentially cause a fire according to Whirlpool.
It says such cases are rare, but affected models will require repair.
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What brands are affected?
Whirlpool owns a number tumble dryer brands and there are several that pose potential fire hazards.
Affected brands are Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, Swan and Creda. If you own a tumble dryer sold in the UK from one of those brands between April 2004 and September 2015, you need to check if your tumble dryer needs repairing.
How can I check my tumble dryer?
Whirlpool has launched two online tumble-dryer model checkers – one for Hotpoint and one for Indesit. These also cover the Creda brand.
You should visit the website and follow the instructions, entering the model number and serial number of your tumble dryer. You can usually find the model number and serial number on the frame inside the door.
Alternatively, Whirlpool has set up a tumble dryer helpline that you can phone on 0800 151 0905 to get advice and check if you have a faulty tumble dryer.
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What should I do if my tumble dryer is affected?
If you have a faulty tumble dryer, you’ll be able to arrange for an engineer to visit and repair the tumble dryer.
Customers are being dealt with on a first-come, first-serve basis, and can currently expect a resolution within one week of contacting Whirlpool.
While waiting for a repair, Whirlpool advises that you can continue to use the tumble dryer but that it should not be left unattended when in use. You should also clean the fluff and lint filter between each use to prevent the build up of potentially fire-causing debris.
If you are concerned, contact the Whirlpool advice line on 0800 151 0905.
For more tips and useful information browse our technology section or consumer rights articles.
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