The ongoing issues with faulty tumble dryers by Indesit and Hotpoint – both owned by Whirlpool – have been discussed in Parliament, with MPs – led by Labour MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter – demanding for a full recall of the affected products, and noting that they “will not rest” until it has been implemented.
Slaughter became involved in the campaign, alongside consumer group Which?, to force Whirlpool to recall the faulty tumble dryers after a fire at a tower block in his constituency that the London Fire Brigade claimed was caused by a faulty Indesit tumble dryer.
Back in October 2016 Andy Slaughter tabled his motion amid claims London fire brigade had attended 2,000 blazes involving white goods since 2011 and he was dismayed by the response from Indesit.
The week before he tabled his motion an independent report by the London Fire Brigade confirmed that a faulty Indesit tumble dryer was the cause of a blaze in Slaughter’s Shepherd’s Bush constituency, which ripped through part of an 18-storey tower block in west London and took 120 firefighters to control.
“The Whirlpool tragedy should be a watershed,” Slaughter, pictured, told MPs. “Perhaps a million machines have been modified. Perhaps, as Whirlpool estimates – it is only an estimate – another million have gone out of service because they are redundant, given that the problem dates back to 2004. However, there are potentially up to 3 million machines still out there.”
Corri Wilson, MP for the Scottish National Party in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, added: “The Government can no longer shirk their responsibility. Whirlpool and Trading Standards have the power to recall faulty products, but so do the Government. A new petition, which has now been signed by more than 100,000 people, is crystal clear. The Government must urge Whirlpool UK to recall all faulty tumble dryers immediately, or step in themselves.”
The headline figures are sobering as there were 270 injuries and several deaths attributed to tumble dryer fires in the last couple of years alone. However, the number of casualties is also likely to be much greater as only 17 fire brigades revealed injury data.
Whirlpool has sent letters to more than 3.8 million owners of affected tumble-dryers, with those registering for the free repair waiting up to a year for the problem to be resolved.
It should be noted that consumer champion Which also reported that 175 Hoover washing machines caught fire between January 2011 and March 2014.
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