Sign in / Join

Whirlpool Product Safety System debated in Parliament before Grenfell Fire

The Whirlpool Appliance Fire Safety scandal is nothing short of outrageous that given the overwhelming evidence, the sheer numbers of at-risk and defective appliances in UK homes that Whirlpool continue to show complete lack of accountability and responsibility.

This following transcript was from a Commons debate in April 2017, and it is chilling to note that MP's are criticising both Whirlpool and the Government will a joint failure to act given the context of appliances causing fires in tower blocks that maybe unsafe in terms of accelerated fire growth in respect of poor building management and external cladding.

The Shepherds Court fire luckily did not result in a loss of life but is repeatedly mentioned throughout the debate and now knowing what we do that mere weeks later the tragedy that was the Grenfell Fire resulted in over 70 deaths and hundreds injured and left with nothing.

In both instances at Shepherds Court  and Grenfell a Whirlpool appliance (tumble dryer and fridge respectively) were cited as the cause of the blaze.

Andy Slaughter Labour MP for Hammersmith:

In particular, Whirlpool’s complete lack of accountability and responsibility for those consumers whose daily lives have been—and indeed are still being—put at risk, is simply unacceptable. The company’s behaviour throughout this whole process prompts the question of why anyone would want to buy a Whirlpool tumble dryer, or indeed any other product made by the company, in future.

Andrew Bingham former Conservative MP for High Peak:

I have a constituent who has a very similar story to the one he has just outlined. She asked me not to reveal her name, but she was using her tumble dryer and it actually exploded. Flames went up and hit the roof. We talk about the consequences of such fires for people’s lives. She lost pretty much everything and unfortunately she was not insured. This happened some time ago and she is still living with the consequences. All that time, as the ​hon. Gentleman said, Whirlpool seems to have been completely ambivalent about the consequences of these incidents for people’s lives.

Andy Slaughter Labour MP for Hammersmith:

Whirlpool is cynically trying to delay everything from legal actions on liability through to inquests, to resist what in the end will undoubtedly be very substantial payments that it will have to make. However, the consequences of these incidents, particularly for poorer people who may not have insurance and who—as is the case with some of my constituents—have lost all their belongings as well as their homes, are absolutely devastating.

Since the fire in Shepherds Bush, Whirlpool has failed to answer the most basic questions in my correspondence with the company, and its letters in response are often written not by the company itself but by its PR agency, Ketchum.

I am incredibly frustrated by Whirlpool’s lack of engagement with MPs and its refusal to co-operate with them


To read the debate in full click here