/ Home & Energy

Beko should have acted faster on fridge freezer fires

Fridge freezer

If you own a 5 to 11 year old Beko fridge freezer (not a standalone fridge or freezer), check your model number, as they have been linked to 20 fires in London over the last three years.

The London Fire Brigade has put out an urgent fire warning to owners of up to 500,000 Beko fridge freezers, following a tower block fire last week.

Newer models don’t have the fault, so don’t worry if you’ve bought one in the last four years.

Although Beko has taken some steps to contact customers with the affected models, it hasn’t acted very swiftly – it knew there was a problem with these fridge freezers last June. Why did it take the company over a year to make this safety problem public?

Do you own a Beko fridge freezer?

The fault relates to the fridge’s defrost timer, which can fail and overheat when water gets into it, leading to an electrical malfunction.

Beko says it has tracked down and sent letters to 200,000 customers, and made modifications to 11,000 appliances so far. But ultimately, more needs to be done to ensure all customers are protected; not just those Beko has contact details for.

If you have a Beko fridge freezer that is 5 to 11 years old, check the model numbers on Which.co.uk to see if yours is affected. If it is, call Beko immediately to ask what steps need to be taken.

Do you own a Beko fridge freezer? Have you had any problems with it so far? Did you receive a letter from Beko asking you to get in touch, or maybe the company has already modified your fridge freezer?

Comments
James says:
1 August 2011

Like others I checked my serial number on my fridge freezer and realised it was one of the affected models. I contacted BEKO online on the 9th July, and got the emailed confirmation that an engineer would contact me shortly!! Late evening on Friday 29th July (I still had received no contact from BEKO or the engineers) my fridge freezer developed a fault. It heated up considerably and completely defrosted. I followed the BEKO advice switched off the machine and contacted their emergency number on the 30th July. After 4 phonecalls and an hour and a half of my life wasted my anger at the lack of help or understanding from their staff actually turned to pity!!! The staff are answering calls and haven’t been trained and don’t have the skills required to help customers and it really is shocking. I was actually told by their staff that you shouldn’t contact BEKO online because it doesn’t work…… Amazing! Even when I said that their website and automated telephone state that this is the preferred method of communication. Oh and if it is an emergency they will TRY and get someone to contact me within 3-4 working days. I won’t hold my breath.
BEKO really should be appalled the quality of their management of this situation.

Lynne Buckley says:
2 August 2011

We had a house fire in December 2006 cause by a Beko Fridge Freezer, the fire happed during night whilst we were all asleep in bed. I had a 6 month old and 4 yr old at the time and were living with my mum for 8 months whilst the house was renevated. Thankfully we had smoke detectors and were unhurt but the emotional effects are long lasting. My husband had to change to day shifts as I can’t be in the house alone during the night (if it hadn’t been Christmas period he would have been in work) and my oldest childs behaviour was really effected.
What I don’t understand is how they can get away without being criminally prosecuted as they have know for so long about the fault and failed to act quickly causing so many more fires and injury.
Beko have settled with my insurance company and admitted liability but can’t compensate for all the personal things I will never get back or the distress caused. Just happy to all be safe and have to say the Fire Brigade were amazing!
Please Please Please make sure you have the correct number of smoke detectors and check weekly.

Russ says:
5 August 2011

Yes, I can relate. Our Beko fridge freezer set fire in Feb 2011, destroyed our kitchen. Thankfully most things were settled via the insurance and as it wasn’t a ‘risk’ model Beko will probably do nothing. They want us to submit the fire report, but this will cost us £100, hoping to get this sorted through the insurance company. Doubt if any compensation will be forthcoming. Clearly there are other issues with their fridge freezers and they are doing nothing about it.

[Comment has been edited due to potential libel issues. Thanks, mods.]

angi says:
2 August 2011

I have a BEKO Fridge /Freezer that I bought last July it is not one of the numbers on the list but it does de frost into the fridge weekly and I have to bale out the salad etc.I was not sure if this is normal so have carried on but if this is not supposed to happen can someone let me know?
Where does the water go when it is defrosting?
confused from herts

Hi angi

We have been in contact with our lab for you on this matter and they’ve replied with the following information:

in case the fridge compartment is a non-frost free one, it’s possible that the hole at the back of the fridge, which drains the water out, is blocked.

In case your model is a full no-frost (frost free) model, than is may be the same reason but it is more difficult to find out. Many of these models are completely covered at the inside back of the fridge compartment, so it’s not easy to find out if the drainage channel might be blocked or not.

I hope the above of of help to you but if you still experience the same problem then I would advise you to contact Beko’s customer service line and ask them for advise on this fault.

Richard

Maggie Hendry says:
2 August 2011

I purchased one of the faulty fridge freezers in 2006..i contacted BEKO today and because of the issues i have been experiencing for over a year now which are constant flooding in the fridge compartment and the sides of the appliance becoming hot,i was advised today to switch it off straight away and wait on an engineer to give me a call regarding a date to come and repair the appliance.I am now faced with the dilemma of having to destroy all the food contained within the freezer and fridge.
Surely we as customers should be entitled to a new appliance instead of a repair? I have been given no time limit as to when to expect an engineer and have been told to write to BEKO head office to see if the will refund me for all the food that i am going to have to dispose of.
Will certainly think twice about purchasing another product from BEKO!!!!!

MICHELLE FERGUSON says:
9 August 2011

yes I too have a fridge freezer that defrosts bottom gets full of water its useless teh serial number has rubbed off on the door too canot locate another number Beko have said I need to find the serial number dont know what to do canot find the reciept who can after 7 years
I will never buy beko again

barbara says:
10 August 2011

I have one off these fridge freezers got a letter from beko phoned helpline they told me a engineer would be in touch in 7/14 days almost 3 weeks later still waiting will they take responsibility if we have a fire i think not.

they told me it takes up to a month mine is just running with water in the fridge all the time

Langara says:
15 August 2011

We received 3 duplicate letters on Monday of last week, until they arrived I had no idea anything was wrong, rang the help line, got through straight away and the engineer is due to arrive in 10 min.
Worst thing is my son is a London Firefighter and he has never told me anything. Thank you son.

Langara says:
15 August 2011

Really cross now, moved fridge/freezer into kitchen as there is more room than in utility room, men have just been, and didn’t need to change anything as although the serial no. is correct the month it was made is in the safe period 09 apparently. What a waste of time, good job I wasn’t working
and had to take the day off.

Patricia Jones says:
23 August 2011

Since having the new defrost timer fitted by British gas on behalf of BEKO I have a block of ice inside the fridge part ,this has never happened before,I am also mopping up water all the time from inside the fridge,I have been in touch with BEKO and they asked for my contact details which I gave them,I have not heard from them since last week.I am just left with a faulty fridge freezer,come on BEKO get your act together.

Patricia Jones says:
23 August 2011

I forgot to mention the fridge freezer is supposed to be frost free,and here I am with a block of ice in the fridge.

Fridge engineer says:
23 August 2011

Can you tell us where the block of ice is? And at a guess the water build is probably as a result of the drain hole being blocked

Patricia Jones says:
23 August 2011

The ice is in the far left corner of the fridge it has slowly melted water everywhere to be mopped up every day.like I said this did not happen before only since they fitted the new defrost timer. Thanks for your reply.

Fridge engineer says:
23 August 2011

At a guess with out seeing it and being able to do a system check I would say that you have possibly got a little moisture at the end of the capillary that supplies the evaporator in the fridge wet wall causing the refrigerant not fully vaporise resulting in moisture in the atomsphere to freeze in that area and then melt when the unit goes into defrost

Patricia Jones says:
24 August 2011

Thanks for your reply fridge engineer,I am still waiting for a reply from BEKO.
This problem that I have only started after they fitted the new defrost timer.

I have got a beko frost free fridge freezer model number CDA539FW it is 1 that has been posted on the trading standards sight although the serial number starts with 09 so I assume it isn’t 1 of the recall models. The thing is I have been having quite a lot of problems with the product as the fridge don’t seem 2 b gettin cold an the freezer keeps defrostin even with door closed 1 day its frozen then the next everything is all soggy an I have 2 throw everything away which costs money also the fan seems 2 keep cutting out an the sides of freezer gettin warm. Should I be worried as I have a 4 yr old child in the house

Same story as most people above re the help experience. FF was an affected model. With my partner suffering from anxiety and the urgent warning of a fire risk we had no choice but to unplug the thing – put it in the garden – and buy a £320 non BEKO replacement. If we hadn’t and it had gone up in flames what would our insurance have said? Anyway, BEKO eventually wrote to let us know our ff was probably affected and, in a subsequent call to them, they confirmed that it was. However, no offer of compensation or anything other than an engineer to visit the now rusting garden ff. I would have thought we would be entitled to something?

Annie says:
9 September 2011

We have one of the affected models CA5411FF which we purchased in November 2004. When we eventually got through to BEKO we were advised that they were unsure whether ours was one of the affected models but they advised us to have the defrost timer replaced as a precautionary measure. Since having the timer fitted the fridge has gradually become warmer and things are now no longer freezing properly. We were having no problems previous to the timer being fitted. I have contacted BEKO who have advised that they will get back to us within 48 hours (so far they have not called back even though I called 24 hours ago). Obviously I have no way or proving that the problem has only arisen since having the timer fitted. Has anybody else had this problem? We have noticed since having the defrost timer fitted that the fridge is not as noisy (it has always been very noisy but since this is the first frost free fridge we have owned I do not know if this is normal or not).

I have one of the fridge freezers on the list and registered this on line in July. Having hear nothing I phone twice in August only to be told they had all my details and en engineer woudld be in touch. I phone again after over 6 weeks to be told my details would be given to a supervisor and I would receive a call from the engineer within a week. Three weeks later and still nothing. What do you have to do to get action from Beko?!?

i am still waiting after 3 wks rang again said it can take up to a month fridge is running with water

Fridge engineer says:
21 September 2011

For everybody that is experiencing water in the bottom of the fridge, please check the drain hole at the back of the fridge compartment this is proberbly blocked with crap. The tool you got with the fridge to clean it isn’t long enough try using a long cable tie or something similar to get right down inside and clean it out

Have a beko fridge, freezer repaired under warranty last year, now gone wrong again, same fault, called out independent engineer, refused to touch it as the repair previously done was dangerous, a live wire had been left exposed underneath the icecube tray at the back of freezer, which had now burnt out.Tripping electric in whole house, Contacted beko explaining this they said not there fault, sent engineer out but couldn’t fix it, sent him back still could not fix it, arranged engineer to come out again but no body turned up, spoke to supervisor said not their problem, fixing it on good will, now three weeks no fridge or freezer told to turn it off completely, have three children, youngest is three, not interested, rude, snotty supervisor, trading standards advised me to go to court as beko responsible for this, terrible service from beko.

Daniella says:
29 September 2011

I think everyone should go to trading standards, have these losers shut down, whatever it takes, just do it. It’s disgraceful the way they have treated all of us. I can’t believe the majority of these comments. This company has to be shut down, seriously, they are putting lives at risk and DON’T CARE. Warn everyone you know to steer clear of these morons.

Patricia Jones says:
3 October 2011

I have still not had a reply from BEKO since I told them I am still having problems since they fitted the new defrost timer,first of all the fridge would freeze with a block of ice in the fridge and now the fridge is not working at all.
I am going to contact BEKO AGAIN today I will up date you IF they reply.
We will have to rep ace this BEKO FF but don’t forget BEKO make FF for other companies with a different name I just hope that we don’t end up with another FF made by BEKO as we have lost all faith in BEKO.

Patricia Jones says:
4 October 2011

I am still waiting for a reply from BEKO!

Paul McDonald says:
3 October 2011

Both my Parents and I had fridge freezer’s that were affected by this recall. I arranged the call out of both and my FF was fine and didn’t require the repair. My parents FF did require the repair and I thought that was the end of it. However having fitted a new kitchen for my parents over the last few weeks I noted water on the floor at the back of the FF. Closer scrutiny has idntified that water is entering the newly installed white box that houses the defrost timer. The orignal repair was carried out on in August and I suspect what they done could have contributed to this. I have no idea if the fridge is safe or not given it has been repaired, however water entering a white box that contains electrics seems to be a bit dodgy. Engineer booked to come out Friday 7th October. Although I had some hassle arranging this. I also got the patter that it was unlikely to be the repair that caused this, etc and as it’s been a couple of months since repair I woudl have nknown right away if teh repair had caused any problem. I did remind them teh reapir comes with a one year guarantee according to Beko website.

Paul McDonald says:
21 October 2011

The engineer replaced the defrost timer that was replaced 2 months earlier without any hassle. This seems to have fixed the fault. As I understand it the new defrost timer installed as part of the recall repair had been faulty. In fairness to Beko they indentified the fault and happily rapaired it albeit had it not been for the potentially dangerous defrost timer none of this would have happened.

I also think for all the repairs that have had to be done they haven’t doen too badly. I appreciate there are many compliants on here but they had to repair over 500,000 fridge freezers. Taken that into context they haven’t done that badly. One of the biggest problems has probably been the lack of ability to get technical advice over the phone and those who answer most of the phones are not technically aware, I believe this has contributed to some of the issues. Also