/ 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
Patricia Jones says:
5 October 2011

Still no reply from BEKO.

I nearly died from beko b******s

Lynne Wilson says:
14 October 2011

We were not informed by letter and just noticed an advert in the newspaper with the warning. We checked the serial no’s and made enquiries. I was told we did have an effected appliance and someone woud be in touch to arrange the repair. after a month and no follow up call or mail, I rang again and was told it was not good enough they would come this week. I work till 4 on Fridays he said they’d come after that. On Friday the engineer rang to say he’d be there between 10.30 and 12.00. So I went through it all again. He said they couldn’t give me a time like that. Do none of the other customers work? Why should I take a day off work for them to correct a potentially fatal problem that came with an appliance that I bought in good faith. Needless to say that if we do have a “PROBLEM” it will cost them an awful lot of money, the company is a disgrace and I will never buy another appliance from them and I will pass that advice on. If anyone has any advice for me please mail me.

Hugh Dowling says:
17 October 2011

I happened to see an advert in one of the papers so checked the serial number on the Beko sight only to learn it was one of the affected models. Contacted Beko and recevied a visit from one of their engineers within 3 weeks of my call. He replaced the faulty defrost timer there and then which took about 20 minutes. Very relieved to know it’s sorted and no longer a fire risk but apart from this we’ve had the Fridge freezer 10 years and it’s been faultless.

Leigh says:
21 October 2011

I too have one of the affected fridge freezers which was bought in UK but we have since moved to Germany Because of my husbands work. I phoned customers services and wrote a letter of complaint but was told that because i have chosen to take the appliance out of the country that although they will send me the part they will not pay to have it fitted. This is now going to cost me €47 to have it fitted, surely some of the fault lies with Beko for having sold me a fridge that has the protential to catch fire and put my families lives at risk!! Not impressed will never purchase from Beko again.

martin says:
1 November 2011

I have 1 of the faulty fridge freezers, which after several days of making more noise than normal actually stopped working altogether last Thursday night.

Woke up on Friday to find everything totally defrosted etc & had to throw a lot of the food away.

Spoken to Beko since (torturous and not a good experience in itself) but now got someone coming round to look at it next Monday.

I am curious about my rights though, as it stopped working altogether, assuming that it is due to the faulty part:

1 – can I ask for a brand new replacement fridge freezer instead of a repair or replacement part?
2 – are they responsible for any expenses I incur as a result of this? i.e. food and other costs
3 – should I let workmen repair the item or take anything from it away?

grateful for any light people might be able to shed on this for me.

martin

Hello Martin

If the item is faulty then generally any claim would be against the retailer you bought it from rather than the manufacturer.

The first task is to establish that the fridge freezer is not of “satisfactory quality”. If the item is more than 6 months old then the onus is on you to do this. If Beko have informed you that the fridge freezer has a fault that has caused this problem then you could use that as your evidence to present to the retailer; if not then you would need to get someone to inspect the fridge freezer and confirm what has caused it to fail; as nothing can be expected to last forever, the question is whether the failure is one that could reasonably be expected to occur at this stage in the products life, if the answer is no then you could argue it was not of satisfactory quality when it was supplied to you.

If it can be shown that the item is not of satisfactory quality then you have remedies under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. You can ask the retailer for a replacement item but the retailer can refuse if it can show that the cost of replacing is disproportionate when compared to the cost of repairing the item or a refund less a reasonable deduction for the usage you have had from the item to date. If food was lost as a result of the fridge freezer suddenly defrosting then this could potentially be claimed as a consequence of a any breach of contract that could be demonstrated.

If the item cost more than £100 and was paid for using a credit card, the credit card company would be jointly liable for the breach of contract by virtue of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Beko are only liable:
1. if the item is still under guarantee in which case they must do whatever they say in the guarantee they will do, or,
2. for damage caused to person or property by an item, (but not for damage caused to the item itself or the contents).

If the fridge freezer is one identified by Beko as needing remedial action because of a defect that poses a potential risk, then you could look to them to take appropriate action to eliminate the risk they have identified. It would be for Beko though to determine what that course of action is taken.

I hope this is of use

Anne says:
4 November 2011

We received a letter on 8th October 2011 “We urge you to contact us immediately …” This was a Saturday and the ’emergency’ phone line is only open Monday – Friday. As we were going away on holiday I asked Beko whether I should switch off and empty the freezer but they said I should do whatever I normally did, they were NOT telling me that I SHOULD switch off the appliance! Their guidance was that it was OK to continue using the fridge/freezer until the engineer came. The engineer came today, 4th November (A MONTH later!) and changed the faulty part.
Having googled the news stories (I wasn’t aware of the problem before I received their letter) I think their advice was unbelievable!

Please tell me are Lamona really Beko appliances are they dangerous too if so which models etc

Hi gwen
The Lamona brand is produced by a variety of different manufacturers, so I’m not able to say which products may be made by one in particular. If you need specific details I’d suggest you contact your local Howdens Joinery depot (http://www.howdens.com/about-us/find-a-local-depot/) who should be able to find out about the maker of an appliance you are interested in.

Richard

Eileen Collins says:
12 November 2011

i am writing on a seperate Beko modelCA5411FF. I bought this fridge freeze just
under a year ago, a couple of weeks before the year was up the freezer part stopped working for several days spoil my food all my food.. beko arranged an engineer to call round but it started up again and he could find no fault, he said the freezer had probably reset itself and was freezing again.

i have written to the company, my credit card company for a refund or a replacement. all they say is contact them if it happens. to add insult to injury i receive this morning an invitation for an extended warranty. I am left with £60 of spoiled food, spoiled food, an unreliable frrezer and no way of proving the freezer shut itself off, therefore i can’t claim any where, also the loss is less than my excess. HELP

Mark Drane says:
21 November 2011

I would like to thank Mandy Merriman from Beko for excellent customer service.
Mandy has restored my faith in Beko and I will continue to be a buyer of Beko Goods which I have been buying for many years .
Once again thank you Mandy Merriman (Beko).
Mark Drane.

Becky says:
5 January 2012

Our garage burnt down at the weekend, lucky its not attached to our house, but it is totally destroyed. Fire Officers told us it was electrical, but we had a BEKO tall fridge plugged in the garage only about 3 years old and now I am wondering if this was the cause?

tracy says:
20 January 2012

hi i have one of the affected models, they fixed the part but over the last few weeks ive noticed a odd smell in the kitchen. its coming from the fridge its a awful metane ish gas smell. opened the fridge this morn to get juice and was nearly blown away by it! only cleaned it out less than a week ago. but enoughs enough now im going to spend yet another sleepless might because of this bloody thing, as well as the ones wating for beko to awnser the phone and fix the first problem. ive got a new one coming tommorow but as said it cant come fast enough. my o/h works nights and is hardly here so me left to cope with all the stress and worry of this.i will get the flags out when that bloody thing goes! thank god there taking it away for me NO MORE BEKOS OF ANY DESCRIPTION FOR ME EVER AGAIN

Angela says:
27 January 2012

My story is not good. We went on holiday in 2009 and got a call from our friend saying we’d had a house fire, and a pretty bad one. The feeling is the worst I ever had. What if we had been there?

Anyway, we immediately returned and found the entire house was gutted with a thick black sticky substance coating everything. I have pictures if you want to see them, worst being a hole in the floor of our kitchen where a beko fridge freezer once stood. The fire investigator said this was most likely source. We were displaced for 6 months while house refurbished, luckily insuarnce covered this but most stressful time of our lives especially with 2 young children with us.
1) Beko never contacted us about our FF. The model is an at risk model bought through Comet who would certainly have our details!
2) Insurance company has told us they are in process of recovering claim (worth £120k!!), but again beko never contacted us once.
Our insurance premiums have gone through the roof and we lost best part of a year of our lives getting things back on track.
Do you think we could claim against BEKO?

My mother also suffered a Beko fire and is currently making a claim against them. It is taking a long time though as her insurance company is also making a claim to cover the costs of repairing the damage. I would suggest you make a claim. If Beko are faced with claims from all its victims then they might be more likely to pay out.

Bobby says:
26 March 2012

I bought mine beginning of last year serial no 0910804008 model no cda 659 fs. I rang the 0800 number tonight and mine is faulty and they would get an engineer to ring me tomorrow and sort it. But I’m confused cause everyone is saying its only early models that are at fault !!!!!

Tony says:
12 April 2012

This gets more interesting we have a CDA659FS model but with serial number starting 07 – so Beko say not affected – yet having initially had problems freezing up – It is now getting Very hot around casing too hot to leave on – So probably will bite the bullet and dispose of and buy another non Beko appliance

My mother owned a faulty Beko fridge freezer which caught fire in February last year. The kitchen was completely gutted and there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house. Unfortunately my mother and brother and sister were asleep in the house at the time and were forced to jump out of a bedroom window. Two of them sustained fractures to their spines and my mother is still suffering from her injuries over a year later.

Beko had not contacted her about the fault and, when the fire happened, the LFB, who established that the fridge was the cause of the fire, were not impressed when they heard that the fridge was a Beko fridge. In fact, one fire investigator told me that Beko ‘keeps us in business’.

Stu says:
13 April 2012

Thank heavens they awoke when they did. But still, it sounds terrible, lets hope they can recover. Im amazed Beko had not contacted your mum before then. This company knew about the fault and they MUST have everyone’s details via the retailer – comet, currys etc. Why have they not written to us all by now!?
I guess you are claiming damages. Our insurer’s claim is settled, and yours seems a cut and dry case to me, so dont delay!

lking says:
5 May 2012

Help we have a 2yr old beko f/freezer ,we have had engineers call twice now .
you see our f/f is not on the faulty list,but is it noisy.
it hums and whines 24/7,it works fine though.
have we got the only f/f that does this.

Rokas says:
31 May 2012

I’ve got beko fsa716s, fridge just stopped working today, could you tell me the problem?

c meloy says:
16 June 2012

I have one of the affected Beko fridge freezers and had the faulty part replaced but since it was replaced my freezer has never worked properly, one day food is frozen and the next day it isn’t.
I contacted Beko about this and was told it was nothing to do with the replacement part and as the fridge freezer was out of date it was tough!

c meloy says:
16 June 2012

lking, mine used to make all sorts of noises until it was *fixed*.

yanna says:
26 June 2012

awoke to find my beko fridge freezer defrosting and water all over my floor called out an engineer who said it was a compressor fault and an arm and a leg to fix luckily for me my neighbour had the same problem and gave me the number of the guy who fixed his called him came straigt away and found the fault nothing to do with a compressor but a faulty timer been a few months now as good as gold. if your in london area give them a call agsrefrigeration.co.uk.