/ 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
Malky says:
2 July 2012

June the 4th, last year, My Beko fridge caught fire in the morning, I was just getting up when I heard things falling to the floor, the fridge had burnt through shelves and things were falling. I got my wife out but if I hadn’t woken up when I did, I don’t know what would have happened. The fridge was confirmed to be a faulty fridge. The fire report said it was a Beko fridge, my paperwork says it is a Beko fridge. I received the at fault letter 2 days later from Beko, coincidence. I phoned their helpline that was advertised on the BBC. My fridge had burnt and was taken away without my knowing it. The lady on the helpline said ‘oh you no longer have the fridge, there is nothing more I can do for you.’ I have made a claim, Beko are disputing the whole thing. They are likely to win as they have spent a lot of money on solicitors, I dare say more than my claim is worth.

Laura D says:
3 July 2012

I have a Beko fridge freezer and received a letter some time ago saying that it was one of the affected models and should ring to arrange an appointment etc. did all that, someone came out (about 8 weeks and 3 phone calls later!) and told me that my FF was fine and the part didn’t need to be replaced. Haven’t thought much about it since until this week when the FF has started to gurgle loudly 24/7. It is keeping me awake at night! I am now concerned that it may be faulty after all? Anyone else experienced this sort of noise with their FF?

Kristel Osborne says:
18 August 2012

Serial no.1210809606 Product code CF6004APS
Yesterday 1708/12 at 2pm I had a new Beko fridge freezer delivered, at 8pm as advised I switched the appliace on as I walked away I heard a crackle turned around to see sparks and grey smoke comming from the electical cable where the plug is. Beko have offered a replacement

Tina says:
22 October 2012

Hi my neighbours house burnt down to the ground 4 weeks ago, the fire done a lot of damage to our house as well. it has been a very stressful time for us. the fire investigates have said the fire started with the BEKO fridge, the fridge was only 1 year !! old my neighbour still has the reseat in her bag, I want to make a clam against BEKO but I have no idea where to start can anyone advice me how you made your clam? this company can’t keep getting away with this .THEY ARE PUTTING PEOPLES LIVES AT RISK.

Sounds like a bad one. Amazing Beko are still selling fridges that are faulty after years of these fires and even fatalities. Why do people still buy them, quite shocking also that Which? endorse them with best buys. Staggering, it really is.
Anyway, for our fire we claimed thru house insurance and then the insurance company claimed from Beko. Tried to claim for the non-tangible stuff like missing a family holiday, being displaced for 10 months, missing my best friends wedding when it happened etc but they were having none of it.
Good luck…

uglytippy says:
30 October 2012

Good luck with anyone trying to make a claim,ive just been told that because there own forensics didnt get to look at the electrics in my house even though its took them a year and a half to make an appearence and even though its likely that it was the fridge freezer that burnt my house down all the faulty parts where burnt off so its not 100% it was that, its pointless trying to claim.
Im so angry,they have burnt my house down and walked away scot free.

colin carswell says:
27 December 2012

I was interested in reading the problems with the Beko fridge Freezer. I have had a similar problem with my Bosch KUR15444GB/01 Fridge. My Fridge door was not closed properly and did not switch the light off. The next morning i found my Fridge not working. The light fitting and the plastic interior of the Fridge had melted and showed signs of burning of the insulation and wiring behind the plastic interior. The 3 amp fuse in the plug had blown. On closer inspection i found my kitchen fitter had changed the plug from a 13 amp fused plug to a 3 amp fuse. I feel i was lucky he had changed the plug, otherwise the burning may have been allowed to continue for longer. I have contacted Bosch to report what i believe to be a potential fire hazard and have been suprised and disappointed that Bosch are only interested in inspecting my Fridge if i pay £80.00 for an Engineer to visit. Am i over reacting or do i have a case for concern?

Daisy says:
15 January 2013

My Beko cooker caught fire and the fire brigade had to be called. The house had to be entirely professionally cleaned and redecorated throughout. Kitchen units also had to be replaced and electrics checked.

thomas says:
25 January 2013

i woke up last week to my beko fridge freezer up in flames it was one tha faulty ones beko sent a man out right away to take photos of freezer and the fire damage to kitchen i have 4 kids and my two girls are scared to go in kitchen now so woman from beko phoned to ask how much my claim would be and when i told her it was 7000 just to sort kitchen out she told me i at wrong department as she only had go ahead for 1000 comp lol to do rewire plaster new units paint and new kitchen stuff plus the stress of the fire.

Thank goodness no-one got hurt. If you have HOME INSURANCE you should go through the insurance company. They will claim it back from Beko and handle the reinstatement work.
Beko are Turkish company, if you try to negoitiate directly it will be a bazaar-like struggle…

Which? have a legal service for members like us, they might even run a feature on it if poorly handled, like it sounds like it could be.

Anyway, use your insurance, as thats what its there for. Did you not get a letter from Currys/Beko about the fault a couple of years ago?

On an issue like this we would always recommend that you take legal advice on the specific circumstances.

Responsibility for defective goods that cause damage to property is as follows:

If an appliance is faulty and causes damage to someone’s property there are broadly two options:
1. If the person who has suffered damage to their property, bought the item, they could pursue the retailer that sold the item for breach of contract on the basis that item was not of satisfactory quality. They could also claim for the damage to the item itself.
2. Any person who can show that their property has been damaged by a defective product can pursue the manufacturer under the Consumer Protection Act 1987(CPA) for the damage caused to property (as long as the product has caused more than £275 worth of damage). A claim can’t be brought for damage to the item itself under the CPA.

Neither the retailer nor the manufacturer should be able to cap their liability for damage, they are free though to challenge the sum being claimed, e.g. if they think that a cheaper solution to remedy the damage is possible.

Do you have legal expenses insurance on any insurance policies? If not, as Stu suggests, there is the Which? Legal Service (http://www.whichlegalservice.co.uk/) which could be an option to try if you don’t.

thomas says:
25 January 2013

no did not get letter as moved house few times plus no house insurance as it a rented house they going after beko for refit of kitchen so dont need to worry bout that just all what we lost i have to fight for

natasha says:
27 January 2013

Hi, we are in Australia and six months ago we moved into our newly built house. We decided to buy a new fridge and decided on a Beko side by side fridge freezer with an ice/water dispenser. We had never heard of the brand Beko but were told by the salesperson that it was a good European brand. We had the fridge for a couple of weeks when we went on holiday for a week only to return and find that the fridge was on but not cooling/freezing and all our food was off and our entire house smelled like someone had died in it. Beko offered to fix it but we wanted a new one because of the smell and eventually they agreed. We got the new fridge and set about connecting the water dispenser to the mains. After a week we noticed water pooling under the fridge. Repair man from beko came and said tubes were loose. Unfortunately, our new laminate flooring now has water damage as a result. Then last friday my son wakes me to tell me that the fridge is making a loud noise. I leap out of bed cursing the damn fridge and find the high temp warning light is illuminated. I switch the fridge off and on again hoping its like a computer and may reset/fix itself and the light does go off but the noise remains. I call Beko and they arrange for the repairman to come again after the Australia Day long weekend but say the light is just to let me know that the outside/ambient temp is high (derr we live in Aust!) and not to worry about it as its made for European conditions. He also says not to worry about the noise, but he’ll get the technician to try to dampen it for us. Needless to say, that evening the fridge stops working completely. We have to Tuesday to get anything done about it because of the long weekend and my partner has to arrange to borrow a fridge to tide us over. There is going to be hell to pay on Tuesday. They’ll be fixing my floor and refunding the cost of the fridge or i’ll go to consumer affairs. Two fidges that are only a few weeks old should NOT break down. Its disgusting workmanship!

natasha says:
27 January 2013

Has anyone else in aust had the same issues as i outlined above?

thomas says:
31 January 2013

hi beko not taking liability for fire but we can claim up to 1000 has any1 else had same problems also told me my fridge freezer wasnt a faulty one but the serial number is 0310658603. my fire report says cause off fire is fridge freezer, someone from beko came took pictures off it and now there saying they need forensics if we want to claim more its driving me mad never use beko agin

I suggest you contact Citizens Advice Bureau for advice. The fact that you have been offered some compensation suggests that Beko is admitting that there was a fault with the fridge freezer.

Only just found out mines a faulty one, a relative were looking at fridges and said she’d never buy beko due to them setting on fire.So I checked mine online and its faulty ive had it 2 years and never knew.An engineer is going to call me, soon hopefully.

fillingham says:
1 March 2013

i have an lg fridge freezer approx:3 years old which is working perfectly, but on the left hand side where the two doors meet it gets very hot to the touch, i contacted lg and they said it was normal. has anybody out there got the same problem with an lg or have any info with regards the same.

Paul Chadwick says:
1 March 2013

I bought a Beko fridge freezer a few years ago, which made strange ghostly moaning noise from the start, when I complained, an ‘engineer’ came out, and told me dismissively..” they all do that, it’s the new refridgerant they have to use now” and gave me a receipt marked ‘Customer Education’. Just outside Warranty, the compressor failed, leaving me with a freezer full of defrosted food, which of course I had to throw away. I contacted Beko, in the hope that they might repair it, on the basis that nobody would expect it to fail so soon, (my last one lasted 25 years !) Iwas told by a very surly young man..” If it’s out of warranty, it’s not our problem” I had to pay for it to be fixed, and ‘amazingly’ the ghostly moaning noise was gone ! So much for “they all do that” I’ll never buy a Beko anything ever again !

Malcolm Craik says:
4 March 2013

I purchased a BEKO CF 5015APW Refrigerator-Freezer on 8 October 2011 from a local supplier in Carlisle. On Tuesday 26 February 2013 the refrigerator unit became faulty and froze everything inside when the internal temperature dropped to minus six degrees Centigrade.

I assumed that the thermostat had failed and called out the engineer who visited on 1 March 2013. After testing the appliance he declared that it would not be possible to repair the refrigerator as the evaporator had become detached and it was impossible to access the faulty part. I was shocked that an appliance that has been in use for less than seventeen months could possibly be beyond repair. This product is clearly not of satisfactory quality under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

I understand that a reasonable service life for a top mounted refrigerator component of an appliance such as this is fourteen years. In view of the fact that the BEKO unit I purchased was £399 I would have expected a service life in excess of fourteen years though I accept that the freezer component might well have failed before that of the refrigerator. The BEKO purchased is the third fridge-freezer unit that I have bought from my supplier; the others, a Hotpoint Frost Free and a Zanussi both gave excellent service for periods in excess of ten years.

My supplier has not offered me a replacement though I’ve been offered £100 off a new appliance and the return of the £45 call out fee. I’ve declined this on the grounds that the unit should be repairable which it is not.

I only purchased the BEKO because my supplier didn’t have anything else of the size I was looking for in stock at the time of purchase. I expressed my concern about BEKO products to the salesman as there was considerable bad publicity about build quality, reliability and the fire risk that such failures could cause. He was dismissive of this and said that because of the past investigations BEKO was probably one of the safest makes and that the problems were only with their older models – not the new ones.

I have written to my supplier requesting that the problem be resolved, preferably without my having to use the small claims court, but this leaves me with some worry about having this faulty appliance in my home. The freezer compartment is full and with nowhere else to store frozen food I have been reduced to running the appliance on a timer to prevent the motor and compressor from overheating. With the evaporator detached the fridge seems to demand almost constant running. I’m worried that this might cause overheating and perhaps a fire.

Has anyone else had reliability and/or safety problems with the BEKO CF 5015APW?

Hi Malcolm

In this instance I believe you will need to get an independent engineer’s report to ascertain if there was an inherent fault with the product. Otherwise, I’m afraid it’s something you have to resort to the small claims court.

The law is explained in this article on the Which? Consumer Rights site – http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/sale-of-goods-act/ I hope it’s of use.

Steve says:
4 March 2013

Lots of manufacturers are importing and selling cheap products in the UK.The remaining manufactures in the UK are now purchasing components for the product they assemble in the UK for Turkey and China. They all want to badge their products made in the UK but are using cheap imported parts with no control on safety

My 37 year old Tricity fridge with ice box has finally failed. I am concerned that a replacement may catch fire. Most comments on faulty equipment appear to relate to Beko and Samsung products. Can I buy other brands with confidence?

I don’t know the answer to your question, but having a smoke alarm in the kitchen could save your property or even your life if there was a problem. Kitchen smoke alarms have a mute button that can be pressed if the alarm sounds when cooking, so it needs to be put somewhere accessible or you will need a stick to press the button if it is on the ceiling.

It would be interesting to know which brands of appliances are safest, particularly those like fridges and freezers that must be left on unattended.

Andy says:
11 March 2013

This evening I found out my Beko fridge freezer was making a loud ghostly noise and is extremely warm on the outsides of the freezer and along all the seals. It has also defrosted the majority of the contents. Is this what happens to the freezers that have had the problems in the past?

The model number is CDA 648 FS in silver which is on the list of Beko’s warnings, however the serial number starts 07 which is out of the dates they are suggesting has faults. I purchased the said item in the beginning of 2007 so just missing out on the 06 editions.

Could the same fault be now applying to these freezers as well?

I have tried contacting Beko for the past hour on the helplines and numbers given but no answer even tho it is advertised as contactable to 11pm.

Please could anyone help, or does anyone have the same problems, as I don’t want a fire starting etc.

Thanks Andy

It may be that you have accidentally left the door ajar. This would result in the contents of the freezer warming up and the compressor running continuously, overheating the compressor and condenser. Some freezers have the condenser built into the sides which do get warm even in normal operation. In this design the pipework runs near the seals to prevent build-up of ice.

This doesn’t sound good Andy. I’m afraid all the advice I can give would be to turn the appliance off and continue trying to contact Beko on their freephone number – 0800 917 2018. Please do let us know how you get on.

Andy, if you’re on Twitter try contacting them there (@BekoPlc). That’s looks like the UK Twitter account. You may get some luck this way if they’re not good at answering your call

Andy says:
12 March 2013

The door was fully shut so no idea….

I hope it is not expensive to sort out the problem. Best of luck.