/ Home & Energy

Update: Is your tumble dryer a fire-risk?

Tumble dryer

With more than 100 models of Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers potentially posing a fire-risk and an estimated five million of them in UK homes, do you think brand owner Whirlpool is doing enough to publicise the issue?

[UPDATED 25 FEBRUARY 2016] It’s been three months since news broke about the fire-risk posed by some Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers made between April 2004 and October 2015 – 750 have caught fire leading to three injuries. The manufacturer, Whirlpool, has now added 58,000 Proline and Swan tumble dryers to the list of fire-risk machines.

But, Whirlpool has not yet published a full list of the affected dryers, instead advising consumers to check their models at safety.hotpoint.eu and safety.indesit.eu, or by calling 0800 151 0905.

How did you find out your dryer was a fire risk?

So if your Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan or Proline tumble dryer is part of the safety-alert, how did you find out about this?

Whirlpool published a press release and placed an advert in The Times on 24 November. It also tells us that it’s been in contact with around 400,000 owners since then and retailers are also contacting those customers that they know own fire-risk dryers.

How long will you have to wait for a tumble dryer modification?

We called the helpline (0800 151 0905) in the week before Christmas and were told we’d have to wait eight weeks to have our dryer modified. But we were told we could still use the dryer in that time as long as it wasn’t left unattended and the lint-filter was cleaned after every use.

This is a large scale problem – we know that more than 100 models of Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers are affected and the manufacturer has confirmed that there have been 750 fires. Because of this we think that if you have a fire-risk dryer, you shouldn’t use it until it’s been serviced and modified.

What’s happened to you and your tumble dryer?

Is your tumble dryer part of this safety-alert? You can find out by checking at safety.hotpoint.eu and safety.indesit.eu or by calling 0800 151 0905. And we’ve listed the 113 dryers we know to be affected in our news story.

I’d like to hear your experiences of trying to get your Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda tumble dryer modified. Has this happened yet and if it has, how would you rate the service provided? Or are you on a waiting list and how long have you been told it take to have your tumble dryer modified?

Comments

I had the modification if you can call it that all he did was hoover out the lint and put it back together.
Now my wife is too scared to use it what can I do.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

I found getting the modification done to be all a bit of a farce really, it’s still ongoing. I waited nine months from registering my dryer last December to eventually get the Modification done on Saturday 17/09/16. Now I am left with a tumble dryer that is waiting for repair, as the engineer who visited my home left my dryer with a torn and broken lint filter after doing the modification, not only that but now I dare not use my appliance due to the amount of water that is leaking from it when it runs a cycle.
I am currently sending E.mail after E.mail to the Hotpoint customer care department to try and get this mess sorted out. Meanwhile I have no dryer…

Write to Iain Wright!
As no one – Whirlpool, Trading Standards, for example – seem to be helping customers of Indesit with their real problems of delayed remedies, I suggest writing (or emailing through your own MP) to Iain Wright MP. As Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee who are in contact with Whirlpool complaining about the waiting times for remedies to be carried out. I am sure the volume of case histories would add power to their elbow. With what outcome, who knows. But nothing lost.

I would suggest taking to Twitter, a public forum, to get hold of Margot James MP who seems oblivious to the whole issue even when Andy Slaughter MP confronted her in September after the fire in the tower block. I was really disappointed with her response 🙁

I have been waiting for the modification since November 2015. Was informed it would be 8 weeks then after 12 weeks that was updated to another 3 months since July no times just invitation to purchase a new machine. If it goes up in flames now can I claim on indesit?

We first registered our faulty Hotpoint tumble drier with Whirlpool when I first read about the problem in “Which”. I finally had the modifications carried out today (19 October 2016). This means I have been left with a potentialy dangerous drier for nearly a year and I gather that as I registered early I am one of the lucky ones!
The company has consistently told us that the machine was safe to use so long as it was not left unattended while in use, but this contradicts what the London Fire Brigade has said, and also offers no suggestions as to what to do if it had suddenly burst into flames.
The Whirlpool telephone help and the on-line chat service are next to useless and all this sorry saga has taught me is not to buy Whirlpool products again in future (and as I run a self-catering holiday business I have a lot of white goods).
I can’t help feeling that Whirlpool have been let off very lightly over this and am waiting for the first fatality as a result of a fire from one of their driers, when I am sure the attitude of politicians will change very rapidly (why did nobody tell us?).
The only up side was that the Hotpoint engineer was very helpful and efficient, despite being rushed off his feet!

Has the modification sorted the issue? Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

II bought one of these tumbledryers and on 18 Dec 2015 received a letter from Indesit Headed :- ” Important product Safety Notice” informing me that they would be in touch !!!. Time passed and they never got in touch.
Iater received an e-mail dated 15 Jan 2016 informing me that they would be in touch !!!,to date they heve not been in touch.
Several phone calls were made by me to them,they informed me they would be in touch!!!,they did not get in touch.
During one phone call I was informed that the Tumbledryer had been repaired,?!!,it had not and I told them so.
I was later phoned by them and informed that I was correct and that the Tumbledryer had not been repaired,but that an engineer would be in touch to arrange a time/date to call and repair same,of course I am still waiting.
This company obviously does not value my families safety.

Hazel Bulman says:
25 October 2016

Bought an Indesit tumble dryer February 2015. Recieved notification it needed modifying and I had to Register it on line. I eventually did this in April. I was informed I would hear from them within a few weeks. Last month I received a letter asking me to register the tumble dryer!! I eventually got to talk to someone on the phone, after a very long wait!! She just repeated the letter content to me then told me I was registered, and I would receive a visit in March!!!! She informed me I could still use it as long as I was in the house!!!

Has the modification sorted the issue, our experience is that it does not… Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

Lea Richardson says:
25 October 2016

I had my at risk Indesit drier replaced in mid-July with a Hotpoint sensor vented drier. Used it twice (for all of 3 hours in total) and the heating unit broke. They are coming to fix it on Monday. When I asked the agent if there had been similar reports on replacement items he said yes. But the service I have received so far has been really good (but then I do use Southern Rail😉).

I am a landlord offering high quality accommodation to professional tenants
I had 4 Indesit tumble driers in my properties , all on the list of defective units.
I notified Whirlpool in December 2015. I tried to get in touch with them in January – impossible.
As a responsible landlord I could not accept the fire risk to my tenants regardless of the published irresponsible and ridiculous guidance from Whirlpool (stand near the machine while in use!) so in January 2016 I decided to replace all 4 machines with Bosch driers (recommended by Which) .
One year later I still have no date from Whirlpool – meanwhile I have scrapped the 4 old Indesit driers and never want to see them again.
I judge suppliers both on product quality AND how suppliers react to fix problems.
On this basis, I will never ever buy any Whirlpool product again, ever!
Unfortunately whilst I am significantly out of pocket, and more seriously, some owners suffered significant fire damage , I can only guess that as usual, the Chief Executive and Board Members of Whirlpool will all still get their fat bonuses!

You could try reclaiming the cost of the replacement machines from Whirlpool, Chris. The local press might be interested in what happens. 🙂

In your position I would have done the same but notified Whirlpool of my intentions to make a claim if they did not act within my deadline. At least you have put your tenants safety first and have been able to afford to take matters into your hands.

If I had my way, Whirlpool would no longer be allowed to sell tumble dryers until they had dealt with the problem.

My 83 year old, housebound mother-in law has one of the affected machines. I applied on her behalf online for a modification , and an engineer came about four months later and did the necessary work.

Has it solved the situation? Did you check with her Household Insurance that your mother-in-law is still covered? Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

It is now 11 months since I registered my Whirlpool tumble dryer in order to have the necessary modification undertaken to make the dryer safe. Each time I check on line to see the expected date when this will be done, I get a message saying that the appointment is ‘overdue’. I already know this! I would like to know when it will be undertaken, not that it is overdue. I will never buy any type of appliance from Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda or Whirlpool again. I suggest that those affected also take the same stance and hurt these companies’ profits. Clearly profit (not safety) is their number one priority.

I purchased what turned out to be a faulty Hotpoint drier in October 2015 and registered it with the company as such in March 2016. Then they told me that the machine would be dealt with no later than August. In October I tried a number of times to reach them by phone and eventually got a response a few days ago. They said that they had absolutely no idea when the machine might be fixed but i could part-exchange the machine for a new one at a cost of £99. This response seems outrageous. Surely they should be legally obliged to provide a free replacement machine or a full refund if they are unable to immediately repair the item. What has happened to consumer rights ?

Garth, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that goods supplied with an existing fault should be repaired, refunded or replaced at the purchasers choice. Clearly yours has such an admitted fault and they have no right to expect you to pay for a replacement, or even to contribute. I’d suggest you write to their CEO and point this out and decide which remedy you want. no remedy should take an unreasonable time nor cause you unreasonable inconvenience.

The Govt BIS guidance says of the retailer “You must provide the repair or replacement within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience to the consumer. This means that if the repair/replacement work takes too long, or causes significant inconvenience to the consumer, the consumer would have the right to reject the goods for a refund or demand some money back (see “7. The Final Right to Reject or Reduction in Price (2nd tier remedies)” for further detail on these remedies).” As Whirlpool seem to have taken over the retailers’ responsibilities this would also apply to them. However you could stiil exercise your legal right to request redress from your retailer – your contract is with them.

It is quite astonishing that such sloppy (and probably illegal) dealings by Whirlpool have been allowed to go unchallenged. I would have hoped Which? would be at the forefront of insisting consumers rights are properly observed but see no sign of that being done to any effect.

Suzanne Buchanan says:
1 November 2016

Ours has now been repaired. It did not take long and we are satisfied with the results. A local engineer is going through the list.

However, it took exactly one year from reporting it to being repaired. No doubt the engineers are very busy!

I registered my Hotpoint TVM 560 vented tumble drier in May and have been contacted on a monthly basis by Whirlpool. They say they will do a free of charge modification at home in March 2017. That date has never changed. They have offered replacements delivered to my home and old one taken away for a charge of £60. I looked up the models that they were offering in your reviews and they are inferior to my model so I have not taken them up. In September they said my option to click and collect at Currys would be running out. I follow the safety advice never to leave it running when I am out or asleep. I have always cleaned the filter after every use. Its a good machine and dries well. I do worry however about fire risk.

Please do not accept the modification. Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

Trudy Hindmarsh says:
7 November 2016

Has anyone had any problems with their drier once the modification has been carried out? I asked if we would get a written guarantee of the safety one the modification was completed. This is what I got in reply.
`Unfortunately no manufacturer can give a guarantee that their appliances will be 100% safe, however we do have faith in the modification and if you have any issues, please let us know and we will send an engineer out to look at the dryer free of charge.`

We have plenty of members in this situation 🙁 Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

I discovered that our ‘new’ tumble drier, a Hotpoint condenser model was one of the affected ones. I notified Whirlpool in November 2015 and received a reply that it would be rectified within 6 weeks. In October 2016, after several apology emails from Whirlpool, I gave in and bought a replacement from them for £49 – I had to take the old one back to a store in Cardiff, a round trip of around 50 miles. I had to wait several weeks for the shop to have new stock, as obviously many others were in a similar position, and stock sold out within a day or two each week. The replacement one does not have the glass door, so is less convenient to check if it is empty, but in fairness, it seems to be a higher specification with sensor controlled drying which can be set at different levels for Iron Dry, Cupboard Dry or Extra Dry. It also has sensors and warning lights for the water container, fluff filter and condenser to warn when each needs cleaning of emptying. The water container is simpler and at last, can be totally emptied.
Not a brilliant result from Whirlpool, but given the millions to be replaced, realistically they have been up against it. Some financial compensation would have been an idea, as it cost in time and fuel to get the replacement. I often wonder if a Sale of Goods Act claim might have got a replacement sooner.

For £49 and fifty miles-worth of road fuel you now have a brand new machine to a higher specification and probably a lot more fireproof. You also have peace of mind, you no longer have to waste time sitting with the dryer when it is working, and the problem is behind you. I would settle for that.

Technically I believe you were entitled to the new machine being delivered to you (and the old one removed).

You certainly should NOT have had to fork out more money!

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

Christine Smith says:
5 December 2016

I have had two notifications that my Indesit tumble dryer is one of the problem ones. Twice I have replied with model and serial numbers and I have still heard nothing apart from a thank you for registering via their website. This was bought as a present for my daughter via Tesco’s and as it is now 2 years since purchase they can’t do anything. I have registered again today and would like to know how I can go about getting a replacement or fixed, I have not had a response from Indesit or Whirlpool and no date has been given on the website apart from ‘they are treating it as urgent’ This product fails in every way as it is not fit for purpose, yet we are all left hanging.

Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

Just had the engineer here to fit the modification but as mine is now obsolete he couldn’t do it. Told me to buy a discounted one from Whirlpool. Why should I have to pay for it & why would I have another one from them anyway?

Are you still fighting Whirlpool/Hotpoint?

[Sorry Sarah, we’ve removed your link as we don’t allow promotional material on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods]

If yours was already several years old a cheap new one might be a good deal. You may already have had a good deal of use out of your existing one.

How old is it? An alternative is to ask for a cash contribution towards a dryer of your choice. If it is less than 6 years old you are covered by the Sale of Goods Act. If the dryer had a fault from new (yes, Whirlpool have admitted it may be unsafe) and if it cannot be repaired you, the customer, then have the choice of a replacement, keeping the goods at a reduced price, or receiving a refund – reduced according to the use you have had from the machine. That is the way the BIS explanation of the CRA works, and the guidance to SoGA (applicable to you) works as far as I can see. If this is so I do not see why Which? have not made this clear to those who are suffering. In addition, both acts require a remedy to be made without unreasonable delay or inconvenience.

Absolutely NOT malcolm r… Julie should not have to fork out extra money for an appliance that already has an inherent fault! Bring Lynn Faulds Woods report into action!

SJL-B, the CRA – consumer law, was SoGA – makes clear legal rights up to 6 years from purchase (5 in Scotland). For a product faulty from new you can require the retailer to supply a replacement, keep your existing one at reduced cost, or have a refund. However the law provides that the refund will take account of the use you have had from the appliance. You can look at the relevant acts and explanations on line. I maintain that Whirlpool, having handled this so slowly, should also be required to pay compensation for inconvenience.

After 6 years (5 in Scotland) you have only the goodwill of the supplier or manufacturer to rely on, and pressure from consumer groups.

That is my understanding of the legal situation, unless Which? can tell us otherwise.

Goodwill is not something that is often mentioned in our discussions but many have benefited from it when they have had problems with their car.

Even if I have a printout of information to support my statutory rights I generally start off by looking for goodwill when approaching a retailer. In financial terms, my two biggest successes have been achieved by through goodwill.

I have enjoyed goodwill from several companies including John Lewis, Barclays Bank, Barclaycard, M&S, my garage (who spent an hour checking and road testing my car showing a fault and could not determine the exact cause unless more expensive work was done – would not accept any payment). And……… Whirlpool on a fridge/freezer that failed out of guarantee. They all left me feeling that the criticism sometimes directed at such people in these Convos is not the whole story. Maybe it starts with the approach?

Daughters old dryer replaced on 7th Feb 17 as it was an ‘at risk’ one.
The new one has gone on fire this morning.
Not impressed

Mrs B, sounds disturbing. What exactly happened and what went “on fire”?

I have just phoned the Freephone number re my tumble dryer IS31V which is not on the list. I opened my tumble dryer at the corner and hoover it out. I had to empty my hoover 6 times to get all the fluff out and when hoovering the element that provides the heat it was full of fluff which looked as if it was smouldering. I am now not using my dryer but how do I go about getting it on the list. The call centre says its not on the list and that they have a list of all the appliances that are faulty. When I explained about my dryer and that I had photographs that said it was faulty then the lady asked me if I thought they were lying and that fluff would go this colour though time. I purchased my dryer in 2008/2009 and I don’t use in the summer at all, only the winter. Where do I go from here? Any suggestions anyone?.