In a damning indictment of the product safety system’s failure to stand up for consumers, it’s taken the threat of legal action for Peterborough Trading Standards to take enforcement action against Whirlpool.
Some of you will recall that in December 2016, we filed a claim for a judicial review into Peterborough Trading Standards’s handling of the Whirlpool fire-risk dryer saga.
Following the filing of this legal review, Peterborough Trading Standards has since issued two enforcement notices on Whirlpool.
The enforcement notices require Whirlpool to change its advice and warn owners of affected dryers to unplug and stop using the machines until they are repaired.
This has been our advice since November 2015 when the safety issue hit the news. But it has taken until now, and our legal threat, for Trading Standards to see that the risk was all too evident from the hundreds of fires caused by fire-risk Whirlpool brand dryers.
As a result of this enforcement action we will cease with the legal process at this time.
However, Whirlpool still needs to take action to address many of the other points identified by us, namely: addressing the speed at which repairs and replacements are being carried out; acting in the best interests of affected customers; properly training its call centre staff to give accurate information; and publishing a full list of the affected model numbers.
Whirlpool has now aknowledged that the affected dryers shouldn’t be used, so consumers are left without usable dryers, inconvenienced and out of pocket. We therefore want the company to do the right thing and issue a full recall of these dryers.
We also urge those with affected dryers (certain lines of Hotpoint, Indesit, Swan, Creda and Proline dryers) to go straight to Whirlpool and demand your machine is fixed. We also believe you should try and approach the retailer you bought your machine from to request a refund.
Product safety system
I believe this long-running issue highlights the fundamental weaknesses of the current product safety system – it shouldn’t take the threat of a judicial review to get Peterborough to act on its duties as a regulator, stand up for consumers and put their safety first.
This is a failing of the system that I’ll again be highlighting with ministers. We will not stand idly by as issues such as the Whirlpool fiasco go unresolved.
It’s clear that the government must reform the product safety system.
That’s why we’re calling on our supporters to back Andy Slaughter MP’s petition to help force a debate in Parliament on this safety issue and the product safety system.
I urge you to sign this to help guarantee a Parliamentary debate.
On 28 February 2017 the government posted its response to this petition (thank you to @Wavechange for the sharing the link). The response has been expected since the petition passed the minimum threshold of 10,000 signatures. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures it will be considered for a debate in Parliament.