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Why are we still waiting for Whirlpool to sort this mess out?

burnt tumble dryer

It’s nearly a year on since the news broke that some Whirlpool dryers are at risk of catching fire. So how much longer will you have to wait for Whirlpool to replace a fire risk tumble dryer in your home?

In November last year, Whirlpool announced many of the 5.3 million Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers sold were at risk of catching fire. You’d think Whirlpool would act faster to make sure unsafe products we fixed or replaced.

Our research revealed multiple failings by Whirlpool in dealing with their customers, leaving people feeling they’ve been failed – more than half of the affected customers we surveyed felt dissatisfied with the way Whirlpool handled this situation.

Fire risk dryers

So far, we’ve heard from hundreds of you on Which? Conversation who told us about how little is being done to fix your unsafe machine. Some of you have found an agreeable resolution with Whirlpool. But the fact remains that far too many are living with unsafe tumble dryers.

People like John Wood. John returned home from work to find his house on fire. The fire, caused by a faulty Hotpoint dryer, destroyed his kitchen and sadly his dog later died of smoke inhalation.

John’s insurance company refused to pay out because the tumble dryer was left on unattended and therefore against manufacturer instructions. Understandably, John feels very strongly that not enough is being done to highlight tumble dryer faults.

Further to this, another fire sparked in an 18 storey tower block in west London was caused by a faulty tumble dryer, an investigation published last week by London Fire Brigade found.

In light of the London Fire Brigade’s recent investigation, if you have an affected tumble dryer, our advice is to stop using it until it has been repaired or replaced. If you’re not sure this includes your dryer, all the affected models we know about are here: www.which.co.uk/productrecall

Time for action

We’ve been pushing for action from Whirlpool. Back in May, we asked Whirlpool to train its call centre staff to offer better advice to affected customers and speed up the process for registration. We’re still waiting for Whirlpool to publish a full list of model numbers of the 127 affected products on the front page of their website.

Whirlpool needs to be held to account for how it’s treating its customers. We want the government to urgently review the Whirlpool case and set out how it’s going to improve the product safety system for all consumers.

Tell us, are you still waiting for Whirlpool to sort your tumble dryer out? Do you think it’s time Whirlpool issued you a refund?

Pete Moorey, Head of Campaigns at Which?, appeared on BBC One’s Rip Off Britain this morning to talk about Whirlpool, the programme will be available to view on the BBC iPlayer later today.

M Handley says:
21 November 2016

I recently realised that I had one of the faulty dryers and contacted Hotpoint. They gave me a date next March for it to be modified or I could have a new one for a marginal amount. I opted for a new one and that was when the problems began because within less than three weeks it had stopped blowing hot – no heat, no drying.
I had to wait for the engineer’s report and then was offered another machine. This arrived eleven days after I had notified them so eleven days without a tumble dryer.
The second tumble dryer stopped working mid cycle two days after it was delivered.
I would (almost) wish the original tumble dryer back. Thirteen days in thirty three days without a tumble dryer is a very, very long time in this weather.
I am not at all sure what consumer rights are applicable.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Creada machines also have a manufacturing fault where some stay brackets have had holes drilled in the wrong position, so after time the drum rubs against the casing. The repair guy just drilled 2 more holes to increase the clearance between drum and casing.