/ Home & Energy

Further doubt cast on already-flawed OPSS Whirlpool review

Earlier this month, we slammed the Government’s toothless Whirlpool dryer fires report. Now, alarming evidence has emerged that’s cast even further doubt.

Update 01/05/2019

Consumer minister Kelly Tolhurst has said she will ‘take further action where necessary’ following the allegations that a Whirlpool customer was paid to keep quiet, as we’ve reported below.

David Chaplin, Head of Which? Campaigns said:

“No-one should be prevented from speaking out about such a vital matter of public safety – the Government must urgently investigate these disturbing allegations that suggest Whirlpool is putting its corporate reputation ahead of the welfare of its customers.

The credibility of the fundamentally flawed OPSS review into Whirlpool’s fire-risk tumble dryers is now in tatters. The Secretary of State Greg Clark must step in and ensure that all potentially dangerous machines are immediately removed from people’s homes”

Original Convo 25/04/2019

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has now published its review of Whirlpool’s tumble dryer modification programme, more than 10 months after it was launched.

At the time, we made it clear that we don’t think the review is good enough.

The OPSS was instructed by the Government to answer two questions about the company’s modification programme following concerns raised by Which? and BBC Watchdog in 2018 that modified Whirlpool machines were still catching fire:

  1. 1. Does Whirlpool’s modification effectively reduce the risk of fires caused by its tumble dryers?

2. Has Whirlpool’s response to consumers been adequate?

Despite the OPSS failing to speak with any affected Whirlpool customers about serious safety incidents involving fire, smoke and burning (possibly as a result of the failure of the modification) or to take into account the nearly 7,000 emails from Which? campaign supporters, the review found that ‘the risk to consumers who have had their Whirlpool tumble dryers modified is low’.

Alarming new evidence

Now, alarming evidence has emerged suggesting that Whirlpool may have been actively trying to prevent customers who have experienced issues with their modified machines from speaking publicly about these incidents.

If true, this raises serious questions about the accuracy of the evidence provided by Whirlpool to the OPSS and casts significant doubt on the review’s conclusions, potentially leaving people exposed to unacceptable risk.

These latest allegations follow a series of issues with Whirlpool’s indifferent response to such a serious national safety incident first announced in 2015.

Past problems have included customers facing unacceptably long wait-times to have their machines repaired or replaced and a 2017 Which? investigation that found Whirlpool was giving inadequate, inconsistent and potentially dangerous advice to its customers regarding use of these faulty, unmodified machines in their homes.

Whirlpool continues to claim that there have been “no reported incidents where the modification has proven to be ineffective” despite Which? publishing an incident report from a Whirlpool engineer suggesting otherwise.

If it is the case that incidents subject to non-disclosure agreements were missing from the evidence Whirlpool provided to the OPSS, then the OPSS may have been misled in its review. This must be met with strong action.

Put people’s safety first

We believe it really is time for the Secretary of State to step in and place people’s safety above business interests, and remove all potentially dangerous machines from people’s homes immediately.

Have you experienced problems with your modified dryer catching fire, producing smoke or burning smells? If so, I’d be hugely grateful if you would be willing to share your story in the comments below.

If your appliance has been modified and you see any signs of smoke, burning or fire when using it, you should report it to the manufacturer immediately.

Despite these concerns, we’d still recommend that you check if you own an unmodified machine. And if your dryer is unmodified, stop using it and contact the manufacturer. You can check to see if your tumble dryer is one of those affected by using our tool.

Comments
Lindsay Ewing says:
27 April 2019

The time has come for our government to ban the sale of all Whirlpool products in this country; or if that is not possiblt due to our membership of the EU, to lobby for their products to be banned across all EU countries.

Whirlpool really is a rotten company and its products should be banned in the UK.

The dryers were made by Indesit, not Whirlpool. The “remedial programme” was approved by Peterborough Trading Standards. There was (and still is) no means of achieving a full product recall because there is no compulsory registration of such products. The government did not tackle this problem from the outset.

So a number of organisations involved. One thing we need to take from this is to develop a more effective system for identifying, reporting, locating and then dealing with products found to be unsafe.

Indesit was taken over by Whirlpool in 2015 and carried on selling the problem dryers for a period until modifying the design. Whirlpool issued a safety notice and has never issued a recall, despite that term being used by Electrical Safety First and others. The safety notice stated that it was acceptable to carry on using affected dryers under supervision until they had been modified – a process that took many months for some owners. The efforts of Which? forced Whirlpool to revise this advice.

When a company takes over another they are responsible for ensuring that products are compliant with standards and safe.

Whirlpool could have dealt with modification of affected dryers within a much shorter period by taking on additional staff, making use of independent service engineers and replacing more of the dryers.

In my view, Whirlpool have demonstrated that they are unfit to be in business in the UK.

And some might say that Peterborough Trading Standards are unfit for purpose and looked the wrong way when the problems came to light.

In my view it would have been possible through a well-planned operation and good logistics to have repaired or replaced all the affected dryers in around six months. It would have cost a lot of money but if Whirlpool had carried out proper due diligence before acquiring Indesit they might have seen that coming. There is the slight consolation that Whirlpool have handled the situation better than Indesit might have done if they had not been taken over. How Whirlpool got Peterborough TS to approve their “remedial programme” remains a mystery.

I very much agree with your point about due diligence, John. If I recall correctly, Whirlpool bought a majority shareholding in Indesit and then went on to take over the entire company.

It is well established that many local Trading Standards offices work in partnership with businesses as Primary Authorities: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/primary-authority-a-guide-for-national-regulators#what-is-primary-authority We know that Peterborough TS acts as primary authority for Whirlpool.

I do not understand where National Trading Standards fits in. What is their role and why are they a private company. To quote an email I received when trying to find the Primary Authority for Currys: “National Trading Standards is a private company set up to fund national and regional issues and as such does not have any appropriately qualified staff to advise or assist you.”

I share your concerns about Peterborough TS and wonder if they are paying more attention to the wishes of the company than the protection of customers.

Peterborough TS have been removed from any further involvement with this, I believe. They certainly had a significant role in the ineffective remedy. I also suspect, much as we would like to slate Whirlpool, that the resources of people to carry out the remedial work at people’s homes was simply not available to do a quick job – millions of dryers potentially. Assuming you could remedy 4 a day then it could take 1000 technicians a year to remedy 1 million. Just as a for instance.

Which?’s only contribution in practice seemed to be to get Whirlpool to tell owners to unplug their appliance. I think they should have been far more aggressive.

We keep talking about a “recall” as if that can be done. How? When there are only about 20% of consumers who bother to register their appliances it seems to me impossible to demand a “full recall”. This problem needs addressing.

We have said elsewhere that we need local trading standards dealing with local issues and accessible to the public. We need an equivalent national trading standards to deal with national issues – like domestic appliances – that collates information and, crucially, looks at it intelligently and acts on it. We should all have easy access to faulty goods reports to help us make our buying decisions.

I wonder if Which? have any strategy to move this forward?

With a push from the government, and mobilising the trade and the supply chain, I think it would have been possible to undertake a nearly-full recall. It would have needed a military-style campaign, as was successfully done with the 2001 Foot & Mouth disease outbreak in cattle. Full page adverts in the papers, slots in commercial breaks on TV, information sent out by retailers to all customers who had bought one of the machines, washing powder manufacturers featuring it on their packaging, supermarkets putting up displays in the stores and handing out leaflets at the checkouts, and with local councils supporting it through their websites and magazines, we could have got the word out with some impact. It would have been possible to assemble on a central database a fairly complete list of addresses and house calls could have been made in cases where there had been no response. Where there’s a will there’s a way. It just takes initiative and application, which this country used to be good at.

I agree that for the future there must be a compulsory registration process for new appliance sales and a simple way for people who have disposed of their appliances, or sold or bought one second-hand, to update the central register. In order to reassure the public and promote compliance, there should be no commercial use of such a register or the acquisition of any unnecessary personal information..

John wrote: “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” Absolutely, and I agree with your suggestions for using a variety of ways of informing the public. A good start would be to cover all (mains powered) electrical equipment. White goods may be the focus of attention but small electrical products such as dodgy phone chargers need to be included as well.

“Problem” electrical products and widely used domestic appliances would be a start. I think with foot and mouth identifying owners was pretty straightforward. Certainly more could have been done to inform the public – at Whirlpool’s expense. However it would rely on the informed owners responding; many appear not to have bothered. A compulsory registration scheme would mean that in a significant safety issue the owners could be directly approached.

I wonder how many car owners don’t respond to recalls or put their car into an appropriate garage for servicing when the remedy can be carried out? Should there be some onus on owners to respond when it is other people who may be at collateral risk? Voiding their insurance may also result.

If you were selling your car, a prospective purchaser (or anyone else who knows the registration) can look up the MOT history of a car and check for outstanding recalls: https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history Owners could be fined for failing to act in a timely fashion. A similar scheme could operate if and when a central database of registered products exists.

It could also be mandatory for retailers to register all new sales of included product categories. It could be problematic for small and portable items taken out by the customer but could work for on-line sales and store sales where delivery was provided, and even for supermarket sales where the item was ordered as part of a grocery delivery.

I wonder what the percentage of voluntary registration already is – this might not be the mountain we think it is.

I don’t see why small and portable items should be a problem – basic customer contact details just taken at the till, or sale refused at a self-service checkout until the details were entered.

Figures I’ve seen suggest little more than 20% register appliances. Quite a mountain.

Did Ian miss this “day”:
“Firefighters are urging people to register cookers, fridge-freezers, washing machines and other household appliances – even if they are not brand new – and to take care when using them.

They are supporting today’s annual Register My Appliance Day, organised by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, the UK trade association for manufacturers of large and small domestic appliances.

Joanne Cook, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Good ownership data is key to getting safety information to the people who need it.

“If a problem arises, it is crucial that homes with the affected models can be contacted quickly.

“Appliances are often kept for many years, and very few people realise that they can register older models.

“These are the products that are most difficult to trace if a safety repair is ever needed. Only their current owners can let manufacturers know that they have them.”

The association says only a third of people register an older appliance that they may have been given, bought second-hand or found in their homes when they moved in.

Association members’ products include most of the UK’s top selling brands of major white goods, other large and small kitchen appliances, heating, water heating, floor care, waste disposal and ventilation equipment “

It is a very good idea, but can people know about it? I certainly haven’t heard anything.

We definitely need better ways of getting useful public information.

Perhaps Which? should promote it?

Good idea malcolm.

John Fairhead says:
28 April 2019

It so happens that I live in the town (Yate, Bristol) where all this Whirlpool/Indesit/ Hotpoint crap is manufactured. A few months ago I needed a new washing machine, my previous one (a Candy Domino which had lasted 29 years!) finally had to be replaced. It would have been very civic and convenient for me to buy a new machine locally, but knowing the reputation of Whirlpool, I bought one of WHICH’s best buys…a Samsung! I find it awfully sad that I feel compelled to have to do this; the only half-decent products that come out of that Yate factory are the top-of-the range Hotpoint ones, but even they still don’t have the style and reliability of the Samsungs. In the late eighties, the Candy of fond memory was a ‘Which’ Best Buy! You are right: Whirlpool should retreat back across the pond!

DerekP says:
27 April 2019

I’ve just had a quick read of the OPSS documents that are linked to from the above article.

Those documents claim that the modified dryers pose LOW risks according to our EU standard RAPEX guidelines.

From a very quick read of those guidelines, the lowest available risk score there is LOW and, over the lifetime of any product this means that, from accidents caused by the use of the product:

The risk of a user dying must be less than one in a million;

The risk of a user becoming injured to the point where a stay in hospital is needed must be less than one in one hundred thousand;

The risk of a user needing to attend A&E for first aid must be less than one in ten thousand;

The risk of a user sustaining minor injuries, perhaps needing local first aid, must be less than one in a thousand.

At first sight, I have a couple of reservations:

a) those guidelines are only concerned with reducing risks and protecting people, they don’t seem to score the harm of property damage;

b) the guidelines don’t seem to acknowledge the UK health and safety principle that risks should be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

Given the evidence of fires with modified dryers that Which? the DFM have found, I am not convinced that the risk from these modified dryers is now as low as the risk from alternative makes and models of dryers. If the modifications are not achieving this, then my opinion would be that Whirlpool’s response to the Indesit dryers crisis has, so far, fallen short of its obligations under UK health and safety law.

As Malcolm R stated.
This is an easy way out for the manufacturers as the The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) have absolutely no teeth whatsoever in fact it is a body that ministers can say that they have set up to admonish badly made products and walk away saying that it not there problem any more.

There should be major fines (Minimum £500,000) and the DIRECTORS are made accountable and if warned twice then custodial sentences applied. ( I live in a harsh world where harsh laws should be implemented, ((I also used to believe in democracy )

DerekP says:
27 April 2019

Philip, if Whirlpool have broken existing UK health and safety laws, then they could indeed be prosecuted and fined.

I agree. Their witnesses for the defence would no doubt be Peterborough Council and OPSS. Awkward.

Risk assessment is a key part of any safety standard. Thanks, DerekP, for the information from RAPEX.

I don’t think anyone involved in the Indesit dryer debacle has come out smelling of roses. I’d like to see an investigation into the part played by Indesit and the “authorities” and how the faulty dryers appear to have been “overlooked” until Whirlpool had the misfortune to inherit them.

sallah says:
27 April 2019

That is very sad and this kind of bad behaviour must never be accepted, peoples lives are more important than the money.

Some time ago, it was suggested that all dryers should have an empty fluff sensor and a machine would not work until the fluff collector was emptied.

This should be a very sensible mandatory safety feature that would save some machines catching fire due to negligence.

My drier has a “lint filter blocked” light. It just impedes air flow but I don’t know if it will stop the machine until it is cleared as I do keep mine clean. If a sensor can bring a warning light on then that could also stop the machine working.

Around 670 tumble drier fires are reported a year – 0.005% of those in service. I wonder how many of those have been under the Indesit manufactured brands? That would give a good clue as to the safety of tumble dryers in general, from whatever cause – malfunction, lack of cleaning, incorrect operation, damage, abuse…. or whatever else can lead to a fire..

I’ve just had a look at my manual and it can say Please clean lint filter or Please empty condensate container on the display panel.

I have never seen the lint message but it did stop once when the condensation container was full, so maybe it would stop. I’m not going to put it to the test.

Alfa – In an earlier discussion I suggested that driers should have some sort of interlock to prevent dryers from being started until the filter has been removed and replaced. Interlocks are very common and one example is the lock that prevents washing machine doors being opened when the machine is in use.

Cleaning the fluff filter will improve the airflow and drying performance. However, any potential fire is caused by fluff getting through to the heater on dryers with a vulnerable back seal or bearing. I don’t see how cleaning the filter would affect that. But……..

When looking at addressing a problem we need to identify the cause(s) and deal with that or those, not just adopt a scattergun approach. I hope the specific causes of fires in domestic appliances have been collected in sufficient numbers to identify where improvements that are worthwhile can be made. I expect the international working group are the best people to ask about this. Which? ??

There are various ways that fluff can come in contact with heaters, depending on the design of the dryer. With condenser dryers, air is heated, and passes through the drum, where it picks up moisture and fluff. It then passes through a condenser and filter before it returns to the heater. If there is a problem with the filter (e.g. distorted or mislocated) this creates a much greater fire risk.

The reason that users are urged to clean filters is that it’s well established that the fire risk is increased if this is not done.

I’d like to see evidence of how fluff can get onto the heater in a standard design of dryer, without the sort of defect apparent in the Indesit design.

I believe what this sort of Convo / topic really needs is informed contributions from those directly involved. We can all speculate, discuss theories, make allegations that factual input would either confirm or dispel. Which? seem unable or unwilling to seek out such contributors. I believe that devalues the worth of Convos.

I cannot offer you any peer reviewed articles, Malcolm, but this might provide an insight: https://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/help/fix-it-yourself/tumble-dryer-self-help/3272-tumble-dryer-fire-risks

I mentioned the risk of recirculating air carrying lint onto the heater in a condenser tumble dryer. Here is a warning from an instruction manual:

“The dryer must not be used without the fluff filters in place or if the fluff filters are damaged in any way. Damaged filters can cause operational faults and blockages in the airways, condenser unit and heating elements. Fire hazard.
In the event of a damaged filter, switch the dryer off and replace the filter with a new one.”

My condenser dryer has instructions that say always let the drying cycle finish to the end to ensure the heat exchanger is automatically cleaned.

Other reasons for not stopping a dryer mid-cycle are the risk of fire and (with some models) the risk of burning out a thermal fuse, which is a safety device. A thermal fuse is inexpensive but paying someone to dismantle the dryer is not. When a dryer is stopped in the correct way the heater is turned off and air continues to pass over the load until it is cool, before the cycle ends.

To understand any safety issues with anything requires investigation and fact.

With tumble dryers, for example, I would find a statistically useful number of dryers of different makes that have been regularly used for perhaps 3 years. This could be found from registered owners, a publicised survey, for example and the owners approached for their cooperation. Then have experienced technicians examine the dryers to find if fluff, for example, posed a safety issue on the heater.

It will cost money, provided perhaps from manufacturers, the government (they find millions and this would cost maybe £1-200k for the examinations). Have someone organise this – maybe a university but please not a consultant.

It may already have been done elsewhere. However it must be remembered that out of the 13 million or so dryers in service, despite no doubt neglect and abuse, the vast majority work without a problem – 99.98%. The facts will help use with the balance.

DerekP says:
29 April 2019

malcolm r posted above that:

“Around 670 tumble drier fires are reported a year – 0.005% of those in service. I wonder how many of those have been under the Indesit manufactured brands? That would give a good clue as to the safety of tumble dryers in general, from whatever cause – malfunction, lack of cleaning, incorrect operation, damage, abuse…. or whatever else can lead to a fire..”

Working backwards from those numbers, suggests that there are about 13 million dryers in use in the UK. In reviewing the problem with Indesit dryers, OPSS seem to have endorsed the use of the RAPEX risk targets, which effectively state that, over the working life of each dryer, more that one death per million dryers in unacceptable.

If, for the sake or argument, I take the average life of a dryer as about 6 years, this suggests that, if the RAPEX standard is acceptable, then the benefits from everyone being able to own and use dryers can be considered to outweigh the fire risks inherent to dryers, so long as no more that about two fatal fires per year are caused by dryers.

To put that in context, roughly 1800 deaths per year are caused by road transport accidents in the UK.

Notwitstanding those numbers, I have a lot of sympathy for making the risks of fire related fatalities as low as we can.

Just as compulsory seat belts have reduced the severity of injuries in road accidents, would not kitchen sprinkler/spray systems reduce the severity of fire outcomes – fires caused by any kitchen appliance or activity?

peter mchugh says:
27 April 2019

surely a gagging order means that solicitors involved should face two years imprisonment and unlimited finds under health and safety as they laws have a duty of care under section 7 1977 safety at work act by assisting someone to break the law and conspiring to pervert the course of justice I believe that a petition to parliament should be made to ensure that the use of gagging orders that meant that peoples lives are endangered constitute an attempt at murder

John Pratt says:
28 April 2019

It is the primary duty of any government to safeguard the population which it governs, whether this be from invasion, riots,thieves or faulty appliance manufacturers. Our government should call this company to account in a way which punishes them and protects their customers

Mike Hughes says:
28 April 2019

Had a Hotpoint dryer for years, and was surprised to be informed a couple of years ago that it was one of those affected. Never had any trouble whatsoever with the dryer, but I did take the trouble to vacuum any fluff from around the drum from time to time. I suspect many people can’t be bothered to take such care with their appliances, and are then mortified when they set on fire.
When the Hotpoint (Whirlpool?) engineer turned up to do the modification, he rebuilt virtually the whole tumble dryer, including a brand new drum, so I was left with, virtually, a new machine. No complaints about the service at all..

Caroline Hutchings says:
28 April 2019

This is a very interesting article about whirlpool dryers. In Surbiton the residents are facing more public launderettes closing with no or little warning . Replaced with Pizzas style outlets or newsagents selling cigarettes displayed in the window.
Since the Whirlpool dryer fire, Kingston Borough council have tightened up on small flats and other types of housing being allowed to have dryers and they are told to use hot rails dryers or use the public launderettes. Many small flats cannot have washing machines as the buildings electrics are being over loaded.
Perhaps a clear statement could be issued to Local councils so that they can protect and encourage more people to open more launderettes for public use.

Ramesh Gandhi says:
28 April 2019

The comments are varied though have their own views expressed by people.
But one thing is certain that “Safety First” should be the aim.

Cliff Cover says:
28 April 2019

Another example of a Minister failing to do a proper job, surely public safety comes above any Company’s position. Whirlpool should be told to put things right and failure to do so means their products will be banned.

Shahina khan says:
28 April 2019

All cheap white goods should b banned as they have cost lives which can never b replaced and destroyed so many families especially in Grenfell Tower . This should b top priority!!!

Ed Hall says:
29 April 2019

Whirl pool need to be prosecuted for undermining their customers safety and then trying to buy their silence.

Michael Young says:
30 April 2019

they must be stopped WHICH can do it. well done WHICH

30 April 2019
https://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/which-response-to-the-consumer-ministers-comments-on-whirlpool-allegedly-silencing-a-customer-after-a-tumble-dryer-fire/

I couldn’t see a link to the “consumer minister’s comments” so don’t know what Which? are responding to. As asked for before, when Which? issue press releases available to others on their website it would be a great help if they linked to any information that the release is aimed at.

Hi Malcolm, the press website is mainly for a journalist audience. With comments like this, the comments/stories they relate to may not have been published onto an online source. That’s because they are often shared as press releases with journalists and written up by the Press Association – this is then used as a resource for journalists to write up articles. For this story, I can’t find any online source yet, but here’s the full press association write up for you:

GOVERNMENT CALLS ON WHIRLPOOL TO TAKE ACTION OVER TUMBLE DRYER FIRES

By George Ryan, Press Association Parliamentary Reporter

A Government minister has said she is prepared to “take further action where necessary” after hearing allegations that a Whirlpool customer was paid to keep silent following a tumble dryer fire.

Kelly Tolhurst committed to speak to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) about the accusation highlighted by Labour that Whirlpool paid a customer to keep quiet after a fire in their repaired tumble dryer.

Earlier in April, the OPSS published a report which told Whirlpool to improve its risk management and communication with customers regarding repairs to tumble dryers to prevent fires.

Shadow business minister Gill Furniss said this report was lambasted by consumer organisations as being “weak”.

She added: “Some days later, it was revealed in the media reports that Whirlpool allegedly paid one consumer to stay silent after she was forced to flee with two young children as a blaze engulfed her home after her dryer had been modified.

“Can the minister tell us firstly whether the OPSS was aware of these allegations and if not if they will now reopen their investigation in light of these accusations?”

Business minister Ms Tolhurst replied: “I will commit to making sure that I speak with the OPSS about the allegations that she has highlighted here in the chamber and what further information we can ascertain from that.

“She is quite right that I laid a statement on April 4 and I have to let the House know that the OPSS has written to Whirlpool asking them to take action and they have 28 days to reply to that.

“I stand ready as the minister to make sure that consumer safety and protection is at the heart of what we’re doing and that we take further action where necessary.”

David Chaplin, head of campaigns at consumer group Which?, said: “No-one should be prevented from speaking out about such a vital matter of public safety – the Government must urgently investigate these disturbing allegations that suggest Whirlpool is putting its corporate reputation ahead of the welfare of its customers.

“The credibility of the fundamentally flawed OPSS review into Whirlpool’s fire-risk tumble dryers is now in tatters. The Secretary of State Greg Clark must step in and ensure that all potentially dangerous machines are immediately removed from people’s homes.”

@patrick, thanks for digging that out, Patrick. I appreciate the intent of press releases but as a Which? Member I am interested, and concerned, about what they have to say to the public. I would like releases to show what they respond to.

In this case the Whirlp[ool problem is so topical, the incident so inflammatory ( 🙁 ) that I expect many who contribute to the dryer Convos will be very interested in what government is doing to follow up the allegations.

Thanks again for the information. 🙂

No worries – yes I understand! I’ve posed a question to you in The Lobby… https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/the-lobby-2/#comment-1564898

I cannot remember having any problem in finding articles that Which? press releases refer to, though when I have written press releases for a charity I have provided this sort of information in the Notes for Editors.

@wavechange Where did you find the Kelly Tolhurst one?

I presume this relates to the case reported some time ago in the Daily Mail but I have yet to see any documents.

I have seen little to suggest that OPSS is going to achieve much and as has been suggested by Which? it is too close to BEIS.

Nick Hall says:
5 May 2019

We had great difficulty contacting Whirlpool when the problems were first announced, they were uncontactable by phone, ignored countless emails and when I finally got an answer to a phone call I was promptly cut off when I gave my reason for calling. After many such calls I was eventually given an appointment date for the modification, some 13 months after the first call and when the representative called and I saw what the modification involved I was horrified, I find it hard to believe that the company is still trading unless people in high places are covering up for their activities.

Christina Martinez says:
6 May 2019

My Hotpoint dryer was modified by attaching a large piece of metal at the back of the drum. It now runs much more slowly than previously so that it takes double the time to dry items, wasting electricity and money, and causing unnecessary pollution. There is no round access hole at the front of the machine for me to clean lint build-up so I feel there is still a fire risk, and would like my machine replaced.