/ Home & Energy

Do you have a recalled Whirlpool washing machine? Here’s what to do

More than half a million washing machines are affected by the latest Whirlpool recall. Check if yours is one of them, and find out what to do next.

Update 21/01/2020

Five weeks on, we want to know how the recall is progressing for affected customers.  We’ve really appreciated hearing your feedback.

We want to find out if people’s cases are being resolved effectively. If you own a recalled Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine, take our survey and tell us about your experience of the recall.

Update 09/01/2020

Whirlpool’s recall of more than half a million fire-risk washing machines begins today.

Sue Davies, Which?’s Head of Consumer Protection said:

“It would clearly be unacceptable if customers were left for many months without adequate washing facilities in their homes, particularly when there is also no offer to cover consequential costs such as trips to the laundrette.

The company should do the right thing and offer customers a refund, so people can get fire-risk machines out of their homes and quickly find a suitable replacement.

There needs to be a full investigation about what Whirlpool knew about these machines and when. The government’s failing Office for Product Safety and Standards must also be replaced by an independent regulator with real powers to keep dangerous products out of people’s homes”

Do you agree with us that Whirlpool should offer a refund? Andy Slaughter MP does, and has started a petition asking Whirlpool to do the right thing.

Sign the Petition

Originally published 18/12/2019

Bought a Hotpoint or Indesit machine since 2014? You might need to stop using it. It’s been found that some have a faulty door which could cause a fire.

But with the Whirlpool website and customer care line experiencing technical difficulties, many people have been finding it hard to get the information they need.

We’ve put together this guide covering what you need to know.

How do I know if my washing machine is being recalled?

Check the model number on your machine and see if it’s one of the affected models listed below. You can find the model number inside the door, or on the back of the machine.

The company has said the problem is with Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines made between October 2014 and February 2018, but it’s worth checking regardless of when you bought yours.

These are the washing machine models affected:

Hotpoint models recalled

  • FML 742P UK
  • WMAOD 743G UK
  • WMAOD 743P UK
  • WMAQB 721P UK.M
  • WMAQC 641P UK.M
  • WMAQC 741G UK
  • WMAQC 741P UK
  • WMAQC 741P UK.M
  • WMAQF 621G UK
  • WMAQF 621P UK
  • WMAQF 641 P UK.M
  • WMAQF 721G UK
  • WMAQF 721P UK.M
  • WMAQL 621G UK
  • WMBF 742G UK
  • WMBF 742K UK
  • WMBF 742P UK
  • WMBF 742P UK.M
  • WMBF 763P UK
  • WMEF 722 BC UK
  • WMEF 742 P UK
  • WMEUF 722P UK
  • WMEUF 743G UK
  • WMEUF 743P UK
  • WMFG 741P UK
  • WMFG 741P UK.M
  • WMFUG 742 P UK.M
  • WMFUG 742G UK
  • WMFUG 742P UK
  • WMFUG 842P UK.M
  • WMJLF 842P UK
  • WMJLL 742P UK
  • WMSAQG 621P UK
  • WMXTF 742G UK
  • WMXTF 742K UK
  • WMXTF 742P UK
  • WMXTF 842P UK.M
  • WMYL 7151PS UK

Indesit models recalled

  • XWA 81252X K UK
  • XWA 81252X W UK
  • XWD 71452X K UK

If your washing machine is listed above, you should stop using it until you can confirm if it’s affected.

However, Whirlpool says to reduce the risk of fire, affected washing machines can still be used on a 20C setting. We think this is confusing advice, and we’re pressing for more information.

However, we have confirmed with a number of insurance companies that you’ll still be covered if your recalled machine starts a fire, as long as you follow Whirlpool’s advice.

Some insurers have told us you might not be covered if you knowingly ignore Whirlpool’s safety advice.

If you decide to carry on using your washing machine, stay at home while it’s running a cycle and don’t put it on overnight.

How do I get my washing machine replaced or fixed?

Whirlpool will start a repair and replacement scheme on January 9th 2020.

To get yours fixed or replaced, you’ll need to register on the Whirlpool website.

You can also call the Whirlpool customer service line on 0800 316 1442.

If you’ve already submitted your information, Whirlpool will be in touch with you soon.

How long will it take to get a repair or a replacement washing machine?

We don’t know yet, but it could take weeks or months for repairs to take place. If everyone follows the advice to stop using their washing machines, thousands will be unable to do their laundry over Christmas and New Year, or even longer.

For this reason, we’ll be pushing Whirlpool to also offer refunds in addition to the options of repair or replacement.

How do i know if the machine I’m offered is ‘like for like’?

If you’re offered for a ‘like for like’ replacement machine, it’s important that it’s suitable for your needs and is as close as possible to the specifications of your original washing machine.

In deciding what is suitable it’s important you consider the following specifications:

  • Capacity (drum size)
  • Spin speed
  • Machine colour
  • Energy rating

And, importantly, that the dimensions  of the replacement machines are appropriate for the space in your home.

Will I be able to get any costs covered?

We’d like to see Whirlpool offer reimbursement of any out-of-pocket expenses caused by this recall. For example, the cost of removing and replacing fixed appliances in fitted kitchens.

If the recall results in you paying out, keep your receipts just in case there’s a chance to claim these costs back in the future.

We’ll be updating this post as we get more information on the recall, and how repairs and replacements will be rolled out.

Do you have a recalled model? Has Whirlpool arranged a repair or replacement for you yet? 

We want to know how the experience has been for you.  Fill in our survey below: 

(Viewing this on mobile? Take the survey in full screen mode instead)

Create your own user feedback survey

 

Tell us more about how you’ve been affected below.

Comments
Ropna Alom says:
18 January 2020

I contacted and registered my appliance on 19th December, the person on the phone went through all the details from model-serial and door lock colour with me and confirmed with me that it is part of the recall and the person even said that I have a reference number sadly as I went to get a pen to write it down the phone got disconnected. From then until 7th January I only received contact to verify my email. From 19th december I waited for more information when I kept calling back no one was able to chase this number up for me and I was told to just wait around. I got the call on the 7th January saying that my product was not affected so I asked this person to put in writing that my product was not part of the recall and the person said they would and I should receive it soon. Within 5 mins I received an email, but the email actually confirmed that it was part of the recall and gave me a customer reference number. So when I called back I spoke to someone named Alice who informed me that the email I received was delayed from two weeks ago when I registered the appliance but that on further investigation the call I received was correct. At this point I asked to have it in writing that my product was not part of the recall. She said she would have a manager do this. It’s now 18th January and I have not heard back from them so I contacted them this morning and this time the person said they would re-enter my details and I should receive an email within 24hrs. However within 20 mins of this call I received a letter posted from whirlpool informing me that my washing machine should not be used further and if it is used I need to put a sticker on it only use at 20. So I contacted the whirlpool team again they passed me around a bit more and eventually put me to A service which is not open on a Saturday. I am fed up of not getting any clarity on my product. And furthermore the way in which it is being handled is atrocious. Why can someone just not answer my queries. I have had to use the washing machine at 20 because I do not have the finances to take it to the launderettes. My children suffer from severe eczema and the ointments and creams they use do not wash well on cold was settings so whilst the darks may be fine the whites look filthy with clumps of black marks from the greasy ointment reacting to the cold wash. I have children under the age of 3 and am concerned about their safety. I believe that 1 month to get some information from the company beyond what the news and online community is saying is reasonable. I no longer want to deal with a company with such poor customer service skills.

Julie C says:
19 January 2020

I registered my washing machine on 20 December and despite numerous telephone calls I have not even received a confirmation email. I’m extremely annoyed at the lack of communication. Whirlpool should be offering immediate refunds not making consumers wait just to supply us with their products we longer want.

I registered 18 December, got a confirmation email, but nothing more since. They say it’s being done in order of registration yet I’m reading of people who have gone from registering to receiving their replacement within 16 days. What you’re told via their messaging service contradicts what you’re told via telephone. There are clearly major problems with Whirlpool’s recall system, it is an absolute farce. The senior management should be made accountable for not only putting hundreds of thousands of families at risk, but also failing in their duty to provide a suitable solution within a reasonable timeframe.

Karen says:
19 January 2020

Does anyone know if any disconnection or re-connection of machines, if someone accepts a replacement, will incur charges, or if Whirlpool is doing it free? I may have to check with them in a telephone call but I’d be interested to know.

Incidentally, I received a letter from Whirlpool yesterday, dated January 2020, and thanking me for registering my appliance. It details the two cycles that can be used: 20 degrees C and Spin/pump out, and provides me with a sticker to put on my machine to remind me! It also mentions the F06 warning relating to smoke and gives a number to call. If I hadn’t seen this mentioned elsewhere before now, I’d be even more worried about my machine now.

Useful I suppose as an acknowledgement of registration but I already have email confirmation. Otherwise it’s information that is far too late.

Mamatag says:
20 January 2020

I registered my machine in December, continued to use it only for the lock to malfunction 2 weeks later. I called the engineer (at a cost of £120). My husband managed to get it working only for the appliance to start smoking 30 minutes into the cycle. When the engineer called he condemned it. I have managed to have my engineer visit cost reimbursed but have no washing options now available. The call centre are unable to say when I might receive a replacement. I don’t believe that there have only been 79 incidents …. mine will not have been included in these stats! Surely compensation must be paid eventually ?

donna says:
20 January 2020

I checked my washing machine with Whirpool and it is a model that has been affected.
Today I called the help desk with my registration ID and to ask what happens now only to be informed I will receive an email in the next 4 weeks detailing the next stage!!!!!!!!! 4 weeks is an absolute disgrace. The customer service agent basically said there was nothing more he could do.
Does anyone know any options to challenge this.

I’m sorry to tell you that there are lots of people who registered mid-December, and received an email today saying they are out of stock and it will be another 2-4 weeks before they have new stock (plus however long it will take to get an appointment for them to actually deliver and fit). So we are looking at 2-3 months from registration to completion – and that’s if they don’t send a further email in a few weeks saying they’re still out of stock/don’t have any delivery slots/whatever excuse they come up with next. Bizarre considering Argos and Currys have lots of washing machines in stock!! There are no options to challenge – anyone that tries is just fobbed off.

J B Walker says:
20 January 2020

I have a Hotpoint washing machine and today received a letter, undated, from Hotpoint to say I might have a faulty machine and to contact their number. I did so giving details of model and serial number. I was told by the lady, Jasmin, she could only tell me if the machine was safe if I gave her personal details. I refused to do this other explaining I didnt want marketing information. She kept refusing to tell me if my machine was safe but eventually spoke to her manager Martin who instantaneously said it was safe.
Feeling unsure I went to Currys where I bought the machine, they looked up my receiot and told me the machine needed replacing.

Whirlpool seem to be taking a very casual attitude, only contacting me weeks after the problem came to light and then saying the machine was safe when Currys ay it was on the list to be recalled.

This is the kind of behaviour we look to Which to highlight and stop.

Hi, you can check your model without giving any personal details at https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk/. Then you can register for your “replacement” on the same site. I haven’t received any marketing from them (they aren’t even able to send updates on replacements let alone marketing materials!)

Donna says:
20 January 2020

Is there any way at all to get a refund? I asked the phone customer service this today and they said no. They then said they were ‘releasing ‘ my call, or ‘hanging up’ the phone ! A repair or replacement is no good for me- I am moving house soon and don’t need a washing machine in my new place. I would have sold it had it not been a potentially dangerous item. The no refund option is shocking in my opinion.

Reply I received this morning to my message:
unfortunately I will have to purchase a new washing machine due to the length of time this is taking. Will Whirlpool be re-inbursing this cost to consumers? The current machine is unfit for purpose and dangerous to use. My nearest launderette is 7 miles away and working full time makes it difficult to get there after work. I have no choice but to buy an alternative washer now

reply received:
Hello,

I’m afraid we’re not able to offer compensation, but we will be offering customers a free replacement or engineering repair. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can to schedule this with you.

Thank you,

Karen says:
21 January 2020

As an update to previous posts I’ve made, I received a letter from Hotpoint/Indesit yesterday to advise me that they knew from my registration with Currys that I had one of their machines and that it’s part of this recall. I was given all the information already known. It’s laughable that I’m getting this now, well over a month after the recall was first made public.

They have 500 000 machines to chase up.

There are only 1440 minutes in a 24 hour period.

Anyone expecting instantaneous service with this issue affecting such a huge number of people is deluded.

Yes, this is a situation where the legal position does not fit the circumstances.

The remedies available under the Consumer Rights Act really only apply to occasional faults or failures. It was probably never contemplated that there would be a need for mass repairs or replacements on the Whirlpool scale so the statutory timescales are unenforceable, and there seems to be no governmental mechanism to make the company do anything more than they are already doing.

I am not even sure whether there is any power to compel a recall since there are all sorts of practical difficulties with no compulsory registration processes in place. This is a commercial disaster that would break many companies so there is little point in pushing them over the edge.

I think Whirlpool and the authorities mishandled the tumble dryer problem badly and have learnt some lessons. In this case I believe there should be the option of an immediate cash payment according to the age and model of the machine. Apart from anything else it would take the pressure off the repair and replacement pipelines.

If this information is accurate, most of the people who had contacted Whirlpool by mid-January were not affected by the recall: https://www.itv.com/news/2020-01-16/whirlpool-recall-more-than-400-000-dangerous-washing-machines-unaccounted-for/

I do not understand why Whirlpool does not offer owners a refund, as recommended by Which? and others. The Whirlpool share price has risen since the recall was announced and the problem seems to affect only the UK, so it would not be a commercial disaster to collect the recalled machines and issue a refund in exchange.

John mentions that there appears to be no legal mechanism open to the government to take action agains Whirlpool. Likewise, there seems to be no legal mechanism for making Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces responsible for ensuring that dangerous and counterfeit products are not offered for sale by their traders. The sooner that action is taken to introduce legislation to protect consumers the better.

As I suggested earlier, I believe there is a legal remedy if the trader does not provide a repair or a replacement within a reasonable time.

The Consumer Rights Act says:
(5)A consumer who has the right to a price reduction and the final right to reject may only exercise one (not both), and may only do so in one of these situations—
(a)after one repair or one replacement, the goods do not conform to the contract;
(b)because of section 23(3) the consumer can require neither repair nor replacement of the goods; or
(c)the consumer has required the trader to repair or replace the goods, but the trader is in breach of the requirement of section 23(2)(a) to do so within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

I do not see the scale of the problem being relevant. We should be advised by Which? what is a “reasonable time” for a remedy to be given to the customer before it becomes “unreasonable” and causes “significant inconvenience”. That is, if I have correctly interpreted the act. And, if I have, this legal requirement should surely have been advised by Which? and used for the tumble dryer problem.

According to itv (Whirlpool), “68 000 machines will be repaired or replaced in a matter of weeks“. If they do manage the impossible, of recalling all 519 000 affected machines, those “weeks” could become getting on for a year. Clearly the vast majority of owners will be “significantly inconvenienced”, therefore,; if that dilatory programme continues. It seems to me, for most, refunds will be inevitable if the law is applied correctly. Perhaps Which? could explain where this is incorrect, if it is?
Any refund needs to be accompanied by removal of the faulty machine, which stops them continuing in use or sold.

When a retailer or other trader causes a problem their first priority is to remedy it, as the law provides, with their customers; their own situation comes second.

According to that news report, “a Whirlpool spokesperson said refunding customers wasn’t the most ‘effective’ way of removing the risk of faulty machines in homes. Replacing or repairing affected units completely removes the risk of this issue and avoids any possibility of the machines entering the second-hand market”. Although that might be factually accurate in respect of the machines Whirlpool knows about, because so many of the affected appliances remain unaccounted for I disagree that that is an appropriate approach. There can be no ‘complete’ removal of the risk in the present circumstances.

So long as there are machines out there with the fire risk it is likely that they will carry on being used just as they were before the problem was first revealed. I would expect the contact rate for a remedy would sky rocket if a commensurate refund was available. There are ways of removing the appliances from any further use or resale.

Issuing a refund after collection of the recalled machine, as I suggested, would take care of Whirlpool’s concern.

Malcolm – We could do with advice from Which? about whether it would be appropriate to claim against the retailer. Although the manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall, the vast majority of the washing machines are still in full working condition.

Any remedy has to be realistically practicable, and strict adherence to the terms of the Consumer Rights Act is not in this case. The scale of the problem has a major bearing on the ability of retailers to perform their obligations under the Act. The manufacturer has taken ownership of the problem as the alternative [leaving it to the retailers] would be unsatisfactory and more chaotic than the present arrangements. At least it is being centrally managed probably making it more efficient and reliable. If there was an attempt to prescribe a reasonable time for a remedy, taking into account the actual circumstances, I would not be surprised if twelve months or more was allowed. I doubt if many owners would have the appetite for taking legal action against the retailer for non-compliance with the CRA and might not get satisfaction from the Court if they did.

Whatever the legal position, it hardly seems fair that retailers should be responsible for providing remedies for dealing with fire-risk Whirlpool washing machines. I don’t remember this happening when Whirlpool failed to take timely action involving tumble dryers.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has succeeded in obtaining a repair or replacement from a retailer.

By retailer/trader I include the manufacturer when they have issued a recall.

I do not see why a “remedy” that causes very significant inconvenience to someone who has bought a defective machine should be allowed to take precedence. The manufacturer caused the problem and should accept responsibility for their legal obligations.

A refund is practical in all cases where the trader/retailer/manufacturer is unable to provide a repair or replacement in a reasonable time.

Karen says:
22 January 2020

I don’t think anyone is expecting an instantaneous service, but something more timely generally would benefit both consumer and customer. It’s unfortunate you chose to take an aggressive tone in your comment; it would be more helpful to share your experience here if you’ve been affected by this recall.

Karen says:
22 January 2020

Sorry, ‘consumer and company’

I assume the legal position expects that each retailer should look after its customers. But, also, the retailers’ contracts with wholesalers and/or manufacturers must respect those responsibilities, so that retailers can pass warranty claims (etc.) back to the manufacturers.

That’s right, Derek, but it is unlikely that the legislation was framed with this sort of problem in mind.

One minute half a million households are using their washing machines as usual and then an edict is issued to either stop using them or run them on a very low temperature setting. It would not be surprising if many owners ignored the advice and carried on using them as before, maybe taking some additional precautions like not leaving them running overnight and checking for any problem indicators within the machine.

I don’t think the domestic appliance retail trade – which is largely operating on-line nowadays – could possibly cope in a timely manner with a flood of customers demanding repair or replacement, and as Wavechange has said, it is unfair to expect it to.

It was in its own interests for Whirlpool to step in and take ownership of the remedial action programme; left to the retailers most customers might have opted for replacement by a different make and, depending on access to stock, the retailers might have preferred that, although the point you make about the wholesale/retail supply contracts might be an impediment if the contracts restrict such action [i.e. the retailer will only be reimbursed by the manufacturer if a like-for-like replacement is supplied].

Whatever the law says the consumer is entitled to doesn’t necessarily enable it to happen if the resources to do so are not available; penalising a company for a failure to remedy in such circumstances would probably be counter-productive.

I foresee a situation whereby hundreds of thousands of potentially hazardous washing machines are still in use at the end of this year, which is not a satisfactory outcome. Responsible owners have registered their appliances and followed the recommendations but there are a much larger number who have not and will not do so until the route to a satisfactory remedy is significantly enhanced.

Hi everyone,

This is an interesting point that we have seen raised by a few members of Which? Legal. In any case of a recall, the seller could be held liable under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or Sale of Goods Act 1979. It is important to note that in England and Wales the Limitation Act 1980 sets a 6 year deadline to bring a claim for breach of contract against the seller.

This is because the seller of a product is liable for ensuring that the product is of satisfactory quality. One of the aspects of satisfactory quality is ‘safety’; if a recall is made due to the products not being safe, arguably the seller becomes in breach of contract.

In this case you could argue for the normal remedies of repair or replace, and potential rejecting for a refund if not done within a reasonable time/without causing significant inconvenience.

However, a further point to consider is whether the manufacturer has said that all products are unsafe, or if there is just a chance that some are dangerous. In the latter example you may need to prove that your machine has a defect which makes it unsafe.

Therefore it might be easier/quicker to go through the manufacturer as they will likely allocate resources to deal with these matters in bulk, whereas some retailers may not be able to facilitate the issues as efficiently.

If anyone has been affected by the recall (or any other consumer issue!) and would like to discuss their situation in more detail then please do get in touch with Which? Legal.

This information is provided by Which? Legal. To join call 01174 054 854 or visit Which? Legal to find out more.

Thomas Holloway
Legal Adviser

@lmerryweather Hi Lauren – It would be a great help if you could say whether or not consumers should make a claim against the retailer if they are not having success in getting Whirlpool to take action to replace/repair their washing machines. In most cases the machines are still working fine but there is a small risk that they could go on fire.

If the affected washing machines can be operated safely at 20C then customers’ inconvenience is mitigated. If the machines should not be operated for safety reasons, and if the proposed remedial programme for many will take months, then those customers should, in some way, be compensated. The law appears to recognise this by providing a refund as the fall-back. This, presumably, would be a proportion of the price paid depending upon the appliance’s age.

For many people this would enable them to put the money towards a new machine. For others, it may be insufficient because of their financial circumstances; they may opt to wait for a repair or replacement from Whirlpool.

We had many tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dryer owners who seem to have waited a year or more for any action. That cannot be right, and that should not be repeated. Why should customers be so seriously inconvenienced? Perhaps being wary of applying the law (if the interpretation is correct) allowed Whirlpool to take a course of action most convenient and cheapest for them rather than one that was in the fair interests of their affected customers.

Does the scale of the problem affect the law? Hanging back – like building cladding replacement – continues to put customers at risk in preference to commercial or monetary interests perhaps. I do not think customers should be treated in this way.

In the extreme, if all 519 000 were refunded, say, £200 that would cost Whirlpool £100 million. It won’t, but remedial costs will not be insubstantial.

From a “sustainability” point of view returned machines – either from a replacement or refund – would presumably be perfectly serviceable once the door switch has been replaced. Many people might welcome the ability to purchase such a machine at a low cost; I wonder what Whirlpool will actually do with them.

@thomas-holloway – Thanks for your post, which I had not seen when asking Lauren for advice.

It would be good to feature a Which? Legal case in a Convo to help us better understand how to exercise our legal rights and the options available to us.

That would be a quick and sensible solution, and might even save Whirlpool’s reputation as they actually care about their customers. Sadly after this astonishing debacle I will never buy from their brands again. I think many people feel the same, and envisage Whirlpool will be the next company to go under.

My machine has the F06 message, and I’ve been unable to use since mid-December, with still no end in sight (despite the fact Whirlpool are replacing machines for people who registered weeks after me, whose machines are still working fine). I’ve made a claim against the retailer and they refuse to help. I’ve written to the credit card company and have had no response. All these companies are failing in their duties.

I’m sorry to hear this. Would it be possible to buy a replacement machine and store the old one until Whirlpool exchanges it for a new machine? That could then be sold as new if still in its original packaging.

Whirlpool is a large multinational company that won’t go under as a result of the recall, which seems to affect only machines sold in the UK. When I last checked, their share price had risen since the recall was announced.

“it hardly seems fair that retailers should be responsible for providing remedies for dealing with fire-risk Whirlpool washing machines. I don’t remember this happening when Whirlpool failed to take timely action involving tumble dryers.“. It is the retailers that choose to sell these brands, make a profit from customers, and have the contract with their customers that gives them legal obligations to be met. As has been pointed out the retailers will also have contracts with Whirlpool or other intermediaries through which, I presume, they can obtain their own redress.

Therefore it seems reasonable for customers to pursue this route when the Whirlpool route may be ineffective, as many owners have complained.

As a matter of record, it was suggested that customers with faulty indesit dryers might also deal with the retailer. Given the totally unacceptable delays that the “official” remedy led to I would have thought alternative solutions perfectly appropriate.

I recall that the possibility of making a claim against the retailer was mentioned in one of the Convos about the Whirlpool dryer problem but neither of the Convo introductions relating to the washing machine problems makes this suggestion. It is high time that the government intervenes and instructs Whirlpool to collect affected machines and issue refunds as soon as possible. I wonder what advice Which? Legal members are given. As John said earlier, it’s unlikely that our consumer rights legislation was intended to cope with large recalls.

In another Convo, AAgh has explained why the retailer declined to help: “…retailers are refusing to help under the Consumer Rights Act, stating that they do not have to since Whirlpool are dealing with the recall.” It’s an absolute mess.

Glenwen says:
21 January 2020

I registered my machine on 19th December and received a follow up email on 10th January 2020 advising me of a replacement machine, I followed all the links and entered all the required details online only to have the message come up stating that there are no delivery details currently available. I’ve contacted Whirlpool via their Facebook page regarding this on Thursday, 16th January to be told that it has been escalated to their IT department to look into. I’ve checked again today and still the same issue. I’ve also contacted them by phone on the number given in the email 0800 316 1442 to be advised by the customer service staff member that it was nothing to do with them and to phone 0800 561 4493 which took me to Domestic and General only to have an automated message stating that if the call was in relation to the recall then I needed to phone 0800 316 1442. I’ve asked in my correspondence via Facebook why we can’t have a monetary refund rather than having to wait for a replacement machine to be told that they weren’t able to do this due to the need to ensure that these machines don’t enter the second hand market. There is nothing to stop them from issuing monetary refunds and collecting the faulty machines to dispose of surely. I’m just going around in circles to be honest.

Comments here generally, quite reasonably, focus on the inconvenience to owners and their wish to get back to washing with a reliable machine.

However we should also be using this example, as we should have with tumble dryers, when large numbers of products are affected, to examine the way we deal with product safety. I am not sure that “lessons” are being learned.

A first priority should be to ensure that the advice issued to owners of affected products is soundly based. This should not be left just to the manufacturer – “unless they simply say do not use”; if, for example, they say to supervise the product during operation, or use only a particular setting, the advice should be approved or otherwise by the OPSS, using appropriate experts both technical and risk assessors.

The next priority should be to approve – or amend – and properly supervise the redial programme proposed by the manufacturer. This should include their ability to deal with all affected products in a reasonable time and, if not, to impose an alternative solution for those customers not helped, such as a sensible refund.

We should then investigate how a particular problem has arisen. Why did the switch fail and what could have been done to predict it and make a design change? How did fluff get into the heater area and what design defect could have been predicted? Could better endurance testing be introduced before a product is certified that would mitigate the likelihood of such problems. On the UK’s case, such work could be contracted to a competent laboratory and test organisation such as BSI.

Finally, by now, the OPSS should have implemented the means to ensure that as many owners are contacted when a so-called “full recall is announced”. At present there seems to be no system where this can be effective (except as a political expedient) as owners contact details are not automatically recorded. That needs to be addressed.

I hope Which? will be looking beyond the immediate recall problem and pursuing the important reforms necessary.

I have suggested that BSI should investigate this sort of problems, Malcolm. Understanding reasons for failures is one of the best ways of making progress. I believe that there is no requirement in the current standards to carry out tests on used products, so the effects of lint accumulating unseen inside tumble dryers and switch connections deteriorating with use have gone unseen.

I messaged Whirlpool this morning as follows:

“unfortunately I will have to purchase a new washing machine due to the length of time this is taking. Will Whirlpool be re-inbursing this cost to consumers? The current machine is unfit for purpose and dangerous to use. My nearest launderette is 7 miles away and working full time makes it difficult to get there after work. I have no choice but to buy an alternative washer now”

Their response:

“Hello,

I’m afraid we’re not able to offer compensation, but we will be offering customers a free replacement or engineering repair. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can to schedule this with you.

Thank you”

Narendra Patel says:
22 January 2020

Did not want replacement offered as was not like for like. I was told there is nothing they can do as they will not refund money. I am ver disappointed

John U says:
22 January 2020

I have an EWD 71252W UK which Whirlpool insist is NOT affected, and yet the door lock has stopped working and the wiring loom is charred/burned so this unit has clearly been VERY close to catching fire.

Anyone else?

Hi John – I posted earlier about the nature of the problem in recalled machines: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/whirlpool-washing-machine-recall-advice-questions/#comment-1584547

My understanding is that vibration affects the connections to the door lock assembly, which would result in severe overheating of the door switch and connected wiring. If the door switch connections have been burned as well as the wiring loom, you probably have the same problem as the recalled machines.

I suggest you claim against the retailer under the guarantee (if not expired) or the Consumer Rights Act.

Thanks for posting the model number, which may be of use to others.

Jason R says:
22 January 2020

I’ve just contacted them via twitter about the exact same model and issue. Not sure if this twitter link will work, has picture of the damage: https://twitter.com/jreast/status/1219963267801464833

Well done in achieving three requests for further information, including Which?

Good advice, however the retailers are refusing to help under the Consumer Rights Act, stating that they do not have to since Whirlpool are dealing with the recall.

John and Jason – Here is a link with a photo showing a burned connector and wiring in a Hotpoint machine, but no model is specified: https://news.sky.com/story/half-a-million-whirlpool-washing-machines-recalled-over-fire-risk-11889023