Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd is to issue a product recall of tumble dryers not yet modified from consumers’ homes.
The announcement follows an intervention on 4 June by the government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) which informed Whirlpool of its intent to serve a Recall Notice.
Under the recall, consumers with an unmodified, affected tumble dryer will be entitled to a new replacement machine. This will be delivered and installed, with the old one removed, all at no cost.
Whirlpool has agreed to undertake a number of actions required by OPSS, and which have been reviewed by an Expert Panel, consisting of an independent Queen’s Counsel and 3 Chief Scientific Advisors from the Home Office, Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. These actions are set out in an exchange of letters between OPSS and Whirlpool but include commitments to:
- deliver a significant new consumer outreach campaign with wide ranging publicity of the product recall aimed at reaching affected consumers and driving up awareness
- guarantee no charges for delivery, installation or removal of machines
- improve identification of, and outreach to, vulnerable consumers
- provide OPSS with timely reporting of progress made in the product recall
Consumer Affairs Minister Kelly Tolhurst said:
The UK has some of the toughest consumer protection laws in the world. Our intervention demonstrates that we will take all the necessary steps to keep consumers safe.
I want to reassure consumers that we are doing everything to ensure consumers with unmodified machines are made aware and have their tumble dryer replaced.
Consumers with an unmodified machine should contact Whirlpool to arrange a free replacement.
The decision follows a review by OPSS, published in April 2019 which instructed Whirlpool to reach affected consumers in more creative ways to minimise the risk of unsafe machines still being in people’s homes. Owners of unmodified, affected tumble dryers should unplug and contact Whirlpool.