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It’s time for Whirlpool to be open with consumers about the fire risk posed by its tumble dryers, London Fire Brigade says today.
The Brigade has long been raising concerns about the white goods giant’s defective appliances and around its modification programme to rectify the issue of fluff catching on the heating element and causing fires.
Following calls by Which? for the Government to urgently publish the results of a report into the company’s appliances, the Brigade says Whirlpool needs to ensure the estimated 500,000 customers with as yet unmodified tumble dryers receive the modification and provide reassurance that the modification is safe in the long term.
Last year a report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee condemned Whirlpool’s response to the issue, branding it inadequate.
The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Charlie Pugsley said: “Potentially dangerous tumble dryers remain in the homes of thousands of people and those customers affected need to know that Whirlpool’s solution is safe.
“We have already expressed concern about the modification and any problem that could lead to a fire risk may not be apparent for some time.
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“We have seen fires in modified tumble dryers caused by a range of faults and suspect that there could be other incidents nationally. Any report or information about the safety of these modifications should be made public.
Last year, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) was ordered to carry out a review focusing on the effectiveness of the fix and its handling of the modification programme and the Brigade supports Which?’s calls for the report to be published now.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Pugsley added: “Whirlpool previously advised consumers that their affected tumble dryers were safe to use if attended until they were modified, which we disagreed with.
“Potentially dangerous appliances could catch fire and put lives at risk, so we urge them to publically share any information about the safety of the modification.
“Whirlpool never shared the evidence to support its ‘safe to use’ advice and customers deserve to know if there are still any safety concerns.”