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Thousands more consumers have learned they are at risk in their own homes from faulty washing machines which have been added to Whirlpool’s expanding list of recalled models.
The company has announced it has identified a further 21 Hotpoint and Indesit models which are defective, with up to 55,000 of these appliances in UK homes.
This is in addition to over 500,000 machines it recalled late last year. Even though Whirlpool has already managed to replace or repair more than 177,000, this means that more than 300,000 people could still have these potentially lethal washing machines in their homes.
London Fire Brigade is concerned about how quickly and easily Whirlpool will be able to get the dangerous appliances out of people’s homes during the Coronavirus lockdown, although the company has committed to ensuring the safety of both customers and staff, with additional measures such as contactless delivery and ensuring staff have PPE and hand sanitiser.
The issue with the affected machines is that the door locks could catch fire due to overheating during the wash cycle.
The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Charlie Pugsley, said: “We’ve been highlighting the issue of door switches causing fires in different white goods to Whirlpool and the industry for some time.
“We’re pleased they are taking further steps to get these potentially deadly washing machines out of people’s homes and offering replacements, but it’s concerning that five months on, so many further models at risk have now been identified.
“Due to the current situation, people who have one of these models in their home could be even more worried about how long it might take to get it removed and replaced.
“These washing machines need to be removed from people’s homes urgently.”
Whirlpool advises that anyone who has an affected model should unplug their machine immediately and register with the company for a replacement.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Pugsley added: “We would like to reiterate Whirlpool’s advice that anyone with an affected machine should unplug it immediately and contact them.
“Our Total Recalls campaign is calling on the government and manufacturers to implement a number of changes to make white goods safer.”