Published: 30/01/2018 15:59 - Updated: 31/01/2018 10:50

Lack of progress by Whirlpool is slammed by MPs

Written byEmma Crichton

 

Committee member and local MP Drew Hendry
Committee member and local MP Drew Hendry
 

 

Safety flaws in an electrical giant’s tumble dryers have been condemned by a cross-party group of MPs.

The fault has caused hundreds of fires and Whirlpool bosses have been aware of it for more than two years but there are still thought to be one million defective and potentially dangerous machines across the UK.

Westminster’s business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee has condemned the "painfully slow" progress in updating safety procedures in a new report on the issue.

Highland MP Drew Hendry, a member of the BEIS committee, said: "People should not be left in a position worrying about the safety of appliances in their homes and when they highlight these concerns to a supplier, the response should be swift and unequivocal.

"The lack of care shown by Whirlpool to resolve the issues with their tumble dryers has highlighted serious flaws in the UK’s safety regime and the UK Government must rectify this by implementing the committees findings.

"Immediate action is needed to ensure consumer safety and correcting defects is the is a necessary priority for companies like Whirlpool, not a choice."

The fault is caused by fluff coming into contact with the heating element and was first discovered in late 2015.

Findings by the BEIS committee have called on Whirlpool explain how it intends to deal with remaining defective machines, within two weeks of being contacted by the customer.

Members also want to see the UK Government create a new, quicker, strategy for the recall of unsafe products by the end of February 2018 at the latest and consider the possibility of establishing a single national product safety agency.

A Whirlpool spokesperson defended the firm's response and said any concerns raised with them would be resolved within one week.

She commented: "Whirlpool’s extensive ongoing tumble dryer modification campaign has achieved a resolution rate more than three times the industry average for a product recall.

"We have provided resolutions to 99.9 per cent of all consumers who have registered, and resolved 1.7 million affected tumble dryers.

"After two years of extensive measures to raise awareness to this campaign – including directly contacting four million owners of these appliances – the number of consumers coming forward has fallen sharply.

"We continue to urge consumers to contact us immediately if they believe they still own an affected appliance.

"We can assure consumers that if they contact us now, they can receive a resolution within one week."

 

 

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