Last January, Whirlpool issued a recall notice for certain of its Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines.
This was prompted by serious concerns over an identified fire safety issue in door locking mechanisms.
The news made national headlines as some 500,000 machines are involved.
Yesterday the company added a further 21 models to the recall, representing another 55,000 machines.
It is quite probable that some of these affected washing machines are being used in tenanted properties and it may now be prudent for agents to inform tenants and landlords about the original recall, this latest extension, and how to minimise the risk of a fire occuring as a result of a faulty unit.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark told EYE:
“Whenever there is a recall of appliances it is certainly a good idea for agents to let their landlord clients know so they can take appropriate steps should their rental properties hold the appliances in question.”
Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection at Which?, said:
“It’s really concerning that Whirlpool has announced that there are tens of thousands of additional unsafe washing machines in people’s homes.
“Whirlpool customers are being drip fed information and serious questions need to be asked about why it took almost five months for this to come to light.
“Some Whirlpool customers may be understandably concerned about dealing with this problem during a nationwide lockdown.
“Whirlpool has provided reassurances that it has suitable safety measures in place so customers should report their affected machine to the company as soon as possible.”
The extension to the recall was accompanied by an open letter on the company website:
A message to customers from our Vice President, Jeff Noel
29th April 2020
To all our valued customers,
I hope that you and your families are staying safe during these challenging times.
Towards the end of 2019, our safety team identified a potential risk concerning certain models of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines. These appliances were designed by Indesit and the manufacturing commenced prior to Whirlpool acquiring the company, but as the new owner, it is our responsibility to put this situation right for our customers.
In response, we launched a product recall of affected appliances on 9th January 2020, and over the course of the last three months, 210,000 of you have registered your appliance as part of this recall. We are hugely grateful to you for getting in touch with us as part of this recall campaign, which has allowed us to register over 40% of affected customers.
I’m writing now to let you know that as part of continuing in-depth checks by our safety team, we have identified an additional 21 models as carrying a potential fire risk which need removing from homes.
Firstly, I want to apologise sincerely for the worry and inconvenience I know this will cause, especially during these difficult times.
I’d also like to reassure you that we are working as quickly as we can to provide solutions to affected customers as soon as possible. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers, and working quickly to remove the affected appliances from customers’ homes is our number one priority.
To do this, we are reaching out directly to our customers who have an affected appliance and whose details are held on our database.
We’re also asking anyone who thinks they have one of the Hotpoint or Indesit models listed on this website to click the “check my model” button above or to reach out to our customer service team on 0800 316 1442, who remain open seven days a week and are here to help you.
Whirlpool branded washing machines are not affected by this issue.
We will still continue to provide a free-of-charge replacement of comparable specification or in-home engineering repair to all affected customers in as safe a way as possible.
We understand that in the current climate, some customers will have health and safety concerns around our delivery partners or engineers entering their homes to carry out replacements or repairs. We continue to follow government guidelines, with strict health and safety processes across our operations, including equipping all our delivery drivers and engineers with personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser. However, we will also offer customers the option of contactless delivery and removal of affected appliances.
While we work to provide you with a replacement or repair, to avoid all risk associated with the use of your washing machine, please unplug and stop using it. If you do continue to use your appliance, you should only use cold water cycles of 20 degrees celsius or lower. This is because the issue is associated with the washing machine’s heating element being activated during washing cycles above 20 degrees.
Once again, we are deeply sorry for the worry and inconvenience this will cause, but rest assured we will continue to work tirelessly to support customers who are affected.
Jeff Noel, Vice President, Whirlpool
Whirlpool has a dedicated site for the recall where model numbers can be checked and registered.