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Whirlpool tumble dryers to be recalled amid safety fears in 'unprecedented' move

Mirror logo Mirror 11/06/2019 Richard Wheeler

© Mirror Whirlpool is facing an urgent recall of its tumble dryers over safety concerns in an "unprecedented" move from the Government.

Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said the company has been informed of the Government's intention to serve such a notice.

Her remarks came after Conservative former minister Andrew Griffiths raised "great concern" over Whirlpool's "straightness" and whether or not people have unsafe products in their homes.

In April, the Office for Product Safety and Standards published a report which told Whirlpool to improve its risk management and communication with customers regarding repairs to tumble dryers to prevent fires.

a dirty old room: Another Indesit tumble dryer that burst into flames in 2018 © Claire Knowles/SWNS.COM Another Indesit tumble dryer that burst into flames in 2018

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Griffiths said: "The Office for Product Safety and Standards undertook a thorough review into the modification of Whirlpool tumble dryers, yet there still remains great concern not only about the straightness of Whirlpool, but whether people have unsafe products in their homes.

"Can the minister update us on what's happening in relation to Whirlpool?"

Ms Tolhurst replied: "Consumer safety is a Government priority.

"I want to assure (Mr Griffiths) that we have kept Whirlpool's actions under review and I can tell the House we have informed Whirlpool of our intention to serve a recall notice as a next step of the regulatory process.

"This is unprecedented action."

Related: Bring it back! Most talked-about product recalls (Photos)

Previous reports state that up to five million machines were found to have a design fault, which allows fluff to touch the heating element and has caused at least 750 fires.

Whirlpool began a drive to modify affected dryers after the problem was discovered in 2015.

However, dozens of people with “fixed” dryers have reported fires or a strong smoke smell since.

Andrew Griffiths wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: MP Andrew Griffiths raised © Burton Mail MP Andrew Griffiths raised

In a statement released in February this year, a Whirlpool spokesperson said: “We have total confidence in the tumble dryer modification, which was extensively tested before and after being implemented.

“UK regulatory bodies have repeatedly concluded that the modification is the most effective way of rectifying this issue.

"We can confirm there have been no reported incidents where the modification has proven to be ineffective."

Mirror Online has contacted Whirlpool for further comment.

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