Modified Whirlpool dryers low risk says OPSS

Whirlpool told to improve risk management and communication with customers

05 Apr, 19

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has reported modified Whirlpool tumble dryers pose a low risk of harm to consumers.

Modified Whirlpool dryers low risk of harm says OPSS

 

It follows findings that selected Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline tumble dryers, brands of parent company Whirlpool could pose a fire risk.

But according to the Government review, there is a low risk of harm or injury from lint fires in modified machines and consumers can use them safely.

Those with an unmodified, affected tumble dryer have been urged to unplug them and not use them until they have been modified.

The review explored whether Whirlpool’s technical modification, designed to further reduce the risk of lint fires from its tumble dryers, was effective in design and installation.

OPSS also reviewed whether Whirlpool’s consumer outreach programme was adequate.

It has issued a Decision Letter to Whirlpool and said the company must improve its management of risk and set up a more rigorous system of quality assurance to ensure modifications are correctly installed.

Whirlpool has also been ordered to reach affected consumers in more creative ways to minimise the risk of faulty machines still being in people’s homes.

OPSS will continue to scrutinise Whirlpool’s actions against its requirements.

Consumer minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “Our number one priority is to keep consumers safe.

“We are taking action now to ensure Whirlpool improves its communication and outreach to those consumers it has not yet reached, as well as improving its management of risk.

“We will keep Whirlpool’s actions under review to ensure they respond effectively and consumers are kept safe.

“We appreciate the efforts of Which? and other active campaigners to bring this issue to the attention of consumers and are committed to working with them to ensure the safety of products sold in the UK.

We encourage all consumers to register their appliances to ensure they receive updates on product modifications and recalls.”

A statement from Whirpool read: “We welcome the comprehensive and detailed review of the tumble dryer modification programme carried out by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), which has concluded that the modification is effective and that consumers with modified dryers can continue to use them safely.

“Safety is our number one priority which is why we have taken unprecedented steps to resolve this issue for consumers.

“We continue to urge anyone who owns a tumble dryer affected by the safety campaign to contact us to arrange a modification by calling us on 01800 151 0905.”

“We have worked closely with OPSS throughout the review and we look forward to responding formally to recommendations made in the report.

We are committed that our learnings throughout this programme continue to be shared to further improve the UK product safety system and consumer confidence.”