Whirlpool UK appliances is set to recall more than 500,000 Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines, which could pose a fire risk.
As reported on gov.co.uk, the door locks of affected machines could catch fire due to overheating during the washing process.
The recall covers models manufactured between October 2014 and February 2018, and could see up to 519,000 washing machines affected.
And it spans 42 models which include 39 Hotpoint washing machines and three Indesit models.
Affected consumers are advised to unplug their machine and register with Whirlpool for a replacement.
Under the recall, consumers with an affected washing machine will be entitled to a free replacement.
Old machines will be removed, and replacements installed, at no cost to the consumer.
This safety announcement and recall follows urgent action by regulator Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).
Office for Product Safety and Standards chief executive Graham Russell said: “Whirlpool is recalling models of washing machines due to consumer safety concerns.
“They have advised consumers with affected models to unplug their machine until it is replaced.
“The Office for Product Safety and Standards will closely monitor Whirlpool to ensure the recall is carried out successfully.
“Our priority is to keep consumers safe and we urge affected customers to unplug their washing machines, contact Whirlpool and follow its advice.”
Consumers can contact the Whirlpool helpline on 0800 316 1442 for more information or click here for a full list of affected machines.
The company is doubling the size of its customer service team, hiring 100 additional engineers and seeking support from retail and logistics partners ahead of the recall in January.
Vice President of Whirlpool Corporation Jeff Nole said in a statement: “We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to our customers, particularly over the Christmas period, but we hope people will understand that we are taking action because people’s safety is our top priority.
“Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January.”
He added: “This is an issue we inherited from buying the Indesit Company, but as the new owner, it is our responsibility to keep our customers safe.
“We are recalling these products because it is the right thing to do for people’s safety and we will do whatever it takes to put the situation right for our customers.”
Speaking on bbc.co.uk VP communications and public affairs Jeff Noel exclaimed while the safety risk of using the appliance was low, it was a “serious situation”.
It comes five months after another “inherited” issue with Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline appliances when Whirlpool issued a recall for up to 800,000 tumble dryers.
Consumer association Which? strategic policy advisor, Sue Davies, said: “This safety alert will cause huge disruption for millions of people who will have no washing machine over Christmas, and following the tumble dryer scandal, leaves Whirlpool’s reputation as a company that can be trusted on product safety in tatters.
“People will rightly be asking what Whirlpool knew about these fire-risk machines and when, so there must now be a thorough investigation into this public safety issue.
“We know the company has a track record for appearing to put corporate reputation ahead of public safety in its disgraceful handling of the unsafe tumble dryer crisis.
“Customers will be hugely frustrated that this recall is not set to start for weeks and that they are not being offered refunds for machines from a brand they may no longer want to have in their homes.
“This ongoing saga with Whirlpool demonstrates once again that our product safety system is not fit for purpose and that the OPSS should be replaced with a new independent product safety regulator with real powers to finally hold companies to account over dangerous products.”