Whirlpool recall update: tumble dryer owners must come forward

Friday 13th September

  • 65,000 more affected dryers located thanks to recall effort
  • Consumers should call 0800 151 0905 or visit www.whirlpool.co.uk/dryerrecall to check if their dryer is affected
  • Recall affects some dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015

Peterborough, UK – Whirlpool is issuing an urgent appeal for people to get in touch if their tumble dryers have not yet been replaced or modified under its product recall programme.

Whirlpool expanded its long-running dryer safety campaign to a full recall earlier this summer. Since then 65,000 owners with affected appliances have come forward. 

However, more affected products could still be in people’s homes – and it is crucial that owners make contact as a matter of urgency so their units can be replaced or modified.

In total, the campaign has resolved the safety issue for more than 1.7 million people – around half the affected dryers that were in the market when the programme began in 2015. This is up to five times the average success rate for a product recall in the UK.

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has come forward so far, but if there are people still out there with affected dryers, please contact us immediately,” said Jeff Noel, Vice President of Whirlpool.

“Nothing matters more to us than people’s safety, so it’s absolutely vital that we can identify where these affected dryers are and resolve the issue.

“We can assure consumers that we are doing everything we can, and that we can quickly provide a remedy as soon as they get in touch.”

Under the recall, consumers have a greater choice of remedy options. These include: a free replacement dryer; a free in-home modification; or a refund based on the age of their appliance. Consumers can also choose to upgrade their affected dryer to a superior model compared to the free replacement dryer for a fraction of the retail price.

On average, it takes just seven days for consumers to receive a resolution from the moment they have chosen their preferred remedy option.

Whirlpool is also urging all those who have registered with the campaign but not yet chosen their remedy option to make contact so the company can complete the recall process.

Since the summer, Whirlpool has been running a fresh advertising campaign to publicise the recall. This includes full-page notices in Britain’s most-read national newspapers and magazines, and hundreds of adverts in regional and national online, radio, and print media, with a collective circulation of over 100 million.

More than 450 UK media articles have been generated about the recall, estimated to have been seen more than 110 million times.

In addition, Whirlpool has been working with thousands of third-party organisations and individuals to raise awareness, from GP surgeries and hospitals, to MPs, local authorities, Fire and Rescue Services, and charities – reaching millions more people.

Recall notices have been translated into more than 10 different languages commonly spoken in Britain and shared with hundreds of organisations with connections to non-English speakers.

Social media posts about the recall are also estimated to have reached people around 30 million times.

Together, it is estimated that all these actions have led to the recall message being seen or heard more than 240 million times in the past eight weeks.

This comes on top of several waves of publicity since the dryer safety campaign first began in November 2015, which had included sending more than 10 million letters, emails and SMS messages directly to tumble dryer owners across the UK.

The safety issue relates to certain models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015. Affected dryers pose a potential fire risk if not modified or replaced by the manufacturer.

Anyone with an affected dryer must unplug it immediately and stop using it.

People can instantly check if their dryer is one of those affected by calling 0800 151 0905 or by visiting www.whirlpool.co.uk/dryerrecall. Whirlpool’s call centre is open seven days a week.

Consumers whose dryers have already been replaced or modified by Whirlpool need take no further action.

UK regulatory bodies have repeatedly approved the effectiveness of the modification. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) concluded a comprehensive and thorough review of Whirlpool’s campaign in April which found the modification reduces risk and that consumers whose tumble dryers have been modified can continue to use them safely.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Under the recall, all consumers with affected dryers that have not already been modified or replaced are entitled to one of the following four options:

1.    A free replacement dryer:

Consumers can choose between a new vented or condenser dryer, provided free-of-charge. Whirlpool will also arrange for free-of-charge collection and disposal of the consumer’s old dryer.

2.    A free-of-charge in-home modification:

A Whirlpool engineer will visit the consumer’s home to carry out the free-of-charge safety upgrade, which has been approved by the UK regulator for product safety. The appointment takes approximately one hour and consumers can schedule the engineer visit for a date and time that is convenient to them, including evenings and weekends.

3.    A heavily discounted upgrade:

Consumers can return their affected dryer and upgrade to a superior model for a fraction of the retail price – £59 for a vented model or £99 for a condenser dryer. There are more than 10 models to choose from with an MSRP up to £349. Whirlpool will also arrange for free-of-charge collection and disposal of the consumer’s old dryer.

These dryers are a higher specification than the free replacement option.

4.    An age-based refund:

Consumers can return their affected dryer and receive a refund up to £150, with the value dependent on the age of the appliance. Whirlpool will also arrange for free-of-charge collection and disposal of the consumer’s old dryer.

BACKGROUND

Whirlpool acquired Indesit Company in 2014, including the Hotpoint and Indesit brands.

Indesit’s tumble dryers met all UK and European product and safety regulations, and their overall safety was consistent with that of other brands’ appliances in the market at the time and today.

Whirlpool demands higher standards than public regulations and so applied its own safety policies to review Indesit’s products. This review found a potential safety issue in Indesit’s vented and condenser tumble dryers concerning the build-up of lint. In some rare cases, excess lint can come into contact with the heating element of these appliances and present a risk of fire.

The issue affects certain models made between April 2004 and September 2015 that were sold under the Indesit, Hotpoint, Creda, Swan and Proline brands. Whirlpool branded tumble dryers are not affected.

Even though evaluations under the EU’s official RAPEX risk assessment system identified this as a low risk issue – its lowest category – Whirlpool was not satisfied and proactively took action.

Whirlpool immediately raised its concerns with Trading Standards and launched the dryer modification programme with the approval of the regulator in November 2015.

The modification programme has been independently reviewed on two separate occasions.

The most recent review by OPSS was conducted by scientific, legal and product safety experts including input from the Government’s Health and Safety Laboratory, and it was peer reviewed by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

Whirlpool is an active campaigner for improving rates of product registration among consumers to increase the effectiveness of recalls. It is a proud supporter of the Government-backed Register My Appliance scheme – a universal portal where consumers can register all their products and get the latest information on product safety initiatives.

—–ENDS—–

Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) is the world’s leading major home appliance company, with approximately $21 billion in annual sales, 92,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers in 2017. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit, Hotpoint and other major brand names in nearly every country throughout the world.

In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) it has approximately 22,000 employees, a sales presence in more than 30 countries and manufacturing sites in seven countries. Whirlpool EMEA is an operating segment of Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool Corp.’s EMEA Headquarters are located in Pero (MI), Italy. Additional information about the company can be found at WhirlpoolCorp.com or find us on LinkedIn,  Twitter and Medium

Whirlpool recall by numbers

240million+: It is estimated that the recall message has been seen or heard more than 240 million times in the past eight weeks through a combination of advertising, media coverage, social media, and working with thousands of third parties to raise awareness

65K: 65,000 consumers with affected dryers have come forward and registered since the recall launched in the summer – compared to less than 10,000 throughout the first half of the year

1.7million+: The dryer safety campaign has resolved the issue for more than 1.7 million people so far

50%: Half of the dryers that were in the market at the start of the campaign in 2015 have now been resolved

5x: The dryer programme has resolved up to five times more products than the average recall in the UK achieves. (Source: https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/)

100 million: Whirlpool has placed hundreds of adverts in print, online, and radio media titles with a collective reach of over 100 million

330K: more than 330,000 people have visited Whirlpool’s new dedicated recall website – almost double the number who visited its safety websites in the first half of the year

450: More than 450 UK media articles have been generated about the recall, estimated to have been seen more than 110 million times

30 million: social media posts about the recall are also estimated to have reached people around 30 million times

85K: over 85,000 consumers have contacted us in the past eight weeks since the renewed recall launch to check if their dryers are affected

7: It takes just seven days on average for us to provide a resolution to a consumer once they have chosen the option they want

3/4: The free of charge replacement dryer has by far been the most popular remedy with three-quarters (73%) of consumers choosing this option

10 million: Whirlpool has sent more than 10 million letters, emails and SMS messages directly to tumble dryer owners across the UK to raise awareness to the recall

10: The recall notice has been translated into more than 10 different languages spoken in Britain, and shared with hundreds of organisations with connections to non-English speakers