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Employee Engagement

A senior Whirlpool executive has apologised to customers affected by the saga of dangerous tumble dryers sold for 11 years in the UK. Whirlpool is now launching a full recall of any remaining fire-prone dryers, nearly four years after first alerting people to the safety issue.

Speaking to the BBC, its vice-president Jeff Noel defended a decision not to recall dryers when the fault emerged. Many cases had been dealt with “faster and sooner” by a safety fix, he said.

Engineers have been adding a fix to machines, but Mr Noel accepted that “expanded” efforts now needed to be made, adding that “we apologise for putting our customers through hardship”.

More than five million affected machines were sold in the UK, under the Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline brands, between April 2004 and September 2015.

Anyone who thinks they bought one should call 0800 151 0905 or visit a dedicated website, being set up on Monday, to check if their dryer is affected. If it is on the recall list, they should stop using it and unplug it immediately.

They can then choose:

  • For the first time, a free replacement dryer with no extra charges for collection or disposal of the old machine
  • A free, one-hour modification of the old machine
  • A discounted upgrade to a higher specification model than the free replacement
  • A partial refund of up to £150, with owners of older machines getting less than those with newer ones

There are no plans for any extra measures for those machines which have already been modified, despite cases of some of them catching fire after they had been fixed.