Whirlpool recalls half a million fire-risk tumble dryers as firm's VP says 'I'm sorry'

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
A Whirlpool logo is seen on a dryer. Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Major American multinational manufacturer Whirlpool (WHR) has recalled around 500,000 tumble dryers after the UK government ordered the group to take action over the models being a fire risk.

Whirlpool recalled certain models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan, and Proline dryers that were built between 2004 and 2015. The group said that with an affected dryer should unplug it immediately, stop using it, and contact Whirlpool immediately.

The fire risk issue centres around a fault that allows fluff from clothes to reach heating elements. Last month, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) took an "unprecedented" step by ordering a non-governmental affiliated company to recall products.

Meanwhile, Whirlpool’s vice-president Jeff Noel apologised in an interview with the BBC to customers who have been affected by the dangerous products, which the group has sold for 11 years in the UK.

He also defended the group’s decision to not recall dryers sooner by claiming that many cases had been dealt with "faster and sooner" by a safety fix.

Noel estimated the number of unmodified tumble dryers in homes could be up to 800,000.

In another statement, he said: "People's safety is our top priority which is why we are expanding this important campaign. We are committed to doing the right thing for our customers and will continue to take every action possible to resolve this issue.

"The crucial message is please contact us immediately if you still own one of these tumble dryers and haven't already had it modified or replaced by us."

Consumers can check if their dryer is one of those affected by calling 0800 151 0905 or visiting Whirlpool’s website. The company said consumers whose dryers have already been replaced or modified need take no further action.