Whirlpool has said that owners of its faulty fire-risk tumble dryers “must come forward” and make contact “as a matter of urgency so their units can be replaced or modified”, with the company claiming it has located 65,000 more affected dryers thanks to its renewed recall efforts.
Earlier this year, Whirlpool agreed to a recall plan after the Government declared its intention to force the company to issue a full recall for the affected tumble dryers, four years after it was revealed that several models were at risk of catching fire.
In the summer, two Whirlpool executives were subjected to questioning by a panel of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – BEIS – Committee members at the House of Commons, where Whirlpool vice president Jeff Noel admitted there may be up to 800,000 unmodified dryers still in UK homes.
Whirlpool has now said its modification 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”.
“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 Noel. “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,” he added. The company is offering consumers a free replacement dryer; the opportunity to pay a small amount for an upgraded product; or an “age-related refund premium of between £35 and £150 including the collection of the affected dryer”.
Whirlpool began an advertising campaign for the recall in the summer, which included full-page notices in national papers and magazines, notices in regional and national online publications, and radio notices, which the company said has a collective circulation of more than 100 million.
“More than 450 UK media articles have been generated about the recall, estimated to have been seen more than 110 million times,” Whirlpool said, adding that it has been working with third-party organisations to raise awareness, and has translated its recall notices into more than 10 different languages.