The Government faces having to find time after the general election to discuss the need to recall all Whirlpool UK fire-risk tumble dryers, after a petition on the subject surpassed 100,000 signatures.
A parliamentary petition, entitled 'call on the Government to urge Whirlpool UK to recall all faulty tumble dryers', was given a deadline of 1 May to hit the 100,000 threshold - as of this morning it had received almost 101,300 signatures. If a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered by the Government for a debate in Parliament.
While parliament will dissolve next week ahead of the 8 June election, the success of the petition means that MPs should have an opportunity to press the Government on the safety issue involving millions of machines manufactured by Whirlpool and sold between April 2004 and September 2015.
Two months ago, owners of potentially dangerous Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers (which are all made by Whirlpool) were warned not to use the machines until they've been repaired.
'There have been several hundred fires caused by Whirlpool tumble dryers'
The petition states: "Following hundreds of fires caused by Whirlpool tumble dryers, we are concerned that Whirlpool have not recalled the approximately five million faulty dryers and have not changed their safety advice to customers, as recommended by the London Fire Brigade, who advise consumers to stop using the dryers.
"There have been several hundred fires caused by Whirlpool tumble dryers, including on 19 August 2016, in a block of flats in Shepherds Bush, which left 26 homes uninhabitable.
"We are concerned that manufacturers Whirlpool UK have failed to recall the faulty dryers, of which there are around five million in Britain, and have not changed their safety advice to consumers, despite the London Fire Brigade advising consumers to stop using the machines with immediate effect."
MoneySavingExpert.com has contacted Whirlpool for a comment and we will update this story when we hear back.
How to check if your machine's affected
If you've a Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda tumble dryer sold between April 2004 and September 2015, there's a chance you may need an engineer visit (though Whirlpool-branded machines are not affected).
To check if your machine requires a repair, you can visit the safety websites of Hotpoint, Indesit or Swan (another affected brand) and enter your model and serial numbers. Owners of Creda machines can check the Hotpoint website.
How to try to get a refund if you're still waiting for a repair
Since Whirlpool first announced in November 2015 that millions of potentially dangerous tumble dryers would have to be repaired, MSE has been inundated with emails from concerned customers facing a delay of months for the company to send round an engineer to fix their machine free of charge.
Last year, we published a guide with three tricks to try if you don't want to wait months for a repair, or would prefer a refund or replacement anyway. In brief, these were:
- Ask Whirlpool for a refund or replacement instead of a repair. While the official word from the company is that it isn't offering repairs or replacements, lots of MoneySavers who've tried their luck have had success going down this road – particularly when using social media to complain.
- Go to the shop you bought the dryer from. Many MoneySavers have had success contacting the retailer and seeking a refund or replacement under the Consumer Rights Act (and the Sale of Goods Act, which applies to goods bought before 1 October 2015). See our Consumer Rights guide for more on this.
- Go to your credit card company if you paid on a credit card. This involves seeking a Section 75 refund – for more info on how this works and how to claim, see our Section 75 guide.
In October last year we heard from one Hotpoint tumble dryer owner who was refused a Section 75 refund by his credit card provider, only to have that refusal overturned by the ombudsman – paving the way for other customers to mount a challenge.