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Got a Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine? Your rights as 100,000s of machines are recalled

A recall of up to 519,000 Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines has been launched, after they were found to pose a fire safety risk – here are your rights if your machine's affected.

The fault is caused by the machine's heating element being activated during cycles of above 20C, which in some cases can cause a component in the door lock system to overheat and create a fire risk.

It could affect Hotpoint and Indesit-branded machines manufactured between October 2014 and February 2018. Hotpoint and Indesit were bought by Whirlpool in 2014, but Whirlpool-branded washing machines aren't included in the warning.

If you've bought one of these machines since 2014, you should urgently check whether your model is affected using the help below.

If your washing machine is affected, you should unplug it immediately and not use it. You'll then be offered a choice of a like-for-like replacement model, or an in-home repair of your existing machine (with no charge).

This is not the first recall Whirlpool has been involved with. Earlier this year, Whirlpool issued a product recall for tumble dryers under the Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan brands, manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 – though safety warnings about the machines date back to 2015.

I've got a Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine – how can I check if I'm affected?

If you've bought a Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine since 2014, you should check whether it's affected as soon as possible:

  • Find the model number and serial number of your appliance. You can find these codes either inside the door of the washing machine, or on a label on the back of the appliance.

  • Check if your washing machine's model is affected. The Whirlpool website has a full list of affected model numbers, as well as an online checking tool. You can also call 0800 316 1442 to check if your machine's affected.

My machine's affected – what should I do?

If your washing machine's impacted by the fault, unplug it immediately and then contact Whirlpool on 0800 316 1442 or via its website.

Whirlpool says it's offering affected customers the choice between an in-home repair to the faulty machine, or a like-for-like replacement – both free of charge.

If customers opt for a replacement, Whirlpool will collect and dispose of the old washing machine and deliver the new machine for free.

This option is available now, and Whirlpool says over a thousand replacement machines have already been installed. It's aiming to provide replacements to those who have registered their machines "within a matter of weeks". 

Whirlpool says it's aiming to offer the repair option "in the coming week". 

Can I get a refund instead?

Whirlpool's official position is it will be offering either repairs or replacements for affected machines. But unofficially, there are routes you can pursue to try and get a refund for your machine instead. We've heard of people successfully getting refunds after previous Whirlpool recalls, but none of these methods have any guarantees:

  • Ask Whirlpool for a refund anyway. You can ask for a refund by calling Whirlpool on 0800 316 1442, getting in touch through its contact form or by using Resolver to complain.

    This option may be a long shot, but we've heard some Forumites who complained to Whirlpool about faulty tumble dryers in the past have managed to get refunds.

  • Ask the retailer you bought the washing machine from for a refund. If you bought your machine in the last six years (or five years if you're in Scotland), you can try and get a refund from the retailer you bought it from under the Consumer Rights Act, or the Sale of Goods Act if you bought it before October 2015.

    When you buy an item, your contract is with the retailer rather than the manufacturer – and it must be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable length of time.

    After six months, it's down to you to prove it doesn't meet this criteria if you want a refund (before that, it's the retailer's responsibility to prove it wasn't faulty when you bought it). But you can try and cite the safety warnings and the fact that the product is set to be recalled. See our Consumer Rights guide for more info.

  • Ask your credit card company for a refund. If you bought your washing machine using a credit card and it cost more than £100, you can ask your credit card company for a refund under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which makes the credit company jointly liable with the retailer when things go wrong. See our Section 75 guide for more info.

  • Ask your debit card company for a refund. In some cases, if you buy goods on a debit card you may be able to get a refund from your bank through the chargeback scheme – although this is a customer service promise rather than a legal obligation. But unlike Section 75, there can be stricter time limits – you'll only be able to make a claim if you bought or paid for your washing machine within the last 120 days. See our Chargeback guide for more.

What does Whirlpool say?

Whirlpool says it has proactively informed the UK product safety regulator, the Office for Product Safety and Standards, about the situation and is continuing to send it updates.

Jeff Noel, vice-president of Whirlpool Corporation, said: "In line with the commitment we made to our customers in December, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that we can now formally reach out to all affected customers who have registered with us to arrange to replace and repair their washing machines.

"We have already reassured 95% of the 1.2 million customers who came forward to register that their appliance is not affected. We have also served over a thousand customers with the greatest need over the Christmas period. We are aiming to provide remedies to all 60,000 customers currently registered with us within a matter of weeks. 

"Our priority continues to be the safety of our customers, which is why we want to encourage anyone who may be affected but has not yet registered their appliance with us to do so immediately by contacting our customer service team on 0800 316 1442 or visiting our dedicated recall website so that we can provide a solution to them as quickly as possible."

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