Tum­ble dryer firm quizzed

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

MPS are de­mand­ing an ex­pla­na­tion from white goods man­u­fac­turer Whirlpool as to why it has ended a product re­place­ment scheme for tum­ble dry­ers de­spite more than one mil­lion de­fec­tive ma­chines re­main­ing in UK house­holds.

Rachel Reeves, the chair of the Com­mons Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­trial Strat­egy Com­mit­tee, ac­cused the US firm of “fall­ing sig­nif­i­cantly short of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties” amid con­tin­u­ing con­cerns about the safety of the dry­ers.

In a let­ter to Whirlpool UK’s head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ian Mover­ley, she de­manded to know why he failed to men­tion the re­place­ment scheme was clos­ing when he gave ev­i­dence to the com­mit­tee in Oc­to­ber.

Last month a coroner called on Whirlpool to take ac­tion to pre­vent fu­ture deaths after an elec­tri­cal fault in the door of one of its dry­ers was blamed for a fire which killed two men in a flat in Llan­r­wst, Conwy, in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Whirlpool, which makes Hot­point, In­de­sit and Creda ma­chines, had pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied a fire risk with two mod­els of tum­ble dry­ers man­u­fac­tured be­tween 2004 and 2015.

The com­pany ini­tially ad­vised con­sumers the ma­chines were safe to use with pre­cau­tions while await­ing re­pair, be­fore stat­ing in Fe­bru­ary that the dry­ers should be un­plugged un­til the re­pairs were done.

Con­sumers with faulty ma­chines were given the choice of up­grad­ing their product for a small cost rather than wait for the mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

How­ever, in her let­ter to Mr Mover­ley, Ms Reeves said the com­pany ap­peared to have de­cided to end the re­place­ment scheme in Oc­to­ber due to a “fall in de­mand”.

“Why did you not men­tion this when you gave ev­i­dence to the com­mit­tee at the end of Oc­to­ber?” she wrote.

“Please can you ex­plain why you de­cided to end this scheme when there are one mil­lion de­fec­tive tum­ble dry­ers still be­ing used in house­holds across the UK?”

Ms Reeves said: “For Whirlpool to stop their re­place­ment scheme of their tum­ble dry­ers due to a ‘fall in de­mand’ while one mil­lion cus­tomers still have these faulty appliances in their homes sug­gests a com­pany fall­ing sig­nif­i­cantly short of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to con­sumer safety.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.