Whirlpool recall mess

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by DIY0001, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    You've probably seen the publicity recently concerning the Whirlpool tumble dryer recalls, which seems to be an upgrade of the product warning and fix notice a couple of years ago. The article on BBC news a few days back mentioned that some dryers which had the fix then still caught fire, thus giving the impression this was a complete recall of all of these dangerous products due to design fault, with 500,000 of them still unaccounted for.

    Well I have one of the relevant appliances, which I thought had been modified by Whirlpool's engineers back in 2017. I went onto the Whirlpool web page yesterday and entered the model and serial numbers. That asks if there is a green dot stuck on the machine. I checked and there is no green dot on mine. Selecting "No green dot" on the web page results in a message that the dryer is indeed one of those affected, to cease using it immediately and call the Whirlpool phone number.

    I did that, and explained the situation and Whirlpool said if the machine has been modified then it is NOT subject to the recall. The Whirlpool phone agent couldn't tell me if the machine had been modified or not, but if it had been then it was OK to use. No question of evidence of safety or anything else, just my word on the phone that I remember it being fixed. I still have the work invoice from the Whirlpool engineer's visit, which doesn't even mention safety work just changing the rear panel, but the agent didn't ask about that!

    Now, really, you would think that for something as significant as this, where several people have already been killed and dozens of homes burned down, Whirlpool would have a database of the appliance serial numbers that had been fixed and those which remain in a dangerous condition. After all, every appliance of that model will have a unique serial number. But no, they are relying entirely on the presence of a green sticker that may, or may not, have been put on the appliance by the engineer and could have since fallen off or even just been washed off in normal cleaning, or the owner's memory! In fact, the Whirlpool agent on the phone claimed that the serial number wasn't unique to each appliance and all they could tell from it was the year of manufacture!

    Little wonder they believe that half a million dangerous appliances are still in use when they haven't even bothered to keep track of those which have been sold and registered in the first place, let alone those which have been fixed.

    How have Whirpool been allowed to get away with this fiasco?
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    A half a million dangerous appliances still out there,that's probably a conservative number.
    The recall also includes Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline tumble dryers built between 2004 and 2015.
  3. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    The 'Fix' offered by Whirlpool consist of a new rear bearing and cleaning out the fluff. The bearing is just a cover up job so that customers do not notice the fluff being cleaned out. These dryers are still hazardous and should be opened and cleaned of fluff on a regular basis. In around 2 or 3 years after the 'repair' the dryers will be ready to catch fire again as the fluff builds up once more. I got rid of mine and replaced it with a heat pump tumble dryer.
  4. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    But without any method of counting them and whether they have been fixed, how do they know?

    As a condition of being allowed to continue sales, Whirlpool should be required to maintain a database of modified appliances, instead of relying on green stickers that will burn off as soon as the appliance catches fire.

    You can see it at the inquests:
    Appliance owner: The machine was fixed by Whirlpool last year.
    Whirlpool lawyer: We dispute that claim since no green sticker was found in the debris.
    gadget man and KIAB like this.
  5. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    Clearing fluff is just common sense.

    Why would a heat pump be any safer? It gets just as hot as a heated element.
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    It's a nightmare scenario,despite the recall,there will be machines that were missed,still showing up in the years to come.
  7. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    And Whirlpool won't have a clue whether they were "fixed" or not, because they have not kept any records.

    It's only a nightmare because they didn't manage it properly.
    KIAB likes this.
  8. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Heat pump dryers work at a lower temperature compared to a condenser dryer.
    And despite needing a few minutes longer to dry the clothes, they are actually cheaper to run than a condenser dryer, & much more efficent,so you will save money.
  9. Ian Atkins

    Ian Atkins Member

    Went for the option of trading unsafe drier in for a new one and paid a small amount towards it. Think it was about £29. Feel a bit cheated having to pay towards it but hopefully safest option. Thankfully tumble drier is in the detached garage, not sure I'd have one in the house.
  10. koolpc

    koolpc Super Member

    Got one in the next room to my flat (outside my flat in cupboard in corridor). Checked the numbers on the website and it says its fine. No green dots.
  11. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    It stands under the shelf with the old cans of paint and paintbrush cleaners on, next to the car with a tank full of petrol! :eek:....:D
  12. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    Having been told by Whirlpool's agent on the phone the other day that my machine was NOT subject to the recall as it had already been modified, they have called today to say that was a mistake and it is subject to the recall after all and one of the options offered is to have an engineer call and modify the machine (again). No comment on whether this would be the same modification that was undertaken 2 years ago.

    Maybe that's how they intend to reduce the outstanding 500,000 - modifying them twice.

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