At the beginning of the year, certain models of washing machine by Hotpoint were deemed unsafe due to a fire risk and subsequently recalled. The machines included in this are some models made by Whirlpool between 2014 and 2018. [Please check Whirlpools website for full details]. Consumers are urged to check their machines to ensure they aren’t included. The potential fire hazard is due to a door locking system overheating for cycles above 20 degrees Celsius. A staggering half a million washing machines have been recalled in the UK as a result of this.
Such a huge recall of machines has massively disrupted thousands of customers who may not be able to do any hot washes until their machines are replaced or repaired. With the high volume of faulty machines, this could take months to resolve. Some remuneration efforts by Whirlpool include a free of charge replacement machine like their previous model, or a free repair.
A number of insurance companies have confirmed that customers will still be covered by their home or contents insurance if a faulty product causes a fire. However, this is dependent on customers following the advice provided by Whirlpool to prove that best efforts have been made to prevent a fire.
Customers have been advised to register any new or existing white good appliances on the Government register. That way, in the unfortunate event of an appliance issue, customers can easily be located if they may be at risk due to a product fault. Anybody who owns one of the recalled machines that has not already been in contact with Whirlpool or Home Insurers, have been advised to unplug and stop using their machine or ensure to only do cold wash cycles under 20 degrees Celcius. Customers have also been advised to keep on top of general upkeep of their appliances. This can be done by regularly cleaning the filters, draws, and drums of machines and dryers. This can help to prevent build up and maintain efficient operating.
This is not the first time a Hotpoint appliance has caused a fire risk. The Grenfell Tower fire of 2017 is thought to have been started from a faulty Hotpoint fridge-freezer. The Whirlpool manufacturer produced a statement reiterating that the safety of their customer is their upmost importance and that no other appliances of theirs are currently affected.