UK regulator orders recall of fire-risk Whirlpool washing machines

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LONDON (Reuters) – Half a million washing machines manufactured by Whirlpool Corp (N:) and sold in Britain are to be recalled following an order from the country’s safety regulator which found they pose a fire risk.

The latest recall follows one for faulty tumble dryers in July, which also posed a fire risk.

Whirlpool will start a recall and replacement program for the washing machines next month, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) said on Tuesday.

The recall will be undertaken by Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd, which identified a fault in some Hotpoint and Indesit models sold since 2014.

According to OPSS’s advice, there is a risk that the door locks of affected machines could catch fire due to overheating during the washing process. It said affected consumers are advised to unplug their machines and register with Whirlpool for a no-cost replacement.

“The Office for Product Safety and Standards will closely monitor Whirlpool to ensure the recall is carried out successfully,” said OPSS Chief Executive Graham Russell.

“Our priority is to keep consumers safe and we urge affected customers to unplug their washing machines, contact Whirlpool and follow its advice.”

Jeff Noel, vice president of Whirlpool, apologized for the recall.

“We know this will cause some concern. We especially understand that the washing machine is so important to family life, and in Christmas holiday season it will be even more of an important matter and, for that, we apologize,” he told the BBC.

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