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Whirlpool told to recall 500,000 tumble dryers after deaths

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Christian Fernsby |
Whirlpool tumble dryers
Britain   Whirlpool tumble dryers

The government has ordered Whirlpool to recall 500,000 tumble dryers sold to UK customers amid fears they could pose a fire safety risk.

The 'unprecedented' move comes comes four years after a design flaw was identified in Whirpool tumble dryers in which lint could accumulate around the rear drum seal, and fall onto the heater potentially igniting a fire.

Business minister Kelly Tolhurst made the announcement, saying: "Consumer safety is a government priority.

"I want to assure that we have kept Whirlpool's actions under review and I can tell the House we have informed Whirlpool of our intention to serve a recall notice as a next step of the regulatory process. This is unprecedented action."

In 2015, Whirlpool was issued a warning over an estimated 5 million tumble dryers manufactured and sold in the UK.

The affected products are all tumble dryers from Whirlpool brands, Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline and Swan, produced between 1 April 2004 and 30 September 2015.

The design flaw was suspected of causing at least 750 fires over an 11-year period, according to the government.

The company was ordered to contact all customers who had purchased a machine to have it modified, but concerns were raised about the effectiveness of their response.

An inquest into the death of Bernard Hender, 19, and Doug McTavish, 39 in October 2014 found that a fault in the door switch of the tumble dryer was the most likely cause of the huge flat blaze in Llanrwst.

Recording a narrative verdict Mr Lewis said: “On the balance of probabilities, the fire was caused by an electrical fault in the tumble dryer in the laundry room of the flat.”

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