The popular American multinational company Whirlpool preparing to recall over 5,00,000 washing machines sold in the United Kingdom. The recalling was started as an aftermath of potential fire risk in the appliances. Whirlpool has fallen into a whole new episode of dangerous appliances once again.
Reports suggest that the washing machines which are branded as Indesit or Hotpoint is posing a potential risk of fire. These series of machines have been in the market for more than five years now. It is now revealed that the door locking systems of these washing machines can overheat and may cause a fire.
Whirlpool has announced that over half a million machines across the UK will be recalled as part of safety procedures. The machines which were on sale between the years 2014 to 2018 might be included in this recalling procedure. Around 20% of the total machines sold by Whirlpool during this period is estimated to be affected by this faulty door lock system. Whirlpool had already been dealing with a fault in dryers, which created a fire threat for users. The issue with the washing machines is thus a serious issue for the company.
Since the Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines are in a risk of fire, those who own these machines will have to take extra care until the recalling procedures get over. Owners are recommended not to use the machine for hot washes until the faulty products are fixed or replaced by the Whirlpool technical team.
The back-to-back problem with home appliances is giving a headache for Whirlpool. The company is subjected to heavy criticism after many appliances were found to be holding potential hazards.
Earlier, the tumble dryers from Whirlpool were found to be at risk of fire dangers. These dryers were selling out in the market for more than 11 years before the issue was noticed. People are pointing fingers to the management of Whirlpool for ignoring such a danger risk, that too for this many years. Over five million tumble dryers were found to be at risk. The recalling of dryers was only initiated by Whirlpool after the regulatory council intervened in the matter. But, in the recent events with hazards in washing machines, Whirlpool has thankfully gone for a straight recalling of faulty appliances.
To brief about the new problem with Whirlpool washing machines, reports suggest that there are faults and fire risk in nearly 20% of the Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines sold since 2014. This can equal up to nearly 519,000 washing machines sold in the UK.
There are about 79 cases of reported fires, which are thought to be occurred due to the fault in the door lock systems of the machines. Whirlpool claims that this issue was developed slowly over time.
The company states that “When the heating element in the washing machine is activated, in very rare cases a component in the door lock system can overheat, which, depending on product features, can pose a risk of fire,”
The explanation for the fires caused is that the extra current in the machine, while it is heating up, can lead to the overheating of the door locking system.
Whirlpool has addressed and acknowledged the issue by appointing a safety team. Luckily, no fire incidents reported were serious and have only caused minor injuries and damages.
Engineer Colin O’Neill commented that he had already identified the hidden risk. His words were, “When we go out, we remove the door lock and quite often find it has either failed or quite often we find that there are signs of burning to the door lock wiring harness. Sometimes I’ve even seen burn marks up the inside of the cabinet of the washing machine, so it looks like there has been a little mini fire there, but the customer hasn’t known anything about it.” he is the owner of CJM Washer Services.
One customer had reported about the issue with the Whirlpool washing machine. He stated that he could smell the burning, and his appliance had shown faulty door lock code while trying to operate the machine.
In case if you have queries and doubts about your machine, you can look up in the model checker online of Whirlpool to see if your machine holds any danger. But it seems, there are some issues with the site now. However, you can input the model and serial number, which can be found at the back of the machine or inside the door, to check if there are any threats.
Whirlpool had apologized for the inconvenience and risks that occurred to the users. The company said, “We apologize to our customers for the technical issues they may be experiencing with our website. The issue is due to a third party system provider. We understand that it is not related to the traffic to the website,”
“The system provider is working to fix the issue as quickly as possible, and the website should be back up shortly.”
A 24*7 helpline number is also available to deal with any queries the Whirlpool washing machine owners might have to ask. The customers can dial up on 0800 316 1442 to seek support.
If the machines are found to have any dangers, they will be replaced with a safer model, as offered by Whirlpool themselves.
For now, users are instructed to stop the usage of visibly faulty machines and keep the machines unplugged. Whirlpool will be prioritizing the vulnerable machines for the first part of recalling.
It is said that the recalling, repairing, and replacing process will be started by January 2020. The customers can use the machine on cold water wash mode till they are safely repaired. Even though Whirlpool is offering these services, they refuse to refund for the affected customers, which evokes further criticism.
The Vice President of Whirlpool Corporation Mr. Jeff Noel said: “We know this will cause some concern. We especially understand that the washing machine is so important to family life, and in the Christmas holiday season, it will be even more of an important matter, and, for that, we apologize.”Source
The constant problems with the Whirlpool appliances are indeed creating a hard time for the company. Many consumers and consumer safety regulatory councils are not very happy with this series of problems. It would be great if Whirlpool started to put more care into the manufacturing of their products to eliminate the risks and learn from the mistakes.