Some of Whirlpool’s dryer brands including Hotpoint, Indesit, and Creda now face a bit of scrutiny, as the dryers now carry a fire hazard. Hotpoint, a subsidiary of Whirlpool, published a message on its website warning customers in the U.K. and Ireland that some dryer models sold by the company in those locations potentially pose a fire risk.
The warning reads: “As part of this review, we have identified a potential concern with two types of tumble dryers (condenser and vented dryers) manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. In some rare cases, excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element and present a risk of fire. The affected brands are: Hotpoint, Indesit, and Creda. Whirlpool branded tumble dryers are not affected by this safety notice.”
Hotpoint also suggests unplugging any dryer affected by this issue and refraining from using it until proper modification occurs. To help, the company allows users to input their model number to see if their unit falls within the affected lot.
Whirlpool first identified the safety defect back in November of 2015. Since then, the home appliance company repaired or replaced an estimated 3.8 million machines, the Guardian reports. Whirlpool did not, however, issue any sort of recall, nor did it inform customers to stop using the dryers. In fact, the appliance giant told customers dryers remained OK to use, as long as they weren’t left unattended. Trading Standards, a U.K. government organization that deals with consumer safety, initially backed Whirlpool in its decision not to recall the dryers.
Then, customers with the affected dryers continued to report problems, with some reporting fires. In August 2016, one of the dryers caused a serious fire in London and 100 people had to evacuate, BBC reports. After seeing the negative impact on customers, Which?, a consumer magazine and charity organization, threatened to take legal action against Trading Standards in December 2016.
Trading Standards then urged Whirlpool to change its advice and warn customers of the potential fire safety risks. Whirlpool dryer owners can find out if their dryer is one of the affected models by visiting the Hotpoint website, or by calling the numbers provided.