Thousands of fire risk tumble dryers are finally being recalled after health concerns were first raised four years ago.
Whirlpool is in the process of replacing or repairing 4.3 million appliances, but has now been told it will be forced by the government to recall all of the machines that could still be a risk.
The government has said that the faulty dryers are responsible for 750 fires in an 11-year period.
The potentially faulty machines come under the brand names of Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan.
Hotpoint has estimated that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 of the dangerous machines left in homes across the UK.
The fire risk is caused by fluff from clothing getting caught in the heating element and causing the appliances to overheat.
Whirlpool has been given 10 days to respond to the government’s order to recall the products before the company faces legal action. In this time it could issue a voluntary recall, or ask for a review. The company has not yet confirmed what action it will take in response to the government order.
How to tell if your tumble dryer is affected
Whirlpool has identified that two of its machines that were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 are potentially faulty.
If you bought a Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline or Swan machine in this time period, you need to check if there is a green sticker on the inside of the dryer door or on the back of the appliance.
If there is no sticker, you must then check if it is faulty. You can do this by locating the serial code and model number (which should be in the same places you checked for the green sticker) and entering it into online checkers at safety.hotpoint.eu or safety.indesit.eu or safety-swan.eu
Anybody with an affected dryer should contact Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905, or through the above websites.
You should also unplug any faulty machines and and stop using them until they are fixed.
However, there have also been complaints that the fixed machines can still be a fire hazard.
Consumer group Which? published a report earlier this year that revealed that it has spoken to 30 people who have said that their tumble dryers that had allegedly been repaired had caught fire, produced smoke or the smell of burning.
What have Whirlpool said?
In April, the government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards published a report which told Whirlpool to improve its communication with customers about repairing the tumble dryers.
Whirlpool announced in January that around 1.7million tumble dryers had been fixed or replaced since 2015.
A spokesperson for Whirlpool told The Sun, “Safety is our number one priority and we remain committed to resolving any affected tumble dryers that have not yet been modified.
“To this end, we are in ongoing discussions with the OPSS to agree additional measures we have proposed to reach consumers who have not yet engaged with this safety programme.
“We have cooperated with the OPSS throughout its recent review of the programme and welcome its findings that consumers whose tumble dryers have been modified can continue to use them safely.”