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17 December 2019, 14:49
Whirlpool has recalled 519,000 washing machines following a fault which could lead to them overheating and potentially catching fire.
Just months after it launched a major recall of potentially dangerous dryers, now Whirlpool has announced it is recalling hundreds of thousands of washing machines as well.
The company has said as many as 519,000 Hotpoint and Indesit models could be affected by a dangerous manufacturing flaw with the door-locking system, which could lead to them overheating and catching fire.
It’s urged UK shoppers who bought one of their machines between October 2014 and February 2018 to contact Whirlpool immediately to check if their appliance is affected.
According to the BBC, 79 fires are thought to have been caused by the fault.
While no serious injuries have been caused, Whirlpool has advised consumers to unplug their washing machines and refrain from using them.
If consumers choose to continue using their machines, they should only use cold water cycles of 20C or lower, as the heating element is activated during washing cycles above this temperature.
Those affected by the recall will have the choice of either a free-of-charge replacement washing machine, or a free-of-charge in-home repair of their existing appliance.
You can check if your washing machine is affected by visiting THIS website where you’ll find an online model checker tool, as well as a full list of model numbers.
Customers can also contact Whirlpool's freephone hotline, 0800 316 1442 where an adviser will guide you on what to do next.
You will need the model number and the serial number of the appliance, both of which can be found inside the door or on a label stuck on the back.
Vice president of Whirlpool, Jeff Noel said: "We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to our customers, particularly over the Christmas period, but we hope people will understand that we are taking action because people's safety is our top priority.
"Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January."
He added: "This is an issue we inherited from buying Indesit Company, but as the new owner, it is our responsibility to keep our customers safe. We are recalling these products because it is the right thing to do for people's safety and we will do whatever it takes to put the situation right for our customers.
"By taking actions like this, we are bringing the company we acquired in line with Whirlpool's industry-leading global safety and quality standards."
This comes after the company was forced to pull 800,000 tumble dryers back in July after it was revealed they were also a fire risk.
More than 600 models of vented and condenser tumble dryers were affected, made by Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline between 2004 and 2015.