Tumble dryers recalled as borough MP wins campaign

MP Yvonne Fovargue has welcomed progress in her campaign to get half a million potentially flammable tumble dryers recalled.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 11:37 am
MP Yvonne Fovargue

The Government announced it will order a recall of up to 500,000 Whirlpool devices – four years after fire safety concerns were first raised.

The move comes following a campaign by the Makerfield MP and parliamentary colleagues about Whirlpool’s “fire-risk” tumble dryers, and its handling of an issue that may have left dangerous machines in UK homes.

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MP Yvonne Fovargue

Ms Fovargue, who is chairman of the APPG on consumer protection, said: “The Government is right to recall the 500,000 Whirlpool tumble dryers identified by the new Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) as still awaiting modification.

“This is very welcome but is not before time. In fact, it’s been four years since the problem of fire was first highlighted and it’s nothing less than a scandal that these potentially unsafe tumble driers are still in people’s homes.

“I have been campaigning for a recall from the outset. I have also been campaigning during this time for the setting up of a central register for electrical goods to make it easier for manufacturers and retailers to contact consumers and arrange for repairs or for recall.”

Ms Fovargue also called for a new system which would make it easier for customers to be made aware of urgent recalls and potential faults with their white goods.

“The present system of registration does not work because it puts too much of the onus on the consumer,” she said. “Typically, more than 70 per cent of consumers do not register their new product, more often than not because they are afraid their data will be used to contact them for commercial purposes.

“I believe that the time is right for retailers to take on the responsibility to register goods at the point of sale, with the understanding that the information recorded can be used only in the event of a product recall.

“The good news is when I raised this issue during an urgent question in Parliament on Monday, the Consumer Minister Kelly Tolhurst promised to take the idea forward in discussions with the Consumer Protection Partnership, which advises the OPSS.

“That is encouraging. While a central register will not prevent a dangerous fault developing in the first place, it could well help to substantially limit the consequences of that fault being left unchecked on thousands of machines.”