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Whirlpool website crashes after announcing recall of 11,000 Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines

The recall does not concern Whirlpool branded washing machines.

The recall concerns Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines sold between 2014 and 2018. (File)
The recall concerns Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines sold between 2014 and 2018. (File)
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

Updated Dec 17th 2019, 3:15 PM

HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCE MANUFACTURER Whirlpool has announced it is recalling certain Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines due to a potential fire risk.

Up to 11,000 washing machines sold in Ireland may be affected by the recall. 

The issue affects certain washing machines sold in Ireland under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands that were manufactured between October 2014 and February 2018.

It does not concern Whirlpool branded washing machines.

Whirlpool has said that the safety issue concerns the door lock system on certain washing machines. 

“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,” Whirlpool said in a statement.

Whirlpool said the issue was identified by the company’s safety team and that “no serious injuries have been reported”.

Owners of the appliances purchased since 2014 are being urged to contact Whirlpool immediately to check if their washing machine is one of the models affected.

People can check if their washing machine is affected by visiting a dedicated recall website.

The website crashed after the announcement this afternoon, however, and Whirlpool also said that the a recall hotline was experiencing issues. 

“We are experiencing technical problems with our website and customer service hotline, and are working to fix the issues as soon as possible. We will let you know as soon as they are live again,” Whirlpool said in a tweet that instead listed the models affected.

Whirlpool says that owners of the affected washing machines should unplug them and not use them. 

“If nevertheless consumers do use their appliance, they should only use cold water cycles of 20C or lower as this significantly reduces the risk,” the company said. 

“This is because the issue is associated with the washing machine’s heating element being activated during washing cycles above 20C.”

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whilr 2 The affected Whirlpool models. Source: Twitter

The company says that affected customers will be offered the choice of either a free-of-charge like-for-like replacement washing machine, or a free-of-charge in-home repair of their existing appliance.

Under the replacement option, Whirlpool says it will collect and dispose of customers’ affected washing machines and deliver the new products free-of-charge.

Christmas period

Jeff Noel, vice president of Whirlpool, noted in today’s statement the specific difficulties associated with this time of year. 

“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,” Noel said.

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. 

Noel added the issue was one “we inherited from buying Indesit” but that Whirpool takes responsibility.

“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,” he said. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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