Whirlpool admits up to 800,000 faulty tumble-dryers in homes around the UK

Whirlpool has admitted that there could be as many as 800,000 faulty tumble dryers in homes around the UK.

In June, the Government said it would issue a recall notice of up to 500,000 dryers which are a fire risk.

But when pressed by MPs yesterday, company chiefs admitted the number of unmodified machines could be much higher.

Whirlpool also revealed, in recent years, it had logged 54 fires in its dryers and admitted three of those were models that had been updated.

Charlie Pugsley, deputy assistant commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said it had seen a wide range of faults causing fires in machines which had already been modified.

MPs were taking evidence over the scandal that has seen 1.7 million products modified so far.

Witness Jemma Spurr, whose modified dryer caught fire, told the Business Committee she was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Whirlpool bosses were asked by MP Antoinette Sandbach why some victims were asked to sign NDAs, when the company had stated it wanted to raise awareness of the issue.

She said: “Why is it that you are trying to shut people up by asking them to sign NDAs?”

Jeff Noel, from Whirlpool, defended their use, saying they are an “important part” of any settlement.

He was also asked about the Grenfell fire and whether the firm stood by its statement the blaze may have been caused by a cigarette. An expert told a public inquiry it probably started in a Whirlpool Hotpoint fridge-freezer.

Mr Noel said: “I’m not in a position to say anything other than I think it’s appropriate for issues to have been raised.”

Five million dryers had a fault that allows fluff to touch the heating element and has caused at least 750 fires. The Creda and Hotpoint brands are also affected.

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