Whirlpool Tumble Dryers: Product Recall - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:14 pm on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 6:14 pm, 17th June 2019

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer to an Urgent Question given by my honourable friend the Minister for Small Business:

“The Government take the safety of electrical products very seriously. For our children, our relatives and our families, we all want our homes to be places of safety and security. I provided an update to the House, at departmental Questions last week, on the most recent step taken by the Office for Product Safety and Standards in relation to Whirlpool tumble dryers. This follows the OPSS review of the actions taken by Whirlpool in relation to its corrective action. The findings of the review were published on 4 April.

The OPSS review examined, in detail, the modification programme put in place by Whirlpool, as well as technical documents supplied by Whirlpool. The review concluded that the risk posed by modified tumble dryers is low. The Office for Product Safety and Standards produced a list of required actions for the business to take and Whirlpool was given 28 days to respond, outlining the actions that it would take.

The response received from Whirlpool was considered to be inadequate. As a result, the OPSS has written to Whirlpool to inform the company of its intention to serve a recall notice under the provisions of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, in respect of the unmodified tumble dryers that remain in homes in the UK.

As required by law, Whirlpool was given 10 days’ notice of that intention. The 10 days allowed Whirlpool to submit its views prior to the service of the recall notice or to seek arbitration in line with the provisions under the GPSR. Officials in the OPSS are reviewing Whirlpool’s response to determine whether it fully meets the requirements laid down in the draft recall notice.

At this time all enforcement options remain on the table, including serving a formal recall notice. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further while the legal process is ongoing. I will update the House in due course.

It is important to stress that consumers who have had their affected tumble dryers modified can continue to use them. Those with an unmodified affected tumble dryer have been urged to unplug them and to contact Whirlpool. I encourage all consumers to register their appliances to ensure they receive updates on product modifications and recalls.

The OPSS will continue to monitor this situation closely and will take any steps it deems appropriate to ensure that consumers in the UK continue to enjoy the high levels of protection they have come to expect”.

My Lords, that concludes the Statement.