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Whirlpool Corporation: Washing Machines

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when Whirlpool first notified the Office for Product Safety and Standards of (a) the safety fault with its machines and (b) its intention to recall over 500,000 affected appliances, announced on 17 December 2019; what targets the Office for Product Safety and Standards has set Whirlpool for carrying out the recall of its washing machines; what quality assurance the Office for Product Safety and Standards has carried out on the modification that Whirlpool is proposing to offer to consumers as part the recall; and how long the Office for Product Safety and Standards expects affected Whirlpool customers will have to wait to have their at-risk washing machines repaired or replaced following the recall.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Whirlpool informed the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) in October 2019 that it was investigating a potential issue with door locks on some models of washing machine. OPSS required the company to provide detailed data on this issue in order to have clarity on the nature and scale of the problem and to identify the appropriate response to protect public safety. Following assessment of the issue, it was agreed that a full recall should be instigated and the recall programme was announced on 17 December 2019.

OPSS is acting to ensure the company conducts an effective recall with a process that is as quick and easy for consumers as possible. OPSS is monitoring Whirlpool’s actions closely and will hold the company to account. Data on the recall, including on the time taken for customers to receive a remedy will be published by OPSS.

In order to include a modification as part of an appropriate response, a manufacturer must provide scientific and technical evidence that the modification addresses the problem identified; that those undertaking the modification have received full training on applying the modification; and that there is a robust quality assurance process in place for each modification.

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No1 person thinks not

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