I was given figures showing 71,000 potentially faulty Hotpoint dishwashers were sold in the UK market between June 2006 and March 2007.
The dishwashers affected are models FDW20, FDW60 and FDW65A.
Of these, just 7,000 dishwashers have been repaired by Hotpoint since the company launched a repair programme in October 2012.
That means 64,000 appliances, which could pose a risk to British homeowners, remain unaccounted for. Hotpoint themselves gave me this information - but have they done enough to make it public?
Furthermore, I have found out that 85 cases of fires or smoke damage resulting from faulty Hotpoint dishwashers have occurred. Yet the company have admitted that they only started contacting affected customers in October 2012 and waited until last week to issue a safety alert in the national media.
Michelle Gorringe-Smith, Marketing Director, Hotpoint spoke to me today:
The numbers involved in this particular affected situation are relatively small. While every one is one too many and clearly confidence in appliances is our key priority; however with the small number of products affected, the risk is very low.
Every year the industry sells more than ten million appliances. In this particular incident these dishwashers go back to production in 2006/2007 and our business sold more than twelve million appliances since that time.
While every affected dishwasher is one too many, there are a small number of instances and that 12 million appliances I referenced does put that in context.
I asked why they waited at least six months before going public with warning adverts.
Michelle Gorringe-Smith replied: “On discovering there may be a particular issue we involved external laboratory independent test houses to help us evaluate the risk.”
“It did take us six months to really piece that jigsaw together and to identify the real repair that was required but as soon as we did our priority was to contact our customers.”
- Consumers who believe their machine is one of those affected should contact the Hotpoint Customer Service Centre on 08448 910094 where they can arrange for a free repair. There is also a dedicated email address set up for enquiries: email@example.com.