'Dangerous' tumble dryers: People still waiting for repairs a year on

People who own potentially dangerous Whirlpool tumble dryers are still waiting for them to be repaired or replaced, a year after a safety alert, a survey has found.

Which? found 22% of affected customers first polled in April were still waiting for their machine to be repaired or replaced.

Fire chiefs warned in October that owners of faulty Whirlpool dryers must stop using them immediately, after one of the machines was found to be the cause of a huge blaze in an 18-storey tower block in Shepherd's Bush in London.

A reported 5.3 million dryers made by Whirlpool brands Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda between April 2004 and September 2015 are subject to a safety notice about the fire risk, which is caused by excess fluff coming into contact with the heating element.

Which? also found Whirlpool to be giving potentially dangerous advice to mystery shoppers last month, telling one that their machine was not affected despite the model number being listed in the safety notice, and incorrectly advising three others to contact the shop they bought the machine from for a replacement.

An alert was issued last year, but many machines have not been replaced. Credit: Garnham Family

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home and legal services, said: "It is absolutely unacceptable that one year on, Whirlpool customers are still seeing slow, poor service and potentially receiving incorrect and dangerous advice."

Shadow minister for housing and London, Andy Slaughter, said: "The new research produced by Which? provides further evidence that Whirlpool's response to this issue has been totally inadequate thus far, and makes it clear that they have disregarded the safety and consumer rights of those in possession of these faulty dryers.

Whirlpool urged anyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint or Creda dryer manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 to check if their dryer is affected and then register for a free modification if it is.

"The safety of consumers is our number one priority and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the tumble dryer modification programme is carried out in a safe and timely manner," a Whirlpool spokesman said.