Within months of admitting that the company has allowed customers to own fire-hazard washing machines, Whirlpool has announced a large-scale recall. Hotpoint and Indesit models are some of the devices which have been deemed faulty. It is estimated that around 519,000 washing machines will need to be repaired or replaced. However, even though customers might be aware that they have a faulty washing machine at home, they are stuck with it until January.

Certain models of Whirlpool washing machines sold in the United Kingdom between October 2014 and October 2018 reportedly have a design defect. The defect in the door-locking system leads to overheating of the machine, which in turn leads to a fire-risk. Hotpoint and Indesit models are no longer in production since the defect was detected.

Even though the company halted the production of the models in 2018, thousands of customers still have the dangerous device in their homes over a year since the defect was discovered. Customers are forced to wait for the holiday season to pass.

indesit washing machines
An estimated 519,000 machines made by Whirlpool, Indesit and Hotpoint are in UK households. Reuters

Whirlpool set up a website that could be used by customers to check if their washing machines are safe. However, the website crashed soon after it was launched. Customers have the alternate option to call 0800 316 1442 to talk to customer care representatives. BBC reported that initially, it was difficult to get any representative on the line.

Customers can register their replacement or repair request now. Depending on the customer's choice, the device will get picked up or get repaired in their home. The service is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Even though no action will be taken by the manufacturer before January, registering the request early ensures that the service request will be addressed soon.

The initiation of the replacement and repair process from January does not mean that all customers will be free of faulty products within January. It will take the manufacturer months to take care of thousands of devices.

Meanwhile, customers with faulty devices have been advised to use the cold wash cycle below 20C. When the faulty component of the machine gets heated beyond 20C, it runs the risk of causing a fire. 79 homes have reportedly faced fires caused by the faulty washing machines in the past five years.