Indesit tumble dryer customers have been told by parent company Whirlpool they will have to wait 11 months to have their faulty machine fixed. Whirlpool issued a fire safety warning for a number of products found to have a serious defect.

Whirlpool bought Indesit, which manufactures the Indesit, Hotpoint and Creda brands of white goods, in 2014. An investigation on reports of fires forced the company to issue the alert and offer customers a free repair for any defective tumble dryers in November 2015. In February 2016, a family in Guildford blamed their Indesit tumble dryer for a fire that gutted their home.

So far, the company has been in contact with 3.4m customers, with an estimated 5.4m of the faulty appliances sold in the UK between 2004 and 2015. One customer told the BBC that he "thought it was a mistake" when he received the email saying how long it would take for an engineer to get round to his appliance.

Whirlpool replied, saying: "Given the large number of dryers affected, we know our customers are experiencing delays. We apologise for this inconvenience and are working hard to improve response times."

Faulty appliances include air-vented and condensed tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. Washer-dryers have not been affected.

Affected customers have been advised to identify the model and serial numbers on their machines and enter the details into the dedicated website's model-check. These can be found on a tag located on the dryer door, either in the recess or on the back. Owners of Hotpoint or Creda brands can check whether repairs are needed by putting the serial numbers through Hotpoint's site. Indesit users can check via Indesit's site.