Thousands of owners of potentially dangerous tumble dryers are still awaiting action from Whirlpool, a year since the manufacturer issued a safety alert.
In November, 2015, the firm issued a warning to its customers, after a number of dryers caught fire.
According to the Daily Mail, more than 750 fires have been linked to dryers sold under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands owned by US firm Whirlpool.
Consumer group, Which? said Whirlpool customers were being subjected to “slow, poor service” and incorrect and dangerous advice, as it published the results of a survey showing that one in five are still stuck with a faulty machine.
Alex Neill, managing director of Which?, said: “It is absolutely unacceptable that one year on Whirlpool customers are still seeing slow, poor service and potentially receiving incorrect and dangerous advice.
“Whirlpool cannot be allowed to continue letting consumers down. It must clean up its act and sort out this mess urgently.”
Eight million of the potentially hazardous tumble dryers have been sold in the past 11 years, including five million in the UK.
Whirlpool has estimated that more than a million of these have been fixed, with a further million destroyed.
Michael Hardacre, a senior personal injury solicitor at law firm, Slater and Gordon, which is representing some of those injured as a result, said: “Whilst I accept that Whirlpool has, in principle, accepted legal responsibility, it’s clear that they have been overwhelmed by this problem and they haven’t put enough resources into sorting it out quickly enough.
“There have been numerous examples of customers who have been put in potentially life threatening situations when their dryers catch fire and that continues to be wholly unacceptable.”
The safety issue has been cited as fluff, or lint, collecting in the filter which is located close to the heating element in the affected machines. The build-up eventually touches the heating element, causing it to catch alight and set the dryer on fire.
Whirlpool said in a statement: “The safety of consumers is our number one priority and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the tumble dryer modification programme is carried out in a safe and timely manner.
“We urge everyone 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.”