Responding to the BEIS Select Committee's report, Martyn Allen, Technical Director at Electrical Safety First said:
“Today’s report from the Select Committee is a damning indictment of Whirlpool’s handling of their recall, and echoes many of our own concerns. We welcome these strong words and hope they ensure some vital lessons are learnt. A recall should have been implemented when the faults were first discovered with the machines back in 2015 and had Whirlpool done this, we may have seen fewer fires attributed to affected tumble dryers. Furthermore, NDAs should not be used for a safety issue such as this and the Select Committee is right to criticise Whirlpool’s use of them.
Moving forward, it is essential for the Government to now take note of the recommendations included in the report related to bettering access to information around recalls. A centralised recall database would form part of the solution in ensuring people are not left in the dark as to whether a dangerous product is in their home. Our own research has found that consumers believe registering appliances is a timely and inconvenient process, and the recommendation of registering at the point of purchase could help tackle the relatively low number of registered electrical items in the UK.
While we would stop short of suggesting the body should be scrapped, the OPSS must show more proactivity in intervening to protect the public from dangerous products. Boosting its power by moving it away from BEIS may be a way to ensure it can do this. We hope all manufacturers, meanwhile, take the action necessary to ensure faulty products are removed from people’s homes at the earliest stage and that this report serves as a stark warning of the consequences of not doing so.”
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