Half a million Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines are being recalled over a potential fire hazard, manufacturer Whirlpool has said.
As many as 519,000 of the machines sold in the UK between October 2014 and February 2018 may be affected by a fault with the door-locking system that could cause them to overheat and catch fire.
Owners who bought a Hotpoint or Indesit appliance during that window are urged to contact Whirlpool to find out if they are affected – and should unplug and stop using them immediately.
It comes just months after Whirlpool recalled a similar number of tumble dryers because of another fire risk, which allowed fluff from clothes to reach heating elements.
The latest recall should officially begin in early January and all affected customers will be able to claim a free replacement or free in-home repair, the company has said.
In the meantime, those desperate to continue using their washing machine should only use sub-20C cold water cycles, which significantly reduce the risk of the fire.
Whirlpool Corporation vice president Jeff Noel said: “We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to our customers, particularly over the Christmas period, but we hope people will understand that we are taking action because people’s safety is our top priority.
“Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January.”
He added that it was an issue the firm had “inherited” by purchasing Indesit back in 2014.
“By taking actions like this, we are bringing the company we acquired in line with Whirlpool’s industry-leading global safety and quality standards,” he said.
Customers can check if their machine is affected by visiting washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk or by calling a free hotline on 0800 316 1442, quoting the model and serial number.
The numbers can be inside the door and on a label on the rear of the appliance.