Whirlpool: We've been working on tumble dryer issue since 2014

BBC Radio 5 Live

Whirlool tumble dryer repair man

A senior Whirlpool executive has apologised to customers affected by the saga of dangerous tumble dryers sold for 11 years in the UK.

Whirlpool is now launching a full global recall of any remaining fire-prone dryers, nearly four years after first alerting people to the safety issue.

Whirlpool's vice-president Jeff Noel told BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake Up to Money programme that it inherited the problem when it bought the Indesit business in 2014, and that Whirlpool had begun modifying the tumble dryers from that point to make them safer.

Whirlpool has so far reached 1.7 million consumers and resolved their tumble dryer issues, Mr Noel stressed.

"But the scale of doing that, and the fact that you don't always get every exchange with people the way you want it - the fact is, we have inconvenienced people, there's probably been some confusion in the messaging... in any of those cases, we do apologise to our customers," he said.

When asked why it had taken so long, Mr Noel said: "I thought that we had done that in concert with government regulations.

"We were moving forward with a process, and whatever the case it’s now time to ratchet it up in the offering we’re making to consumers who have not contacted us, but keep in mind - by every definition, what we did in our modification programme reached far more customers on a percentage basis than the average recall in the UK today."

In the papers

Financial Times front page

In the papers this morning:

The Times is reporting that air travellers are to be hit by carbon charges on all tickets, under new government plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

British Airways has cut flights to Cairo for a week because a specific threat has arised, says The Sun. Germany’s Lufthansa has done the same, but no details have been released so far on what the threat might be.

Plus, the FT is reporting that beleagued firm British Steel has been dealt a blow after Chinese firm Jingye pulled out of the running to buy it.

Meanwhile, former prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have both warned of the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Blair wrote in the Times that he thinks Boris Johnson should hold another Brexit referendum because the country is now "playing for very high stakes".

Mr Brown on the other hand is to claim in a speech in London today that leaving without a deal would push the British economy "off a cliff".

And finally, as of Monday, Whirlpool has begun a global recall of washing machines found to be causing fires.

Whirlpool admits up to 800,000 faulty dryers may exist

Tumble dryer boss apologises to customer in front of MPs
Whirlpool has admitted that there could be as many as eight hundred thousand faulty tumble-dryers in homes around the UK. Under questioning from MPs on the business committee, executives from the company said the number could be higher than previously thought. David Cornock reports.
Hear more on 'Today in Parliament' on BBC Radio 4 at 11:30pm.