Whirlpool could face a criminal prosecution over washine machine blazes that led to a mass recall. The Company faces claims of putting lives and property at risk by delaying a warning to Britsh customers about their fire risk. A Freedom of Information request to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) asked for any correspondence between the Government regulator and Whirlpool about safety concerns over Indesit and Hotpoint washing machines and the product recall between October 22 and December 17 last year.
But the OPSS declined, with one reason being that the information was held for the investigation it was conducting which may lead to criminal proceedings. It is illegal to place an unsafe product on the market, with anyone convicted facing a maximum £20,000 fine and three months in jail. Whirlpool could also face prosecution if it fails to continue to provide regular updates to OPSS on the product recall. The possible legal threat is another serious blow for Whirlpool after it recalled five million of its tumble dryers, again over fire risks.