The report found it ‘astonishing’ that there were still up to 800,000 faulty machines in people’s homes
Whirlpool has been condemned for using controversial gagging clauses to “silence customers” who had been fire victims of its faulty tumble dryers.
MPs said it was “disgraceful” the manufacturer made householders sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and called for it to stop.
The report by the Commons business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee noted “the chilling effect such legal devices have” and branded the practice as “dangerous”, because watchdogs would be unaware of safety problems.
The report also found it “astonishing” that there were still up to 800,000 faulty machines in people’s homes four years after the Whirlpool revealed they posed a fire hazard.
The committee criticised the firm for its slow response in fixing or replacing defective items and also highlighted doubts over the safety of the modification to address the fault.
MPs said the company’s approach to safety was further exposed with its “improbable suggestion” that the Grenfell fire, was caused by a stray cigarette rather than one of its fridges, as the police found.
The company finally launched a full recall involving 500,000 dryers in July following a lengthy “safety campaign” that saw 1.7 million products modified.