BENTON HARBOR — Whirlpool Corp. is being asked to recall hundreds of thousands of tumble dryers several years after safety concerns were raised.

It is being reported by BBC that the United Kingdom stepped in to order the appliance maker to recall any machines that could be at risk. The government sent a letter to Whirlpool earlier this week, saying it will force the manufacturer to recall tumble dryers that have yet to be fixed.

The potentially faulty machines come under the brand names of Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan.

On Wednesday, Whirlpool released a statement that it is in ongoing discussions with the UK’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

“Safety is our No. 1 priority and we remain committed to resolving any affected tumble dryers that have not yet been modified,” the statement read. “The vast majority of these dryers were sold directly in the UK.”

The dryers in question are believed to produce excess fluff that can catch in the heating element and cause a fire.

Hotpoint – which Whirlpool owns the European rights – announced there are between 300,000 and 500,000 fire-risk tumble dryers potentially still in people’s homes.

It comes four years after Whirlpool issued a warning after it found its Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit dryers had a fault that needed fixing.

The fault was blamed for at least 750 fires over an 11-year period, according to the U.K. government.

BBC reported that Whirlpool has 10 days to respond before the U.K. starts legal action.

In April, the OPSS published a report that told Whirlpool to improve its risk management and communication with customers regarding tumble dryer repairs.

In January, Whirlpool confirmed that around 1.7 million tumble dryers had been fixed or replaced since 2015.

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