More than half-a-million Hotpoint and and Indesit washing machines are being recalled due to a fire risk.

Manufacturer Whirlpool is urging owners of appliances purchased between October 2014 and February 2018 to stop using them immediately and see if they are listed as one of the models affected.

The company offer customers either a free like-for-like replacement or for a technician to come out to fix the problem within your existing appliance.

It comes just months after the same company had to recall a similar number of tumble dryers, also due to a fault which made them a fire risk.

People are being advised to stop using their machines immediately

Whirlpool said it was working at "full speed" to prepared to officially begin the recall of the washing machines in early January, reports the Mirror .

Whirlpool 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."

Why are Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines being recalled?

Whirlpool is based in the US

Whirlpool said a flaw with the door-locking system has been found in the models that could lead to them overheating and potentially catching fire.

That's because when the heating element in the washing machine is activated, in "very rare" cases a component in the door lock system can also overheat, which, depending on product features, can pose a risk of fire.

Whirlpool said the issue was identified by its safety team, adding that "no serious injuries have been reported".

Noel added: "This is an issue we inherited from buying Indesit Company, but as the new owner, it is our responsibility to keep our customers safe.

"We are recalling these products because it is the right thing to do for people's safety and we will do whatever it takes to put the situation right for our customers."

It was also keen to point out that it was only Hotpoint and Indesit machines that are affected - not Whirlpool branded ones.

Which Hotpoint and Indesit washing machine models are affected?

The Hotpoint WMFUG 742 P UK.M washing machine was on the list of those to be recalled

The problem affects models manufactured between October 2014 and February 2018.

These are the models Whirlpool said had the problem:

Where to check the make and model number of your washing machine

Both codes can be found inside the washing machine's door as well as on a label at the back of the appliance.

You can then check if your washing machine is one of the ones at risk by visiting here or calling 0800 316 1442 free where an adviser can help you check your model and offer further information.

The online site includes an online model checker tool as well as a full list of model numbers.

What if you need to keep using your washing machine?

Indesit Innex XWA 81252X W Washing was also one of those affected

To avoid all risk associated with the use of affected models, Whirlpool advised owners to unplug their washing machines and not use them.

If you had to use them, Whirlpool said you should only use cold water cycles of 20C or lower as this "significantly reduces the risk".

What are Whirlpool doing about it

All affected customers will have the choice of either a free-of-charge like-for-like replacement washing machine, or a free-of-charge in-home repair of their existing appliance.

Under the replacement option, Whirlpool said it will collect and dispose of your washing machine and deliver the new one free-of-charge.

Whirlpool is also taking steps ahead of the recall to speed matters such as doubling its call centre team and upping its engineer workforce for repairs - as well as increasing production at its washing machine factories for people who want replacements.

It also said it would write directly to all registered owners of the affected appliances in January.

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