Whirlpool has announced that it is recalling over half a million washing machines sold under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands in the UK amid concerns they pose a fire risk.

The company has told owners of appliances bought between October 2014 and February 2018 to contact them immediately to check if their washing machine is one of those affected.

In the mean time those who have one of the affected machines have been told to unplug them immediately and not use them – or, if they wish to carry on doing so, to only use cold water cycles of 20C or lower.

Just what is wrong with the machines and is your appliance among those affected?

Why is Whirlpool recalling washing machines?

Whirlpool is recalling as many as 519,000 Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines sold in the UK in the above time period – around 20 per cent of those sold in that time – as they could be affected by a flaw with the door-looking system which could lead to them catching fire.

The issue is associated with the washing machine’s heating element being activated during washing cycles above 20C.

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Whirlpool Corporation 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.

‘Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January.’

Which models are affected?

The following models are affected:

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For more information you can also visit https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk/ – although the website has been experiencing technical problems.

A message on the site advises customers to call the UK call centre on 0800 316 1442, or the Republic of Ireland call centre on 0818 903 281, where an adviser can assist with checking their model and giving them further information.

In order to check whether your washing machine is affected, you’ll need both the model number and serial number of your appliance.

Both of these can be found inside the door, or alternatively on a label on the back of the machine.

Will Whirlpool replace the affected models?

All those affected will have a choice between having their existing appliance repaired, or being given a like-for-like washing machine free of charge.

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

‘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.

‘By taking actions like this, we are bringing the company we acquired in line with Whirlpool’s industry-leading global safety and quality standards.’

It comes after Whirlpool launched a recall of 500,000 dryers in July which were sold over a period of 11 years – amid concerns they could also cause fires.

MORE: London Fire Brigade’s got some real beef with Whirlpool and it’s letting the world know