Whirlpool is increasing its efforts to rectify faulty tumble-dryers by phoning 3.4 million UK customers who previously received a letter from the company. The action has been prompted by recent national reports of a house fire in Guildford, Surrey, believed to have been caused by a faulty Indesit tumble-dryer.

Whirlpool owns Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda and is currently investigating the incident and “The company’s engineer will visit the property in the coming days and we will subsequently examine it in detail,” a spokesperson said.

In November last year, Whirlpool announced a fault with Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble-dryers manufactured between April 2004 and October 2015. It urged people to use the model checker on its websites to check if their model was affected and then register for a free modification.

The company has received a total of 950,000 registrations, of which 125,000 have so far been resolved. Whirlpool told UK industry magazine ERT, “We estimate that around five million potentially affected Indesit, Hotpoint and Creda dryer models have been sold in the UK since April 2004.”

For the repair programme, Whirlpool said it was working on a “first registered, first served basis”. Those who have registered can expect to wait up to 10 weeks before they are provided with an estimated date for an engineer visit.

In a statement, Whirlpool added, “Given the large number of dryers affected, we have experienced some delays in replying and we apologise for this inconvenience. We are currently working to address the situation and improve response times. We’ve recruited and trained an additional 350 call centre employees – an increase of over 75%. By the end of March, we will have recruited and trained an additional 350 engineers as well – an increase of 35%.”

Regarding the investigation on the house fire in Surrey, Whirlpool said it was “unable to comment further”.

This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer