Swan has issued an important safety notice on SW1010 and SW1020 washing machines sold between 2010 and 2012. The internal control unit has failed in a small number of these washing machines. There’s a risk of the unit overheating, which could lead to a fire.
As a precautionary measure, Swan is replacing the control units on all of the models concerned. Both Very and Littlewoods have posted the safety notice. A spokesperson from Shop Direct (which owns both retailers) told us that there have been five fires where these Swan washing machines were present, but that each fire was small and isolated.
Each customer’s case was settled. The affected models are:
How to check your Swan washing machine
If you’re concerned that your appliance might be affected, check the model number on the front of your machine against the model codes listed above.
If the numbers match, stop using it immediately and unplug it or switch it off at the wall.
If your washing machine is subject to the safety notice, Swan promises a free replacement of the control unit through its repair partner 0800 Repair. To arrange an appointment, call the 0800 Repair free phone helpline on 0800 888 6124, open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The appointment is free of charge and should take approximately 30 to 45 minutes. If you have sold or given away an affected machine and have the current owner’s details, use the contact information above to pass on the new owner’s details. Swan will then contact the owner directly to arrange the replacement control unit.
Which? is working to reduce the risk of a fire in your home caused by a faulty appliance. We’re pushing for fire-risk tumble dryers made by Whirlpool to be recalled, and are checking the modifications to ensure that they’re making affected appliances safe to use. We also test the backing material of fridges, fridge freezers and freezers to ensure they aren’t likely to spread an existing fire.
Which? campaign to End Dangerous Products
We’re committed to keeping dangerous products out of Britain’s homes.
- ^ washing machine reviews (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ email@example.com (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ your rights when a product is recalled (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ checking the modifications (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Don’t Buy (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ guide to product safety (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ petition (campaigns.which.co.uk)
Washer-dryers have a bad reputation for being unreliable and not washing or drying particularly well, but we’ve just found one that is brilliant at both. In fact, this washer-dryer is so good that it’s gone straight to the top of our league table of the best washer-dryers. It excels at both washing and drying and it doesn’t disappoint on running costs, either.
Granted, it’s not the cheapest machine that we’ve tested but, when you consider that you’re getting both a washing machine and a dryer in one, we have no hesitation in heartily recommending it.
Why it’s our best washer-dryer
Only occasionally does a washer-dryer manage to score 65% or above to become a Best Buy. Our new top-scoring Best Buy gets 75%. Here’s why:
It aces cleaning cottons and synthetics
We test washer-dryers to see how well they wash on the 40?C cottons wash and the 40?C synthetics wash.
We see how well they get out the toughest stains, such as grass, coffee and tomato sauce. This washer-dryer was able to remove these stains from both cottons and synthetics, leaving all laundry good as new. It also rinses away all signs of detergent residue, and the spin is powerfully effective, whisking away excess water, which means you won’t need to spend so much time on the drying.
It dries as well as it washes
Too many washer-dryers we’ve seen can’t dry clothes well enough or they take a really long time to achieve a good dry.
This washer-dryer was able to dry clothes evenly, leaving no damp areas. After the drying cycle was finished, clothes were either ready to be folded and put away or ready to be ironed. It’s also speedy at drying.
One of these three is our new Best Buy and one scored so badly it only narrowly avoids being named a Don’t Buy:
This Bosch washer-dryer has an impressive 18 pre-programmed wash and dry settings, including a quick-wash and wool cycle.
At just shy of GBP600, this Zanussi ZWT7142WA integrated washer-dryer has just as many features as its more expensive Bosch competitors and fits neatly behind your kitchen cupboards. It has a 7kg cottons wash capacity and 4kg synthetics wash capacity.
It has 21 pre-programmed wash cycles, including the ever-important quick-wash cycle. You can see all three models we’ve just tested left to right, below.
How to avoid a dud washer-dryer
If you’ve had a bad washer-dryer, you know how frustrating they can be. Some wash well, but when it comes to drying your laundry they can overheat your clothes or even melt synthetics.
Or perhaps the dry cycle works OK, but the wash cycle isn’t able to cope with tough stains, so your clothes, particularly your whites, end up looking dull and grey. We’ve tested a lot of washer-dryers over the years, and the average test score for those still on sale is 55%. To put that into perspective, a score of 45% or below means that we give a washer-dryer a ‘Don’t Buy’ label.
There are 14 we currently recommend you steer well clear of.
A coroner has called on white goods manufacturer Whirlpool to take action to prevent future deaths after two men were killed in a fire caused by a tumble dryer. Bernard Hender, 19, and Doug McTavish, 39, died following the blaze at a flat in Llanrwst, North Wales, on October 10 2014. At an inquest that concluded in September, coroner David Lewis found that the blaze was most likely caused by an electrical fault in the door switch of a Hotpoint tumble dryer.
Following the inquest, he published a report for the prevention of future deaths. The report has been issued to US firm Whirlpool, which manufactures Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda machines, among others. Read our guide on your Whirlpool tumble dryer safety rights for more information on what to do if you have a Whirlpool-manufactured appliance that you’re concerned about.
Potentially dangerous appliances still out there
In the report, Mr Lewis raised concerns that evidence from witnesses called by lawyers for Whirlpool during the hearing had been ‘defensive and dismissive’.
He said: ‘The door switch assembly of interest in this case is used in literally hundreds of thousands of appliances manufactured by Whirlpool. ‘I did not emerge from the hearing confident that Whirlpool’s risk-assessment processes have fully identified or appreciated the extent of the risk of fire (and its potential consequences).’ Mr Lewis also said that evidence from the firm’s retired global product safety director Larry Latack about the use of data from the field, such as reports of fire, was of ‘considerable concern’.
He said: ‘I am concerned that the company’s reluctance to place due reliance on information coming forward in this way, and instead to prefer to take advice from itself, represents an obstacle to timely learning and a likely inhibitor to progressive steps which might prevent fires and save lives.’
Time for Whirlpool to take action
Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neill said: ‘The coroner’s report exposes the fundamental failings of Whirlpool’s handling of unsafe products. ‘The government should urgently investigate if this is a breach of the company’s obligations under product safety law and immediately enforce a full product recall of all remaining fire-risk tumble dryers in people’s home.‘This case is further evidence that the UK’s product safety regime is simply not fit for purpose and must be reformed, with the creation of a new national body to lead on issues of this nature.’ Join our conversation on Whirlpool and whether the government should take action to intervene on this product safety issue.
Do you have an affected Whirlpool dryer?
There are known issues with more than 100 Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan tumble dryer models (all brands owned by Whirlpool) made between April 2004 and October 2015 could pose a fire risk.
But as yet, no safety notice has been issued from the faults exposed through the above inquest. It’s known that at least 750 fires have been reported since 2004 that involved affected Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit and Proline dryers. Whirlpool still hasn’t published a full list of affected models, which is why some might not be found on our list of affected models that you can find here.
We strongly recommend that you check with Whirlpool if you’re concerned that you, or someone you know, own a tumble dryer affected by the safety alert. If your dryer is one of those affected, unplug it immediately and don’t use it until it’s been fixed. Trading standards has issued two enforcement notices on Whirlpool, forcing the company to warn you to unplug and not use the faulty machines.
Whirlpool is now saying that if you have an affected machine you must unplug it immediately and not use it until it’s been fixed.Whirlpool has an ongoing programme to replace or repair fire-risk machines across the UK that have been registered with the company.
Read our tailored guide on your Whirlpool tumble dryer safety rights for more information on what to do.
- ^ guide on your Whirlpool tumble dryer safety rights (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Join our conversation on Whirlpool (conversation.which.co.uk)
- ^ guide on your Whirlpool tumble dryer safety rights (www.which.co.uk)