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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th February 2020


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Bearing in mind I’ve never been lucky enough to own a dishwasher or lived anywhere that I’ve been able to use one, news on TV and in the Nationals this week has set me thinking more than it should perhaps have done... apparently 844,000 dishwashers have been sold with a fault that can cause them to catch fire, yet despite efforts made by the manufacturers concerned, only 195,000 have, so far, been traced!

Does this mean that almost 650,000 potentially faulty dishwashers are currently being used, or have most of them been discarded because they’re either broken or the owners fancied an upgraded version and dumped them (or perhaps put them on Gumtree or something)? I understand that the appliances were manufactured between 1999 and 2005 so can probably safely assume that they’re not all still in existence, but what about those that are?

Have the owners perhaps failed to send off their guarantee cards, or moved house (taking their appliances with them)? Or are these people aware that the appliances may be putting their lives in danger, but are simply too busy to do something about it? Do they read the papers or are they blissfully unaware of the danger they may be in? Or do we instead have disproportionately high numbers of positive thinkers amongst the dishwasher owning population, compared to everyone else?

Government figures revealed that faulty appliances caused 6,000 household fires in 2010/2011, so while my musings may seem somewhat airy fairy, there is a real issue here.

Assuming that the manufacturers concerned have done all they can to trace the owners, what then happens in the event of one of these appliances catching fire? What lengths will a manufacturer go to, in order to trace a customer that may be using a dangerous appliance? And if a manufacturer can prove that the customer is in receipt of a recall request but has failed to act upon it, will the customer’s insurance company have to pay out, will the manufacturer take responsibility or will the customer be held liable for failing to return the product or arrange for it to be made safe? 

As a layperson when it comes to such matters, I see a real blurring of the lines here and would love to know how the responsibility is divided up – if, indeed, it is at all…





Jan Hobbs


30th May 2014

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