The imposition of gagging orders by the Hotpoint Group has been revealed. These are legal orders made to stop those it pays compensation to from talking about their problems with the group’s appliances.
These Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) were served on two women whose Whirlpool tumble dryers caught fire whilst being operated. One woman, who was paid more than £11,000 under a Hotpoint NDA said she thought it was “disgusting” that the firm were trying to keep people quiet about the fires, reportedly 750+ since 2004. The other, paid a “five figure sum” to keep quiet, was a mother who had to flee her house with her two young children as the blaze took hold. In both cases the tumble dryers had been ” fixed” by Hotpoint engineers.
There are an estimated 500,000 unfixed Hotpoint Group machines in homes across the UK. Fires can occur, according to Hotpoint, when a build-up of fluff or lint from clothes comes into contact with the heating element.