Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Latest News: Beko fridge freezers in fire risk claims

It is believed up to 500,000 Beko fridge freezers could be posing fire risks in homes and businesses, according to the London Fire Brigade (LFB), although this figure is unconfirmed by Beko.
The LFB reports that 20 fires in the capital, causing one death, have been attributed to a defrost timer on a specific production range of Beko frost-free refrigeration, which can fail and overheat.
The affected 36 frost-free refrigeration models were manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006.
These include: CAD543FX; CDA654FW; CDA647FS; CDA647FW; CDA648FS; CDA648FW; CDA653FS; CDA653FW; CDA653FX; CDA659FS; CDA751FS; CDA751FX; CA5411FFS; CA5411FFW; CA5411FFX; CA7014FFX; CA7015FFS; CA7015FFW; CA7015FFX; CDA539FS; CDA539FW; CDA539FX; CDA543FS; CDA543FW; CDA752FS; CDA752FW; CDA752FX; CS460FF; CS460FFS; CS460FFSD; CS461FFW; CS461FFS; CSA4706FFX; CSB4606FFS; CSB4606FFSD; CSB4606FFW.
The LFB alerted Beko to the problem in June 2010, however the appliance manufacturer states it was confirmed in December 2010.
Since becoming aware of the issue, Beko has worked with the LFB and trading Standard to identify the best method of reaching all affected consumers and arranging a modification.
A statement released to the press read: “We have contacted all retailers who sold these products to seek their help in identifying affected customers from their sales records. This has allowed us to mail these customers to make them aware of the issue and urge them to contact our Freephone number [0800 009 4837] to arrange the modification.”
It continued: “We are working with a major electronics retailer to contact owners of these products and carry out a free of charge modification to replace the defrost timer…As a result of this on-going activity, we have mailed over 200,000 owners and have successfully located and modified 11,000 units.”

But consumer champion Which? has said more can be done by the appliance manufacturer to ensure all buyers are protected, not just those who have the contact details for Beko.

Douglas Herbison, chief executive of the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Electrical Applicances (AMDEA) disagrees with Which? He said: "We understand that Beko has been following the agreed procedure for dealing with the issue that has arisen. We also understand that the product in question has not been manufactured since 2006. As usual, there will be an assessment of what exactly caused the problem in this product and whether or not this could be addressed by a change in the relevant standard."

Herbison continued: "It is important to remember that products are often recalled as a precautionary measure if a fault is identified and this process is intended to ensure that consumers are confident of their safety but the process of reviewing the safety of products is on-going and any potential risk is taken very seriously and addressed as soon as possible."

For its recent appliance launches Which? has awarded Beko Best Buys for selected models.

 A Which? spokesperson points out: "Beko has performed consistently well in Which? reliability surveys over the past few years, scoring an impressive 89% in the most recent one. We have also awarded Best Buys to two Beko fridge freezers - neither of which are affected by this problem with the defrost timer".

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