Beko, which accounts for nearly 20% of all white goods sold in Britain, faces allegations of delays and inadequate warnings regarding recalls of defective products.
Eleven people have died in fires or carbon monoxide poisonings blamed on defective ovens and fridge freezers made by Beko.
None of the products linked to the deaths or fires was listed on the recall database by the Trading Standards Institute, which the government encourages consumers to check for recall information.
Beko claim that they have used every resource at their disposal, including national advertising campaigns. It rejects claims that it did not act quickly and comprehensively.
A Which? Survey of fire services found that 91 fires and serious incidents were attributed to Beko refrigerator products in 2010 and 2011.
The most recent product recall is a tumble dryer which has been blamed for 15 fires by customers.
Beko launched a national campaign about the potential risk, but some customers say they were not contacted for several weeks:
- Mrs Paterson’s Beko tumble dryer she purchased online last summer caught fire on 1st December 2012. The fire gutted the family garage and caused around £10,000 of damage.
Mrs Paterson says that she received a letter on January 30 warning that there might be a problem with the tumble dryer.
- Aminda Liddar also received a letter last week that her tumble dryer may be a potential risk. Aminda had already found this out four weeks earlier when her tumble dryer caught fire, badly damaging the garage where it was kept.
Beko was warned in November 2008, following three deaths, that there were flaws with some of its gas cookers. They launched a national campaign three months later, by which time three more people had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Four others are thought to have died also.
In June 2010, London Fire Brigade warned Beko about a potential fault with fridge freezers. It failed to alert the public and Santosh Benjamin was killed five months later in a fire blamed on the faulty fridge freezer.
Melanie Lidstone Land, expert personal injury lawyers, says, “It is unacceptable that a company the size of Beko has not contacted people sooner with recall concerns. People have had to find out the hard way with much damage to their home, and in some cases, with their life.”
“Beko needs to provide answers as to how these products came to be on the market and why so many are still in people’s homes.”
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 says that if a product causes injury, which was not caused by misuse of the product, the injured person has the legal right to make a defective product claim against the manufacturer or retailer responsible.
Call Melanie Lidstone Land or Vicki Wright for expert advice on making a defective product claim on a no win no fee basis.
Call Melanie and Vicki for free on 0800 0351 999 for free initial advice.