All electrical products undergo rigorous testing to make sure they are safe to use. However, occasionally a manufacturer will find an issue with an appliance after it has been made available to the public.
If this is the case, the manufacturer will need to recall the appliance.
In this article, we will look at what a recall involves, what you need to do if your electrical equipment is recalled and how you can stay safe.
What is an electrical equipment product recall?
If a manufacturer finds an issue with a product that could put people’s safety at risk, they have to recall the product by law. It doesn’t matter whether they launched the product one month ago or ten years ago.
According to the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, manufacturers must notify Trading Standards as soon as they have identified an unsafe electrical appliance. They must also take new appliances off the shelves of stores and eCommerce sites.
For example, in 2019, up to 500,000 Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines were recalled, due to a fire risk from the door locking system. In April 2020, the manufacturer identified an additional 55,000 washing machines that had the same problem.
What should I do if I see a recall notice for a product I own?
The first thing is to stop using the product, even If you’ve not experienced any issues with it.
The next step is to check the model number to see if your equipment is part of the recall. The recall notice will detail which model numbers the recall affects, as well as where to find the code on the product.
If your product is part of the recall, then you will be entitled to a repair, replacement, or refund. Get in touch with the manufacturer using the contact details on the recall notice, and they will talk you through the next steps.
You will be able to get a repair, replacement, or refund even if your electrical appliance is showing signs of wear and tear.
Do I need to keep the receipt?
You should be able to get a repair, replacement, or refund without the original product receipt.
The manufacturer may ask for proof of purchase another way, for example, a photo of the product or a bank statement showing that you bought the product.
Will I need to pay any money?
No, the manufacturer should cover any repairs or replacements for free.
They may offer you a new or updated model at a reduced rate, however whether you accept this is at your discretion.
What happens if an engineer finds a recalled electrical product during a PAT test?
If an engineer identifies a recalled electrical product during PAT testing, they will fail it, and let the site manager know the reason why.
The site manager can then take action to get the equipment replaced.
How can I make myself aware when electrical products are recalled?
Only 10% to 20% of recalled products are returned. This is because people aren’t made aware of the recalls that may affect them.
Here are some ways that you can find out which electrical equipment needs to go back to the manufacturer.
- You can check the product recall list on the Electrical Safety First website. There is also a mailing list where you can sign up to receive the latest information
- You can follow your local council on social media. Many council’s trading standard departments have their own social media accounts, where they make people aware of the latest recalls
- Product recalls that may affect many people will be publicised in the national news
- You can register your products. Registering your products means the manufacturer can get in touch with you directly (by phone, email, or letter) if they need to recall them. You can do this by filling in the card that comes with the product or alternatively, you can do it on the Register My Appliance website