According to the Telegraph and if the report is accurate then it may transpire that Indesit knew about the potential fire risk on the recently recalled tumble dryers and if this is the case, it looks very bad for Indesit.
The report says that Which? warned Indesit that there was an issue with these tumble dryers in 2013 and then again in July 2015, both reports were rejected by Indesit.
From what we can gather these reports were entered around Freedom of Information requests which show more fires for Hotpoint tumble dryers than any other brand. Aside from Indesit being correct to a degree in that this doesn’t paint an accurate picture what couldn’t be seen was the market share that Hotpoint and Indesit had. Not having that key piece of information makes statistical analysis very difficult.
Which? freely acknowledges this by stating that as Hotpoint refused to confirm its market share that it was, “impossible to know for sure whether or not the numbers are disproportionately large”.
Which? subsequently published another report in July of this year, which showed that between 2011 and 2014, 349 of Hotpoint’s tumble dryers caught fire, 34% of the total fires for these products.
Again, to our knowledge Which? approached and were rebuffed by Indesit.
This is where our interest was piqued with this report because, we know what the market shares are from 2009-2011, that missing key piece of information.
According to the sales data that we have Hotpoint branded tumble dryers from 2009 through 2011 had about a 28% market share, Indesit, a 19% market share and Creda, a massive drop in that period from 0.5% down to 0.005%.
In effect, the three brands added together represents near enough half the tumble dryer market in the UK.
From that we can see that while 34% of fires in the period on Hotpoint branded dryers alone is greater than the market share, it’s not wildly greater.
If that trend were repeated across the other two brands however it would, in our opinion, certainly indicative of a trend.
Meanwhile Whirlpool are taking the line that, “We estimate that a significant number of units will be affected, but at this stage, we cannot speculate regarding the specific figure”, as has been widely reported, they are being coy with that bit.
However, what we know is that Indesit was selling roughly 440,000-450,000 dryers a year in the UK.
We also know that this dates back to 2004 so, simple math says that in the period, very roughly, there could be as many as around six million dryers sold.
We know that not all models are affected by this but, we don’t have the details of the specific models and how many were sold and, we also do not know how many were exported, sold in the likes if Ireland and so on and, we don’t know how many have been scrapped in that time.
We therefore must ask that you keep in mind that there’s a lot we don’t know and that the level of detail to be more accurate is likely impossible to get other than from the manufacturer themselves. We cannot see that happening anytime soon unless it throws the affair into a better light.
What we can say with absolute certainty is, it’s a lot, an awful lot of tumble dryers and quite possibly, even easily, a figure greater than one or two million.