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Indesit and Hotpoint Washing Machines Explode

Barry Mulcahy – 9th May 2013

Last year Watchdog ran a report on some Indesit Washing Machines that exploded during their spin cycle. The problem is caused by the washing machine drum splitting whilst spinning at high speed leading to internal parts, including concrete, being fired out of the washing machine.

At the time Indesit said that they were aware of a small number of incidents and that the problem only affected 2 models, the WIXL 143 and WIXE 167.

Following further investigations Watchdog say they have now found 50 incidents of this problem across 14 Indesit and Hotpoint models. Not just the 2 mentioned in 2012. They also have evidence that Indesit knew of this issue in 2010.

Some of these incidents have led to injuries. One Indesit customer was hit in the back by the soap draw being fired out of the machine. She is being treated for whiplash and trapped nerves. A child was hit in the face by bits of plastic fired out of one of these washing machines. Both of these incidents happened after the original Watchdog report and to washing machine models not listed in Indesit's original statement.

Watchdog says they believe that the following Indesit and Hotpoint Washing Machines are affected by this issue:-

    Indesit Washing Machine Models

    • IWB 5113
    • IWB 5123
    • IWC 6145S
    • IWC 6165
    • IWC 61651
    • IWE7 145
    • WIXE 127
    • WIXE 167
    • WIXL 143
    • WIXL 143S
    • WIXL 163
    • WIXL 163S

    Hotpoint Washing Machine Models

    • HVF 344
    • WMF 760P

In a statement on their website Indesit says 'The incidents outlined has been identified as a technical issue with a very small percentage of washing machine production during periods of 2007 to 2009 could be affected. On becoming aware of the potential issue it was risk assessed under General Product Safety Regulations and was classified as ‘Very Low’ risk therefore it was concluded that no direct consumer notification was required.'

Part of the risk assessment process takes into account the number of incidents, the severity of the injuries and the vulnerability of the people exposed to the risk.

Now that Indesit are aware of more incidents and the fact that a 2 year old child has been injured (defined as very vulnerable under the risk assessment process) perhaps this will lead them to re-assess their risk assessment.

If you want to see the sort of forces involved and the damage that can be caused by these 'exploding' washing machines have a look at this video Indesit WIXL 163 Video. It was posted in 2010 and shows an Indesit WIXL 163 Washing Machine (one of the models included in the BBC mode list) with, what appears to be, the aftermath of this issue.

Would you feel safe in the same room as this washing machine when this happened?

At this time neither Indesit nor Hotpoint have issued recalls for these washing machines or provided a full list of the models that are affected.

To see the full BBC Watchdog report click on BBC Watchdog Report

To see Indesit's statement and to use their model checker to identify if your washing machine is affected click on Indesit Washing Machine Model Checker

To see Hotpoint's statement and to use their model checker to identify if your washing machine is affected click on Hotpoint Washing Machine Model Checker