On October 27th 2012 Geraldine Corcoran put her dishwasher on for a cycle and went out for a walk. Within minutes her children, who were still at home, had noticed the smell of smoke from the kitchen and discovered flames coming out of the dishwasher. They fled the house and called the fire brigade. Thankfully no one was injured but the kitchen was extensively damaged and will require significant repairs. Ger Corcoran told The Consumer Show: "When you think of the amount of times you put on the dishwasher and you leave the house, it's a very chilling thought, it's frightening to think how close you could be to something more tragic happening"
The Corcorans bought their dishwasher in 2005. The precise cause of the Corcorans' dishwasher fire has yet to be established by Bosch. However, The Consumer Show can reveal that the make and model of the Corcorans' dishwasher was one of a number of Bosch dishwashers recalled in the UK in July 2011. But no such recall ever took place in Ireland.
The dishwashers with the potential fault were manufactured between 1999 and 2005 and have already been recalled in the UK, US and Australia. BSH estimates that 29,000 dishwashers were sold in Ireland during the period in question. But no recall or other action took place in Ireland until new evidence was presented by The Consumer Show.
Having considered the new evidence compiled by The Consumer Show, BSH reviewed its risk analysis and decided to launch a "voluntary repair action" for customers in Ireland. BSH has clarified that its repair action only applies to specific models that were manufactured between 1999 -2005 and were sold before 2006. BSH has pointed out that the problem is historical only and that all its dishwashers have at all times, in the past and currently, complied with applicable EU safety regulations.
The Consumer Show reporter, Tadhg Enright said: "The Corcorans' fire happened six months ago, but it's almost two years since Bosch recalled their problem dishwashers in the UK. So you've got to ask if Bosch had taken the same action here, could all this have been prevented?"
Statement from BSH Ltd
VOLUNTARY REPAIR ACTION NOTICE FOR OWNERS OF BOSCH, SIEMENS & NEFF DISHWASHERS PURCHASED BEFORE 2006
(Dublin, Ireland - 08, April 2013) - BSH Home Appliances today announce a voluntary repair action across the Republic of Ireland on a limited number of Bosch, Neff and Siemens dishwashers manufactured between 1999 - 2005. The affected dishwashers can, in rare occasions, pose a risk of fire due to a fault in the control panel. We still believe that the risk to customers remains low however, BSH has initiated this voluntary action as a precaution as we are committed to upholding the highest standards of quality craftsmanship and reliability in all of our brands.
Brian McMenamin, Director - Ireland, BSH Home Appliances "Although these dishwashers are between 8 - 14 years old it's important for consumers to check their dishwashers and register their information with us so we can arrange a free of charge repair. We are putting in place a dedicated website where customers can check if they have an affected model and book a free in home repair by a certified engineer - this will be available in the next few days. In the meantime customers can call us on a Freephone number 1 800 322 222 to register their details with us."
The fault within the control panel is a single solder point which when subjected to permanent, sustained voltage peaks can overheat and in rare cases, cause a potential for fire. The repair action will allow customers to check if they have an affected model of Bosch, Neff or Siemens dishwasher, register their details and arrange an engineer visit at a convenient time for the repair to be carried out free of charge.
BSH is the manufacturer of Bosch, Siemens and Neff home appliances and would like to reassure customers that although we believe the risk is low any customer who bought a Bosch, Siemens or Neff dishwasher before 2006 should call Freephone 1 800 322 222 or visit www.repairaction.ie to check if they have an affected model.
A list of affected models is below:
BSH Home Appliances Ltd Grand Union House Old Wolverton Road, Wolverton.
Milton Keynes Telephone: Fax:
MK12 5PT 01908 328 500 01908 328 599
Registered office as above. Registered Number: 1844007 (England).
Brand Dishwasher vib number
Brand Dishwasher vib number
Brand Dishwasher vib number
Over the coming weeks, BSH will be undertaking a proactive approach to raise awareness of the voluntary repair action. This will include advertising in national print titles as well as on-line, search engine optimisation and direct customer contact.
Brian continued "The best advice I can give our customers is to give us a call if you have any concerns. If you have an affected model, an engineer will come and carry out a free repair to the machine. If a customer is advised that they have an affected model then we will advise them not to use the machine unattended until the repair has been carried out."
Since The Consumer Show covered this item, Bosch have put all the wheels in motion for their repair - the Bosch helpline has had more than 1,000 calls from Irish consumers and more than 400 appointments have been made to repair dishwashers. In the coming days look out for these ads in the press and these envelopes and letters coming through your door. Don't ignore them - they're not junk mail.
Also, Hotpoint has warned its customers in the UK that its dishwasher models FDW20/FDW60/FDW65A pose a potential fire threat and that they should get in touch to arrange a repair.
Hotpoint says it is not aware of any fires caused by its dishwashers in the Republic of Ireland but that concerned customers can call a helpline and they will deal with their concerns on a "case by case basis".
Hotpoint's original advice to Irish customers was that voltage peaks in the Irish electricity grid experiences are not high enough for their dishwashers to pose a fire threat.
However when The Consumer Show presented Hotpoint with evidence that the Irish grid experiences similar voltage peaks to the UK's, Hotpoint revised its advice to Irish customers. Hotpoint did not identify the voltage level at which its dishwashers could malfunction.
Hotpoint have issued this statement:
"At Hotpoint, the safety of our appliances is our priority and we continually monitors the performance of all our products. Further to our communications regarding the ongoing repair programme we have been undertaking in the UK concerning Hotpoint dishwasher model numbers FDW20 / FDW60 / FDW65A, we wanted to reassure our consumers that we have had no reported incidents with these appliances from the Republic of Ireland. However if consumers have any concerns or questions over these models they can contact our Customer Service Centre on 0818313413 where they can get more information and advice from our service department. There is also a dedicated email address set up for enquiries email@example.com."
For further information please visit www.hotpointservice.co.uk/fdw/
In recent weeks there have been a couple of significant product recalls. Keelin is joined by Raymond Ellard, Director of Consumer Protection at the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, who explained that some of Nestlé's Kit Kat Chunky Bars and some of KP Snacks' McCoys Crisps were recalled because of the accumulation of consumer complaints, which meant that it was more than a one-off problem. The companies took the responsible action and withdrew the products from the market and informed consumers. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland ensures that the recall is conducted appropriately, that they trace back to the companies which have purchased the goods, and that consumers are properly informed.
KP Snacks Ltd Statement
KP Snacks Limited regrets to announce that it has received a small number of complaints from consumers regarding small pieces of plastic in four varieties of McCoy's Multipacks.
As a precautionary measure, KP Snacks has initiated a voluntary recall of these varieties, with a best before date of 15.06.2013, and a code (the four numbers below the best before date) of 3066.
As a responsible food manufacturer, KP Snacks takes the quality of its products very seriously. A full investigation has been undertaken and we have isolated the cause to a malfunction of one production line. We are cooperating with The Food Standards Agency and Environmental Health Office on this matter.
The affected products are set out below. No other McCoy's products are affected.
Note: Classic packs contain Ready Salted, Salt & Malt Vinegar and Cheddar & Onion
The safety and quality of our products are non-negotiable priorities for the company. We sincerely apologise to our consumers for any inconvenience caused by this voluntary recall. If consumers do have concerns at all about their product we ask them to contact our consumer care line on FREEPHONE (land line only) 0800 783 5456 (from UK) or 1800 551 679 (from ROI) from 9am-5pm.
Nestlé UK & Ireland Statement
As a precautionary measure, we have initiated a voluntary recall of four Kit Kat Chunky special varieties (48g size bars in Peanut Butter, Hazelnut, Choc Fudge and Caramel flavours) and Kit Kat Chunky Collection Giant Egg with the following Best Before Date Ranges:
The recall affects only the 48g size bars of the four special Kit Kat Chunky varieties listed above. No other Kit Kat product is affected.
Seven consumers have contacted us after finding small pieces of plastic in the product. To avoid any risk whatsoever to our consumers, we have decided to voluntarily recall the entire production of these four Kit Kat Chunky varieties and the Kit Kat Chunky Collection Giant Egg manufactured from September 2012.
The safety and quality of our products are non-negotiable priorities for the company. We sincerely apologize to our consumers for any inconvenience caused by this voluntary recall.
Any consumers who have purchased the above Kit Kat Chunky special variety products with the Best Before Date ranges stated above are advised not to eat the product and return it unopened for a full refund to: KIT KAT CHUNKY Recall PO Box 205, FREEPOST 1374, York, YO91 1XB
Consumers wanting more information can telephone FREEPHONE (land line only) 0800 604604 (from UK) or 00800 6378 5385 (from ROI) from 08.00 to 20.00 from Saturday 23rd March 2013.
Tadhg Enright looks into a new trend by car manufacturers to replace the spare wheel with a puncture repair kit. The Consumer Show surveys the nation to see how Irish drivers would feel without their trusty spare tyre and Tadhg and his fellow reporters put the repair kits through their paces, with varying results.
The Consumer Show, in association with AA Ireland, conducted a nationwide survey and discovered that one third of drivers had a puncture last year, and 62% of motorists surveyed still have a traditional spare wheel. The survey also reveals that 47% of motorists would not be confident using a sealant repair kit, and 80% of drivers agreed that they would find it off-putting when buying a car that did not have a spare wheel.
While for now most Irish distributors are trying to keep motorists happy by providing a spare wheel as standard or an optional extra, most of the big brands offer repair kits in some of their new models. 85% of new Hondas and all new Volvos sold in Ireland are now coming with sealant repair kits as standard. According to industry experts, part of the reason for this new approach is to reduce fuel emissions from the car, thereby making them more fuel-efficient for consumers.
The Consumer Show reporters put these kits to the test. While the kits were in perfect working order, the complete novices using them struggled a bit. Motoring Journalist Geraldine Herbert suggests that the kits are really just for the purposes of getting drivers home, and motorists need to be familiar in how to use them. As first-time users, Tadhg and Kathriona didn't manage to make their kits work but Bill had more success with his.
TESTERS: Our testers are the Donnycarney Ladies Football Club - four ladies in their twenties and thirties who love nothing more than getting their tan on.
Our four friends - Tammy, Jackie, Marie and Sharon - are getting ready for a night out. They each plan to add fake tan to their arms, chest and upper back. Lucky Tammy pulls a trip to the salon out of the hat - she'll have the luxurious treat of a professional tanning session - at a luxurious professional price. Meanwhile our other three girls must aim for 'beauty on a budget' using home tanning kits.
The Consumer Show has chosen three tanning mousse kits, which promise results in 4 hours, all available nationwide and under ¤10.
First up is Jackie, trying out Irish tanning brand Cocoa Brown (¤8). Initially concerned about how dark the colour was when she put it on, it developed nicely over the following three hours and she was happy with the result.
Marie tried out Superdrug's Solait Natural Looking Medium/Dark (¤7.15) and while she was delighted how easy it was to apply, after leaving it to develop for four hours and rinsing off the excess as instructed, she felt most of her tan ended up down the plughole and was disappointed with the resulting colour.
Fake tan-loving Sharon was using St. Moriz Medium (¤4), stocked in Penneys and in some pharmacies nationwide. This product is the cheapest of the tanning products The Consumer Show tested, and didn't disappoint Sharon on the day either.