Whirlpool is recalling 11,000 Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines because of fire safety risks.

The machines were manufactured between October 2014 and February 2018.

It said that as many as 519,000 washing machines in the UK could be affected.

The company said the recall does not affect Whirlpool branded washing machines.

Whirlpool has identified a flaw with the door-locking system that could lead to the machines overheating and potentially catching fire.

The company said customers should visit https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.ie or call 0818 903 281 to check if their appliance is affected.

However, both are experiencing technical issues.

Whirlpool said it was working at "full speed" to prepare to officially begin the recall in early January.

In the meantime, it advised consumers to unplug their washing machines and not use them.

Those who chose to continue using their machines should only use cold water cycles of 20C or lower as this significantly reduces the risk, Whirlpool said.

This is because the issue is associated with the washing machine's heating element being activated during washing cycles above 20C.

Under the recall, all affected customers will have the choice of either a free-of-charge like-for-like replacement washing machine, or a free-of-charge in-home repair of their existing appliance.

Whirlpool Corporation vice president Jeff Noel said: "We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to our customers, particularly over the Christmas period, but we hope people will understand that we are taking action because people's safety is our top priority.

"Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January."

Whirlpool said the issue was identified by its safety team, adding that "no serious injuries have been reported".

Mr Noel added: "This is an issue we inherited from buying Indesit Company, but as the new owner, it is our responsibility to keep our customers safe.

"We are recalling these products because it is the right thing to do for people's safety and we will do whatever it takes to put the situation right for our customers.

"By taking actions like this, we are bringing the company we acquired in line with Whirlpool's industry-leading global safety and quality standards."

Additional reporting PA