630,000 faulty dishwashers in fire risk alert
Faulty Bosch, Siemens and Neff dishwashers are at risk of catching fire - and more than a dozen fires already caused were "serious".
A batch of the appliances, made between 1999 and early 2005, are at risk of bursting into flames.
Over the past few years there have been hundreds of fires involving the machines and owners are warned to not leave them unattended. Many people put their machines on at night, meaning a fire could have diastrous consequences.
Bosch, a German maker, which sells machines under the three brand labels, said around 632,000 machines had been sold over the seven year period and that although an alert was issued in July last year, few owners have been traced and warned.
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Bosses told ITV News that almost 479,000 dishwashers remain "unaccounted for" despite efforts to track down the appliances.
They have sent more than 850,000 letters to consumers and phoned up to 140,000 customers and taken out adverts in the media.
The company admitted there had been almost 270 fires caused by the fault – 14 were "serious".
The batch numbers range from FD 7901 to FD 8504.
Bosch said the fault, which relates to the soldering of the dishwasher's control panel, takes its experts about an hour to fix.
ITV's investigated the faulty dishwashers after a fire at a home in Dorchester in February.
Station Manager Andy Fox, of Dorset fire and rescue, said in a press release: "Following the investigation into this fire, it has come to light that this dishwasher was subject to a recall notice. I believe the fire started in the control panel of the dishwasher and spread to the kitchen worktop. Firefighters removed a dishwasher from the premises for ventilation and were able to rescue three cats from the property (Beano, Sampson and Tia).
He added: "The dishwasher in question, a BOSCH, currently has a recall notice on it. We attended a similar fire involving a faulty BOSCH dishwasher last August in Oakdale, Poole. On that occasion the fire was caused by a faulty component in the BOSCH appliance – which the manufacturers had recalled, sending fault notice letters to all owners who they had on their files. I would strongly advise anyone with a BOSCH dishwasher to contact the company immediately in order to prevent any more of these fires occurring."
Joe O'Sullivan, Bosch Operations Director, told ITV the fire "risk is very low". He urged customers worried about their appliances to visit the company's website.
He said the company did not feel it was "necessary" to advise households not to use their dishwasher unattended.
A Bosch helpline number has been set up people affected: 0800 023 4881
The Electrical Safety Council set up its own website listing appliance recalls and you can also click HERE to visit RecallUK's page on the dishwasher recall.
Do you own a potentially dangerous dishwasher? Has your machine ever gone up in smoke? Call the newsdesk on 01242 278 079 or email firstname.lastname@example.org