Saturday 1 November 2014

Company to fix dishwashers that can overheat and burst into flames

Breda Heffernan, Lynne Kelleher and Allison Bray

Published 09/04/2013 | 05:00

Blaze damage to the Corcoran family kitchen in Leopardstown, Dublin, after their Bosch dishwasher caught fire.

ELECTRICAL manufacturer Bosch is to repair potentially dangerous dishwashers sold here almost two years after it recalled the same make and model of appliances in Britain.

The dishwasher is a potential fire hazard and can overheat and burst into flames when in use.

BSH Home Appliances Ireland last night announced a "voluntary repair action" for a number of Bosch, Neff and Siemens dishwashers made between 1999 and 2005, of which 29,000 were sold in the Republic and which can "in rare occasions, pose a risk of fire due to a fault in the control panel".

A company spokesman said it will be setting up a dedicated website in the coming days where consumers can check to see if they have an affected model and book a free in-home repair by certified engineers.

In the meantime, it is asking any customers with potentially faulty machines to contact the company on a freephone number and register their details.

The move follows an incident in which a Dublin family had a lucky escape after their Bosch dishwasher went on fire minutes after it was turned on.

Mother-of-two Geraldine Corcoran (44), from Leopards-town, put the appliance on for a cycle on October 27 last year and then went out for a walk.

Minutes later, her 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, who were at home, smelled smoke and discovered flames coming from the dishwasher.

They ran from the house and called the fire brigade who extinguished the blaze. While no one was hurt in the incident, extensive damage was caused to the family's kitchen.

"When you think of the amount of times you put on the dishwasher and leave the house, it's a very chilling thought," said Ms Corcoran on RTE's 'The Consumer Show'.

Tragic

"It's frightening to think how close you could be to something more tragic happening."

An investigation by the programme found that the same make and model of dishwasher was the subject of a recall by Bosch in the UK in July 2011, but not here.

In the UK, the dishwashers were recalled after a problem was identified with the soldering point in the control panel. If the voltage goes over a certain level, it can cause the appliance to overheat and catch fire.

In the case of Mrs Corcoran's washer, insurance assessors are carrying out a forensic investigation, and believe the fire started in the front panel.

Bosch said the fires in Britain were caused by fluctuations in the power supply from the national grid, and that the same appliances are not at risk of fire here because the Irish national grid does not experience the same high voltage peaks.

"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 company said last night.

ESB Networks said that since 2008 there has been a standard voltage rage that applies across all of Europe of 230V plus or minus 10pc, or 253V.

The Bosch freephone number is 1800 322 222, where consumers can check if they have an affected model and register their details.

'The Consumer Show' is on RTE One tonight at 8.30.

Irish Independent

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