Update – February 2011
In addition to the UK case that we reported in January, we’ve been contacted by others that are worried about similar experiences. Here are some of the Candy images we’ve received.
Faulty drums caused five Candy washing machines to burst open while they were being used.
The incidents happened this summer in Germany, two of them in people’s homes. One person suffered minor injuries and debris was scattered over a three-metre area.
The accidents, described as ‘explosions’ by witnesses, were the result of a faulty drum seal which caused the drum in each case to break apart during the spin, ripping open the machine’s housing.
Which? washing machine expert Vivienne Fitzroy said: ‘The German models affected are not sold in the UK and we’re not aware of any incidents in the UK to date. But we understand that a tiny fraction of machines sold in the UK before September 2009 may be at risk.
‘Consumers who bought a Candy washing machine before September 2009 and are concerned should contact the manufacturer on 0844 499 5599’.
Washing machine manufacturing fault
Candy said that the incidents were a result of a drum production anomaly which was rectified in September 2009.
A Candy spokesman said: ‘Production changes were introduced almost a year ago and it is highly unlikely previous production drum models are still available. In any case the likelihood of customers experiencing this kind of failure on any previous model remains extremely unlikely’.
Which? has tested 11 candy washing machines since 2007. Full test results for current Candy models can be viewed in our washing machine review.
Washing machine investigation
In addition to the explosions in people’s homes, two German Candy machines experienced the same fault and broke apart during testing by Stiftung Warentest, the German consumer association.
A fifth machine is reported to have suffered from the same fault in the laundry of a German jail.
An investigation and risk analysis undertaken by the German regulator (The Department for Equipment and Product Safety in Düsseldorf) concluded that the risk of injury was so low a recall was not required.
UK washing machine risk?
The German machines involved – Candy Go 145 Smart Grand0, Candy Go 1482D and Candy Go 1460D – aren’t sold in the UK.
However, Candy has confirmed that a small number of UK machines sold prior to September 2009 could be affected. It is thought that this problem is more likely to affect high-spin speed models, but Candy is unable to be specific about particular models at risk.
A spokesman said: ‘It relates more to a very rare and now historic drum production anomaly seen sporadically in a tiny fraction of drums in high-spin models. In the rare event a customer experiences any problem, they can contact our customer service team on 0844 499 5599.’
If you have experienced this problem with your Candy washing machine, please get in touch with Which? at HomeEditor@which.co.uk.