Hearing into 'Beko fridge freezer death' Beko was aware of a problem in 2007

31 May 2013

Beko Fridge

Beko knew about a potential safety issue with it's fridge freezers in 2007. It did not issue a safety notice until 2011.

The evidence was disclosed at a hearing today into the death of a man in a house fire linked to a Beko fridge freezer.

Santosh Benjamin-Muthiah died in a house fire in north London in November 2010. He was a 36-year-old father-of-two.

To find out more about the fridge freezer models that are affected and what to do if you own one, see our guide to the Beko fridge freezer recall.

Beko fridge freezer recall

Leigh Day, the solicitors who represent Mr Benjamin-Muthiah's wife, told us that documents produced during the hearing showed that Beko had carried out risk assessments in 2007 and 2008. 

Beko confirmed that in 2007 it used an independent risk assessor to investigate the faulty fridge freezers. 

In November 2008 a further 46 incidents had occurred and the risk assessment company said there was a risk. Beko decided that no recall was required as it believed that the risk assessment was flawed.

Prior to 2010 Beko had attempted to carry out their own assessment by recreating the fault, but all its investigations and product tests were inconclusive. In late 2010 it started a programme of corrective action, leading to a safety notice being issued about the fridge freezers in 2011.

The coroner also made a decision today about the scope of the inquest into Mr Benjamin's death and decided that it will cover Beko's actions.

Safety and recalls

Beko has issued a statement saying: 'We are deeply sorry for any incident caused by one of our products. This was a tragic accident and we extend our sincere condolences to the Benjamin-Muthiah family.

We have been cooperating fully with the coroner and will continue to do so throughout the inquest proceedings.

We want to reassure our customers that this incident involved an old Beko product, which is no longer in production, and none of our current range of appliances are affected.

Any readers who may be concerned about whether their product may be affected should visit our website www.beko.co.uk, call our customer care centre on free phone 0800 917 2018 or email fridges@beko.co.uk.'

Beko are not the only company to have had safety issues with products. Hoover has recalled fridge freezers and Bosch and Hotpoint have recalled dishwashers all due to fire risks.

Beko has also recalled certain tumble dryers because of safety issues.

More on this...

  • If you need to replace your fridge-freezer read our fridge freezer reviews
  • Read about the Which? investigation into appliance fires
  • Did Beko act fast enough? Join the Which? Conversation