Nearly a week after it first emerged that Whirlpool had initiated a safety recall on KitchenAid electric kettles, it has now confirmed that 23,138 UK models are affected.
The global recall affects more than 310,000 kettles and applies to batches of KitchenAid kettles with the model code starting 5KEK1722, manufactured between January 2013 and June 2017. Whirlpool is advising those with affected kettles to stop using them immediately.
However, the company has until now been less than forthcoming about which countries were affected by the recall, meaning delays in UK KitchenAid kettle owners being aware if their product was affected or not.
Initial reports from the US and Europe surfaced early last week, based on a formal release from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). But when we asked for confirmation on whether UK models were part of the recall, KitchenAid’s PR team seemed unaware of the issue.
We only got further information after we published a story late last week revealing that it looked likely UK kettles were involved.
The global recall by Whirlpool follows 98 reports from the US and Canada of handles becoming loose and detaching from the body of the kettles, in four cases resulting in minor burns. Whirlpool has stated that it’s not aware of any injuries occurring in the UK, and only one within the EU, occurring in Denmark.
KitchenAid kettle recall: find out if your product is affected
Whirlpool says that the problem affects specific batches, listed below, and that it has now instigated a fix for the problem. New kettles will bear the same model name starting 5KEK1722 but will have a new serial number.
The recalled UK models are:
|Model number||Serial numbers affected by the recall|
|5KEK1722BAC (cream)||YA302***** TO YA724*****|
|5KEK1722BER (red)||YA302***** TO YA724*****|
|5KEK1722BOB (black)||YA302***** TO YA724*****|
|5KEK1722BSX (steel)||YA302***** TO YA724*****|
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To check whether your kettle is one of the affected models, look at the label on its underside, as circled in the picture below.
If you’re not sure whether your kettle is part of the recall or not, you can check by filling out the form on repair.whirlpool.com. If it is you should stop using it immediately.
You can contact Whirlpool to arrange a free return and replacement by calling the freephone customer care centre on a UK landline on 00800 5522 7777 or 00800 3810 4026. Whirlpool told us lines are open from 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday. However, some people have reported problems getting through.
If you can’t get through, you can try contacting KitchenAid UK on Twitter or Facebook, or you can use the contact form on its website. For advice on how to do this see our guide to making a complaint.
KitchenAid kettle recall information slow to reach consumers
Whirlpool has confirmed to Which? that it is in contact with trade partners and retailers to ensure that recalled products are returned from stock, and are no longer on the shelves. The brand is also providing retailers with posters to alert customers to the campaign.
It told us that UK trading standards have been made aware of the issue and assured us that a global press release was issued on 20 February 2018, the day of the recall.
However, when we investigated last week, we struggled to find any information, other than US news reports, and we couldn’t find anything on the KitchenAid or Whirlpool websites. But when we submitted the details of the KitchenAid kettle we tested in 2014 on Whirlpool’s recall site, repair.whirlpool.com, it was flagged as one of the models affected.
Whirlpool got in touch after we published our story to say that a press release about the recall had been issued, but hadn’t reached us due to an administrative error.
Information for consumers concerning the recall is available on the KitchenAid UK website, but it’s hard to spot and not always visible. We also couldn’t see any trace of the press release on the KitchenAid or Whirlpool websites. By contrast, the Australian version of the KitchenAid site has clear warnings on the homepage.
Whirlpool and product safety
Which? have ongoing concerns with the Whirlpool group regarding its response to product safety issues. Due to a slow response to and incomplete recall of fire-risk tumble dryers dating back to 2004, we have not been awarding Best Buys to products from any Whirlpool-owned brands, regardless of score.
In this instance, we believe Whirlpool has been slow to let UK consumers know that they may own a product that has a safety risk. We will continue to push for more transparency from manufacturers of potentially unsafe products. For more information on what to do if a product you own is recalled, visit the Which? guide to your rights on faulty products.
To find out more and join our campaign for action on dangerous products, head to our End Dangerous Products campaign site.
Story updated 28 February 2018 with additional information from Whirlpool