By Patrick Avenell
Narta members have been advised to immediately cease selling three Beko freestanding electric cookers and remove them from shelves due to a fault in the supply cord.
Beko is sold exclusively through Narta member stores in Australia and New Zealand. In an email sent to retailers, seen by Appliance Retailer, Narta advised members to withdraw the CSE 86300 GW, CSE 87300 GW and CSE 87300 GX models from sale.
“Beko [has] identified an issue relating to their freestanding electric cookers,” reads the email. “This issue relates specifically to the power supply cord that is not suitable for installation in Australia and New Zealand. The solution for this issue is the removal of the supply cord which will be arranged by Beko [Australia and New Zealand] service department on your behalf.”
The email stresses that this action is not a Product Recall, which must be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission within two days.
“While this is not a recall we kindly ask you not to sell these models to consumers until the issue has been resolved,” continues the email. “Please note that once the cord has been removed the product is certified and approved can be sold.”
Appliance Retailer has contacted Beko for comment.
Beko launched in Australia in late 2011 with much fanfare, including several media events to raise awareness for the brand, which is owned globally by the Arçelik Group. Following these events, Beko Australia and New Zealand managing director sealed an exclusivity deal with Narta and instituted a gag order on Beko staff.
Over the 18 months since its debut, Beko has become a de facto house brand for Narta members.
Although Beko’s manufacturing is split between European and Asian factories, and Turkey itself straddles both continents, Beko’s local office stresses the Europeanness of the brand.
In the United Kingdom, where Beko has a much longer heritage, the brand is currently enduring a public relations nightmare after The Daily Mail published a story earlier this week linking the company’s appliances to the deaths of eleven individuals.
Beko has been forced to recall gas cookers, refrigerators and tumble dryers from the UK market since August 2012. The gas cookers were recalled because “Carbon monoxide can build up and pose a serious threat to health”, while the dryers and refrigerators were recalled because they can “overheat and may catch fire”. (Click here for the UK Product Recalls website)
Beko’s UK office issued the following statement in response to the stories published in UK newspapers:
“Beko sincerely regrets any incident linked to any of our products. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of affected customers.
“The company strongly rejects any accusations that we have not acted as timely or comprehensively as possible to initiate the three corrective action programs. Beko has always acted in accordance with regulatory guidance, co-operated with all relevant authorities and abided by all accepted standards of industry practice.”