By James Wells

SYDNEY: Electrolux Home Products has had a poor response to a dishwasher recall that affects over 18,000 machines and 10 different models, which was originally announced on 3 December last year.

The recall has since been repeated without sufficient success, a representative for Electrolux Home Products told this morning.

Electrolux Home Products initially announced the recall after it was found that a wiring fault could cause a small fire or control panel components to melt. The affected dishwashers are the Electrolux EX401SB, ESL6163, Electrolux Dishlex DX303SK, DX303WK and Westinghouse SB908WK, SC908SK, SB916WK, SB916SK, SB926WK, SB 926SK.

According to Electrolux, a faulty wire connector within the dishwashers could cause an arc of electricity that could start what the company describes as a “small self-contained fire” or melting of plastic components within the control panel. Either of the two problems would result in product failure, the company said. 

All affected models sold in Australia came from Electrolux’s dishwasher plant in Solaro, Italy. The same models have also been sold in Europe and New Zealand.

Electrolux regulatory affairs manager Ian Forte told in December, there have only been “a handful” of problems reported by customers in Australia, with none reported in New Zealand or Europe.

In December, Electrolux enlisted retailers to modify affected products in warehouses and showrooms by applying a fibreglass insulating tape to the suspect connector.

However, for customers, Forte said at the time Electrolux would only replace plugs with a bulge in the terminal, which showed they were at risk. Non bulging plugs were not at risk and would be secured with the same fibreglass tape to prevent any possible problems should a fire occur, Forte said. 

“We realised you’ve got to be 1000 per cent sure that you’re right. By putting the tape on, we’ve got an extra backup there. If the worst did happen and that the arc did occur, that it would definitely be self-contained,” Forte told in December.

“You’ll still get a product failure, but we can be very confident then that it will fail absolutely safely,” he said.