Beko Frost Free Fridge Freezers – safety notice (Fire risk)

Danger of Beko fridge freezers catching fire

RISK

RISK

Beko issued an important safety notice regarding some of its frost free fridge freezers, which in “a very small number of cases could result in overheating”.

The defrost timer is the problem, whose job it is to trigger a heating element to defrost. However, since I posted this warning several weeks back things have escalated to such a serious degree that this safety warning is on the news. The phrase, “could result in overheating” should now be read as “could result in a serious fire, producing an enormous amount of toxic smoke.” According to one newspaper these fridges have so far caused at least 20 fires in London alone and one death.

The fridges affected were manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006. These models have a serial number that begins with either 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 or 06 (this information can be found on a label inside the fridge.)

There is a free modification to the defrost timer, which any owners of the fridges should definitely get sorted out asap.

How to CHECK IF YOUR FRIDGE FREEZER IS AFFECTED USING BEKO’S WEB SITE TOOL

Use this link to check with Beko Please check your Beko Fridge Freezer Now

Full details including a telephone number to contact and how to check your serial number are currently on the Trading Standards product recall site – Beko Frost Free Fridge Freezers – safety notice

Tip Always register any white goods appliance you buy. Send off the registration card or go online to do it. If ever a serious safety issue arises the first thing a manufacturer needs to do is to contact all the people registered on its database. These people are the first to get their appliance modified. If you haven’t registered you may not find out about it and could suffer a serious incident or tragedy.

What Beko advice

Currently, they say over 500,000 of these appliances have been sold and only a very small fraction have been affected. They are assuring their customers that if the appliance is working ok, with no symptoms of any faults then it is safe to keep using until they can get to it.

What if you don’t believe them?

This is a decision only you can make. If your model is on the list – contact Beko asap using the link above. If you decide to unplug the fridge freezer – especially if it’s been playing up recently. Food will be wasted if you have nowhere to transfer it to, but if you genuinely believe it poses a serious risk to you and your family there isn’t much choice and how could anyone morally deny that? If you did unplug it you might be able to contact Beko before the food defrosts (don’t open the door) and plug it back in if that’s what they advise and can convince you it’s safe to do so.

You have a responsibility to try and mitigate any food loss though. You shouldn’t just deliberately let it go off if you can salvage some, use some of it before it goes off, or transfer some to another freezer if possible. If you do have to let the food go off take a note of all items, photograph them or save the packaging too and add up the cost. You can then try to claim compensation from the manufacturer or the retailer as “consequential loss”. However, don’t be surprised to meet resistance from Beko or the retailer to the idea of compensating anyone for food loss or even time off work. That doesn’t mean you have no right to compensation, but unless they comply you will have to fight for it and maybe even have to take them to the small claims court. Get official consumer advice.

What did London fire brigade advise?

Having said all that, a representative of London Fire brigade on Radio 2′s Jeremy Vine programme has said there’s no need to stop using one because he believes people who’s fridge freezers have caught fire suffered some intermittent fault prior to the fire. Therefore if your Beko fridge freezer is apparently working perfectly ok he doesn’t think there’s a risk of imminent fire.

Also it should be noted that on Beko’s web site they do not advise to stop using the appliance immediately either (at the time of writing). According to this BBC news item they say -

“Beko says the risk to consumers is extremely low and it is advising customers with the affected fridges to continue using them unless they notice anything unusual.”

My personal thoughts on this are as follows – It seems that Beko are insisting that unless anything “unusual” is happening with an affected fridge freezer it’s impossible for one to catch fire. Presumably one can’t catch fire until it’s been “doing something unusual” for some unspecified time as the spokesman for the London fire brigade also advised on radio 2. I hope for everyone’s sake that is the case!

If you do unplug it and lose food the retailer may try to claim you didn’t need to and the loss was avoidable therefore denying your claim for consequential loss. I think a small claims court judge may well accept that having heard on the news of 1 death, and 20 fires, and then finding out your fridge freezer has the same fault it was reasonable for some people to immediately unplug the appliance rather than risk leaving it plugged in until something was resolved. Especially if despite your best efforts you could not get through to Beko, which I know many have experienced. That’s only my opinion though.

CHECK IF YOUR FRIDGE FREEZER IS AFFECTED USING BEKO’S WEB SITE TOOL

Please check your Beko Fridge Freezer Now

UPDATE: 7/7/2011

If you bought it from Comet

If you bought it from Comet, I think their own engineers will be sent out as Comet commonly have arrangements to service many of the appliances they sell themselves – even under guarantee. On Beko’s check if your appliance is affected tool they specifically ask if you bought it from Comet and I suspect that if so they may just tell you to ring Comet. I can’t say for certain, but if you bought it from Comet, and cannot get through to either the check tool at Beko’s site or by telephone ring Comet.

UPDATE: 09/07/2011

Just read this news article -
Some faulty Beko fridge-freezers began catching fire as long ago as 2007, the BBC has learned

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Comments

  1. avatar G. Harvey says:

    My Fridgefreezer appears on your list of appliances at risk.

    CDA539FW

    Please advise on what to do next.

    G. Harvey

  2. avatar Mrs v hills says:

    Hi I have two of your fridgefreezers CA7015FFS and CDA539FW please advise if there is a problem
    thanks
    viv hills

  3. avatar Barbara McKeown says:

    How frustrating is this manufacturer? They give a phone number which they urge their customers to use and it is constantly engaged – no music and no voice to say call held in queue – just constantly needing to redial. Seems to me they really do not want you to call them – leave the phone off the hook.
    I have checked my appliance number against the list provided and do not see it hopefully therefore we are in the clear.

  4. avatar ole elholm says:

    I have just heard that there is a safty issue with Beko fridge freezers, we have a Beko CG975FFW, and it does have a tendency to get VERY wet – I clear the drain hole very now and again, but a few days later I have to take the boxes out and soak up the water..

    We are going on holiday to-morrow for 3 weeks , is there a risk that the freezer will shortcircut?

    regards,

    ole elholm

    01366 727373
    elholm@lorel.co.uk

  5. avatar g peckham says:

    i saw the recall notice on the tv this morning and i have been trying to get through with
    the number that was shown on the tv to no avail . as this is an important and i consider
    an urgant matter to people like me that have one of the fridge freezers that appear to
    have the serial numbers printed on your list there should have been other methods
    of contact to open to us to use . is there not another way that we can be reasured that
    ours is not affected
    yours sincerly g peckham

  6. Hello Ole: Your model is not on the list. All the models affected are listed on my article above although I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this list as it was copied from the trading standards safety recall site several weeks ago.

    I’m sure you can understand I’m not in a position to say for definite whether it could be affected – only that it’s not on the list of fridge freezers that have been published as affected. The appliances affected where manufactured between 2000 and 2006 so the strong implication is that if yours is fairly new it shouldn’t be affected but if in any doubt please contact Beko themselves.

    Beko Frost Free Fridge Freezers safety notice

  7. G. Harvey: The article explains what to do and gives Beko’s contact link.

    Anyone else: If your model is on the list in my article above – contact Beko asap using the link (also in the article). Please re-read my article as I’ve amended it now to include whether or not to unplug the appliance.

  8. g peckham: Unfortunately with all this publicity they are likely to be overwhelmed. The problem is that everyone with a Beko fridge freezer, possibly even just a fridge, or separate freezer is likely to want reassurance and will be phoning Beko.

    I’ve found this tool on Beko’s web site, hope it helps – Please check your Beko Fridge Freezer Now

  9. avatar lynda oldfield says:

    my fridge/freezer is CDA648 F not FS are FW
    is my model ok it was bought 2009

  10. avatar c redfern says:

    Ive learnt of the recall on the fridge freezers, i checked my instructions manual where luckily i had filled in the back page with the details of model no, serial no, retailer and date of purchase and although purchased in november 2005 i was surprised my CSB4606FFW is on the list, Its times like this im glad im so organised and have a filo fax where i keep all my purchase info and manuals. I have tried ringing beko on 0800 009 4837 and i get a short message” were currently experiencing very high demand you may have to wait longer to speak with an advisor alternatively you may wish to call back later” then you get cut off or get the engaged tone. i have been on the beko website and you can contact them via email leaving your phone number and they will contact you. I have not done this as i personally would feel better talking to someone as it puts you at ease! and you can get all the information you need and all your questions answered so i guess il be spending the rest of my day(s) trying to get through.

  11. avatar c redfern says:

    Hi again, just posting how to contact beko via email, fridges@beko.co.uk, leave your name and number and they will call you. if your fridge/freezer is in the above list then beko will send an engineer out to modify your fridge/freezer to ensure it does not present risk, its free of charge (and so it should be) and will take approximately 30 minutes. if you go on the beko website it tells you all the info im sending and you can also put your details in name, number, address, serial no, model no etc and click the box at the bottom and it will tell you wether your product is at risk. but you still have to ring or email them to get any more info and to arrange for someone to come out.

  12. avatar c redfern says:

    oh and ive still not managed to get through!

  13. The best way to check is to use the CHECK IF YOUR FRIDGE FREEZER IS AFFECTED USING BEKO’S WEB SITE TOOL link at the bottom of my article above.

  14. Lynda: “my fridge/freezer is CDA648 F not FS are FW
    is my model ok it was bought 2009″

    Model numbers with identical numbers apart from slightly different letters at the end are usually the exact same machine but with different specs – or colours. S at the end commonly stands for “silver”, W often means “White”. Therefore it’s highly likely to be the exact same model but just in a different colour. However, the safety recall notice claims only appliances manufactured between 2000 and 2006 should be affected. If yours was bought in 2009 you would expect it to not be affected but it is possible for a product to be bought on one date but in fact have been manufactured quite some time before.

    Another explanation is that the model number of an appliance can be printed on the front of it but may not be the full model number. The most reliable method of getting the model number from a fridge or freezer is to get it from the rating label and not the front panel – Where is the model or serial number on a fridge or freezer?

    If you check using the link I’ve posted here – check your Beko Fridge Freezer Now – you can enter your model number and serial number.

  15. PLEASE HELP ME!
    is my Freezer affected?
    the serial number is: 0910304703
    thankyou

  16. Lauren: all the information you need is in my article including a link to check if your appliance is affected on Beko’s site.

  17. avatar sonia grant says:

    Could you confirm that my model is not affected CDA563FS-2 I bought my fridge freezer last year. This is quite worrying.

  18. Sonia: as you can see, your model isn’t on the list.

  19. According to the ‘lovely’ Beko website they will only complete the repair during business hours Mon – Fri, does any happen to know what they are? They also say they will not compensate any time taken off work.

  20. Sarah: They would say that wouldn’t they? I’m afraid it’s a typical response. I don’t see how they could not be liable for compensation if you lose money as a result of their inherent design fault. You would need to take consumer advice from one of the government consumer groups ( Search Google for consumer advice ) and may need to threaten and/or take them to the small claims court.

    It more than likely that that the people you have to claim compensation from are the retailer under the sale of goods act and not Beko. Hopefully the retailer can then get compensation from Beko. The type of compensation you are talking about should come under “consequential loss” where under the Sale of Goods Act a customer is entitled to compensation for financial loss as a result of a product being sold with an inherent fault.

    “Requesting a refund

    If a customer wishes to reject or not accept faulty goods, you are entitled to ask the customer to prove the goods were faulty when they bought them from you. If they are able to do this, they are entitled to a full refund. (my note: A full refund is normally applicable when the product is pretty new. If you have had some years of use from it the retailer is entitled to knock off an appropriate amount to reflect the use you’ve enjoyed from it. Eg. If the product is 5 years old they may say it’s half way through its life so you are only entitled to 50% refund etc.)

    Requesting a repair or replacement

    If a customer has accepted the goods and is requesting a repair or replacement because the goods are faulty, the onus on who is required to prove the problem depends on how long ago they purchased the item.

    Under six months – the customer does not have to prove the item was faulty when they bought it from you. If you disagree it is up to you, the retailer, to prove the item did conform to contract (or that the fault did not exist) at the time of sale.

    Over six months – you are entitled to ask the customer to prove the item was faulty when they bought it from you. If they are able to do this they are entitled to a repair or replacement..”

    A public safety recall on a product highlighting a design fault which is so serious as to need immediate national attention is as clear a case of an inherent fault that I can imagine. By any logic, a product recall is an admission of a design fault, which must have been present when sold, and therefore surely falls under the “inherent fault” section of the Sale of Goods Act?

    “Consequential loss

    If a customer suffers personally because of a problem with an item, they may be able to claim damages (money to make up for it). This is called consequential loss. One example would be if a customer had to pay out more money (perhaps to hire another item) because of a faulty item that you sold them.

    A more serious example would be if they suffered injury or damage because of a faulty item.”

    I don’t profess to be a consumer expert but I have studied the subject at length – and often – and have very good contacts who are experts in consumer law. To me, the product has been sold with an inherent fault, and if you lose a days holiday or pay in order to accommodate it being put right surely that’s consequential loss? You have a duty to mitigate any loss though so should try to claim only if it was unavoidable without unreasonable efforts on your part.

    I should add that the Sale of Goods Act puts a 6 year limit on claims (5 in Scotland) so if your appliance is over this age it might be more difficult to claim compensation. As affected machines are supposed to have been made only between 2000 and 2006 this may mean that many people’s appliances could be out of this time period. If this is the case you would definitely need to seek further consumer advice.

  21. hi i have a beko fridge freezer model number CDA 659 FS which is on the list i have been trying to call beko helpline but have had no joy getting through to them im very concerned as i have two small children and i have noticed that there has been a puddle of water on the floor by my freezer this has been happening a lot lately what can we do if we ant get hold of them?

  22. Carly: I would contact the people you bought it from instead. They should hopefully be informed enough to be able to advise you. If you can’t get any help you can only use the option of unplugging it if you are concerned about the safety of yourself and your family.

    Please read carefully my main article above if you haven’t already where I talk about the dilemma of whether to stop using the appliance or not and discuss consequential damages, which mean you may well be able to claim for any genuine loss of food if you feel you have no option but to stop using the appliance straight away.

    Your claim for compensation would be based on the following -

    • There is an urgent fire hazard safety recall on your appliance reported widely in the news
    • You have tried your best to contact Beko but it is impossible to get through to them
    • You felt you had no choice but to stop using the potentially lethal appliance immediately
    • This resulted in “consequential loss” of the food inside
    • You acted reasonably in deciding you had to unplug the appliance having made reasonable efforts to contact Beko – Make sure you also try to contact the retailer first!
  23. hi

    i have phoned the retailer and they just give u beko helpline number they r not willing to help, i think im going to have to unplug it as im putting my family at risk and my house contents etc its a nightmare iv came home from work today to find a puddle of water on the floor by the fridge freezer so it must be defrosting itself and this is a concern as it could catch fire, i still keep phoning beko and have sent them an email telling them but they havent phoned back and probably wont for ages, would i be covered for the loss of my food etc thanks you for your advise :)

    carly

  24. Carly: I’ve already answered your question about claiming compensation for the loss of food in detail, both in my last comment, and where I advised to read the main article (that we are commenting on) as I have advice about the subject there too.

    Different retailers may be approaching it in different ways. I’m not surprised they only advised you to contact Beko but by contacting them you’ve now taken all reasonable steps to get advice about whether it is safe to leave plugged in or not. Please re-read my previous answer and the main article where I’ve discussed the dilemma of whether to stop using it or not in detail.

  25. avatar rose stringer says:

    i have a beko fridge freezer model number CDA653FW and is in recall list i call someone a beko got the number of directory enquries told her the numbers and whats its been doing since i got it and she say its not on the recall list the problems i have been having is its defrosted it self twice and now the fridge has ice in it my milk was frozen this morning and again my fridge freezer has now been emtyed had 2 chuck everything out for the 3rd time

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