Russell Hobbs recalls exploding irons that 'burst into flames'

A small number of irons have been identified as faulty after people reported them spontaneously catching on fire

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The Independent Online

Russell Hobbs has recalled 15 models of its irons after reports they have burst into flames when in use, but customers are not impressed at the company's response.

The household electrical appliance company has urged customers to stop using the affected models, which are believed to have a faulty flex, and return them, for a refund or replacement.

Claire Metcalfe, complained on the company's Facebook page that she had reported a fault back in February and queried why it had taken so long to report there was a general issue with certain irons.

Jonathan Wells told the consumer affairs programme, Watchdog, broadcast this week, that his iron caught fire while he was using it in June of this year.

“I realised from the pain in my hand ... that the iron had caught fire somehow and burned my hand,” he said.

"The pain was getting so bad I had to go into the kitchen and run it under the cold tap for probably about an hour."

burnt-hand-russell-hobbs-iron.jpgTim Wright, director of Russell Hobbs, said: "I would like to apologise to the people that have been injured by one of these irons. This absolutely was not our intention and we work very hard as a brand to ensure that we bring products to market that are fit for purpose.

“When the problems, however isolated, with the particular flex that was being used in a few batches of our irons became apparent, we started working with Trading Standards to monitor the situation. The flex in question is no longer being used in our irons."

Customers have now taken to social media to check if their iron is affected and to complain at the company’s response to the exploding irons, with many reporting that they phone the helpline only to be cut off.

Laura Mo Martin, wrote on Facebook: “I have been waiting absolutely ages to get through on the phone so I gave up and filled in the online form. I have one of the affected irons and a stack of ironing to do.”

Another customer, Simone Robinson, posted: “Over 100 attempts at ringing finally got through on hold for 50 mins spoke to lady who took all my details and was sending an email with the courier label that was around 10am and still waiting for my email.”

A spokesperson for Russell Hobbs said: "Customers are advised to check the model of their irons to determine whether or not they own a potentially faulty model. To do this, they should look on the underside of the heel of the iron, where they will find a rectangular shaped label featuring a five digit code."

The models that are affected by the fault are 18651, 18742, 19220, 19221, 18743, 19840, 18720, 15081, 19222, 19400, 20260, 18741, 20280, 20550-10, 20560-10.

If the batch code of the iron begins with a 045 through to 365 and ends with 12 or starts with 001 to 195, or ends with 13, the iron is one of those affected and should not be used.

Customers are encouraged to call Russell Hobbs for free on 0800 307 7616 from a landline or 0333 103 9663 from a mobile if they believe they own a faulty appliance.