Turkish appliance brand Beko whose products are sold by several mass retailers are refusing to say whether the products they sell in Australia are manufactured to similar specifications as their UK products that have been blamed for several deaths.
ChannelNews has attempted several times to get a response from Beko management in Australia regarding the issue, neither our email nor several calls to the Company in Australia have been answered.
In Europe Beko products have been blamed for the deaths of at least 11 people in the UK, including a woman from Northern Ireland and a former Microsoft executive.
This week ITV News one of the biggest TV networks in the UK claimed that there are still tens of thousands of potentially dangerous domestic Beko appliances in UK homes, despite several safety alerts.
The faulty cookers, fridge freezers and tumble dryers are made by Beko, and could pose a risk to householders. But many still haven’t been traced. The company now admits earlier, crucial safety advice was wrong.
One of the issues in the UK appears to be that retailers have sold a product but do not hold any contact details regarding to whom they have sold the Beko appliance, the same problem exists in Australia.
Beko is alleged to have failed to have warned of risks posed to the public by its fridge freezers and cookers.
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An investigation carried out by British Sunday Times claimed the firm did not act swiftly enough to make customers aware of warnings it had received about the fire risks and carbon monoxide dangers some of its products posed.
It was alleged Turkish-owned Beko was warned by fire chiefs and regulators in November 2008 of potentially deadly flaws in some of its gas cookers following three deaths from poisoning.
The Belfast Daily Telegraph claimed that three months after the warning an advertising campaign was launched, by which time three more people had died. Four others are believed to have died as a |result of defective cookers.
Beko’s products account for one in five white goods sold in the UK.
Currently Beko is facing a ?1.5m lawsuit from the widow of a man who died in a house fire. Jennifer Benjamin alleges a fire at the couple’s north London home was caused by a Beko product.
Investigations reveal that Beko was warned in June 2010 that its fridge freezers posed a “potential threat to life” following fires.
Ms Benjamin’s husband Santosh died five months later.
Beko denied it had delayed in warning the public of any risks faced as a result of their products.
The Managing director of Beeko UK Ragip Balcioglu said: “We will not rest until we have done everything in our power to track down any potentially affected products where an issue has been identified.”