No fire risk with ActiFry, Tefal tells concerned consumers

Published: 10 August 2010 - 00:00
Groupe SEB has responded to mounting reports that its Tefal ActiFry is liable to emit smoke and even flames by insisting that the product is safe.
No fire risk with ActiFry, Tefal tells concerned consumers
The company has told HousewaresLive.net that should a problem occur with the electric fryer the power cuts off immediately and the product shuts down.

The fact that the ActiFry's fan can fail, causing overheating, was brought to national attention in November 2008 by the BBC's Watchdog television programme. Consumers told how their own ActiFrys had produced sparks, smoke and fire.

HousewaresLive.net reported the story - click here to read it - and over 18 months later the website continues to receive comments from consumers relating their own experiences, with some demanding that the product be recalled.

However, responding to a request from HousewaresLive.net to clarify its position regarding the ActiFry, Groupe SEB has released a statement stressing that the product is safe and cannot catch fire.

The statement reads: "Tefal is a responsible company that takes customer safety and satisfaction very seriously.

"All of Tefal's products are designed to be 100% safe with proper use and have to undergo rigorous safety tests and comply with European safety standards before production.

"The Tefal ActiFry is a very safe innovation - it has undergone over 500 hours of safety tests and had to pass an independent laboratory test to gain the European Safety Standards BS EN 60335-1 and BS EN 60335-2-9. The ActiFry has been designed to 'fail safe'. This means that in the event of a product failure, it will shut down safely with all power cut immediately."

The statement goes on to say that of the 150,000 ActiFrys sold in the UK the vast majority of products have had no problems whatsoever and that customer satisfaction is very high.

"Since the launch of the ActiFry in 2007 we are aware of only 1.26% that has suffered from a faulty fan motor overheating," it says. "Most of these customers have reported their products producing smoke or sparks inside the unit.

"We accept that it may be possible for a short-lived flame to appear inside the unit should any oil residue be on the heating element casing. We reiterate that even if this did occur the product is still safe. The product will not catch fire as it is made from 20% fibreglass reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) which is flame retardant."

The statement concludes: "To reiterate, over 98% of customers have not reported any problems at all and Tefal has been in consultation with Trading Standards that looks after the interests of consumer safety and it has stated that it has no cause for concern."


Published prior to March 2014
By Cat
Bought my fryer from Tesco 15 months ago. Found no probs until today when noticed paddle snapped. Rang Tesco they don't want to know told me to ring Tefal. This machine hardly used as we oap who wanted a bit of 'healthy' living!! Don't think we will bother to replace with another after reading these comments.
Published prior to March 2014
By James Warland
My Actifry burst into flames on Sunday night as I was cooking chips. managed to get it outside and pour water onto it. Now in dustbin.
Published prior to March 2014
By d. ponting
had it over 12months today although its rotating its not heating- plus side its not gone up in smoke either-
Published prior to March 2014
By Mick G
Looks like you were lucky - chances are the element has burnt out and blown the machine. You can buy a new element for about £25 in you know how to fit it but if you do dont leave this machine unattended when in use!
Published prior to March 2014
By Deborah
I've had the actifry for a few years and had no problems. It's made great chips, but this evening had it on for a few minutes when it sparked and died. What should i do now?
Published prior to March 2014
By J Oxley
I bought my Actifry in 2008 and I have used it about once every 2 months since. However, it has recently had sparks and flames from the back which burnt out the element, because of a fan failure. Tefal directed me to Amazon under Contract of Sale Law which covers you for 6 years. Amazon want no part of this and will not replace or refund. Tefal say they will offer a new one @ 40% dicount or repair the old one....but nothing more. They have directed me to Trading Standards, but I assume that they know this will be of no help to me. This was an expensive item with an obvious design fault and I feel very let down by Tefal, but do not know what to do next.
Published prior to March 2014
By J Southampton
I was just about to buy one of these but thought I would just check a few reviews - thank goodness I did! I can't buy something that is quite likely to catch fire! It seems Tefal couldn't care less. They have had ages to sort this out, it can't be rocket science! And saying that if the unit fails it will switch off - that's no good if it's already on fire. With two young children, I just can't risk it and like other people have said - I'll wait until another company make a similar one then buy that. Seeing how flippant Tefal have been about this problem makes me want to avoid buying anything of theirs...
Published prior to March 2014
By Denise G
Since my husband replaced the heating element (because we had no response from SEB) the fan has failed to start up 3 times - as I know the signs I quickly turn it off and my husband cranks the fan manually and the re starts it and off it goes! If the fan fails you have about 15 seconds to pull the plug or the heating element will cook the actifry not your chips! So having taken the actifry apart to repair it the thought is that its a good idea designed by a first year engineering student. Dont leave the product alone or better still dont buy it
Published prior to March 2014
By G Ambrose
Mine is still going strong over 4 years down the line. It needs a new handle but aside from that all I have ever done is use it as directed, cleaned it as directed so on and so forth.
Published prior to March 2014
By Craig Duncan
I have had my Tefal Actifry for around 17 months. It was working perfect until it started making strange noises seconds after it was turned on. I immediately switch it off and checked everything was in order. I then switched it back on and almost straight away black smoke belched out and there was again the crackling noise, seconds later the appliance was on fire. These things are dangerous and should not be left unattended or even switched on as a matter of fact. After reading up on previous cases I think it is only a matter of time before something serious happens,in my opinion Tefal needs to have a recall on these units. SEB Group sent me a letter stating that only 1.26% of the 150000 sold have had faults to their knowledge (1890 units) and they do not see this as a big issue. Make up your own mind, I have my own thoughts, just do not leave them unattended. I was offered a new unit at 40% off the RRP = £100, you can now buy them for that price anyway."Cheers SEB Groupe"
Published prior to March 2014
By karen
Mine burst into flames and it wasnt turned on?i had just used it.Took pics of damage to my Fryer and kitchen.COMET were brilliant and refunded.More than can be said for TEFAL i emailed them and sent pics.STILL AWAITING REPLY
Published prior to March 2014
By Denise Gallagher
Its not a failure of the fan that causes "emission of smoke" the product emits flames and one reason for purchase was because chip pans are dangerous. How can SEB take seriously this product that catches fire? Mine has twice - is that acceptable?
Published prior to March 2014
By MooCow

You shouldn't be geting in debt to buy anything, whether it bursts into flames or not!!
Published prior to March 2014
By G Ambrose
I have had my actifry for almost 3 years and I use it several times a week. The only problem I have encountered was I snapped the paddle which I replaced at a cost of £35. I have recommended them to many of my friends and family who have also had no problems what so ever.
Published prior to March 2014
By a guy at uni
I wanted to buy the actifry, then I saw watchdog's report. Today I went to currys and I was going to buy it, thinking that Tefal must have ironed out the fan issue, but due to what everyone is saying, I don't think it would be a good idea to get one if it could still be dangerous.
Published prior to March 2014
By Arthur Deere
I bought my Tefal Actifry Fryer in November 2008 & it has hardly been used.My wife went to make some chips & guess what it made a hissing noise then went up in a puff of smoke with sparks coming out of the back.In my opinion they are very unsafe & should be recalled.
Published prior to March 2014
By R Burt
Our Actifry suffered fan motor burnout. It did not switch off, just left the element glowing red hot which then produced clouds of acrid smoke. This equipment should have a thermal cut out. How it passed European Safety Standard can only be because the actual casing is flame retardant. Dont buy !
It might not cause a fire but at the price you pay ours lasted 14 months and gave us one hell of a shock. Calculated
we used it at the most about 8o times. If they made it more robust and reliable I would buy another but not whilst its so unreliable.
Published prior to March 2014
By holmes household
Tonight, our 3 year old Tefal Actifry made several popping noises followed by a bang and then began emitting black, acrid smoke from the rear of the machine. Luckily I was in the kitchen at the time and switched the unit off, pulling the plug out to prevent further danger. The machine did not shut down as Tefal have described in their response to the Watchdog programme in 2008 (just after I bought it) and now that I realise I have no redress in law as the machine did not appear to have the problem when I bought it, I guess as long as people know there is this problem if they buy one, then maybe a serious fire may be prevented. My machine was fantastic while it lasted even though it was only used, at the most once a month, it should I believe have lasted longer than 3 years. Or maybe Tefal want them to blow up so we spend our money on more of their goods. I hope someone with power does do something about the item, or we will be reading about a fire caused by one of these machines next.
Published prior to March 2014
By Derek Sowden
Actually found a customer service contact form on web and tried again - got a response within 4 hours! Although they say not many complaints, I received a stock email reply referring to me as Mrs Sowden (!) with the standard response attached to it that we have all read on the web.
They offered a discount on a new one (which was all I was reasonably expecting) but quoted no figures.
I rang and was told that they would supply a new one "at an extremely generous discount from the 199 RRP, for 110). No further reduction was possible. I said I'd consult my wife as we'd paid 125 for our old one.
She rang them back and pointed out that Tescos, Currys AND Dixons currently offer the same model for 109 and after referral to her manager, we were offered a replacement at 95.
Some may say we're mad but we accepted this (still with only the normal 12 months guarantee - they made no other assurances!). Keep your fingers crossed for us!!!
Published prior to March 2014
By margaret trotter
Loved my Actifry but unfortunately it belched out smoke and I did see a flame. I bought mine mainly because I thought it would be safer than conventional deep fat frying. Tefal would repair for 70.00 but could not guarantee that this would not happen again.
Published prior to March 2014
By Derek Sowden
Our actifry was bought November 2008 and is used about twice a week during this time. Yesterday there was a bang and the rotor arm barely moved. At the same time acrid black smoke belched from where the hot air is usually blown, together with a short lived flame. This was because my wife was near and turned everything off immediately - had she been distracted elsewhere, who knows how long the flames could have lasted.
I have reported this to Tefal and am awaiting their response. If I get any joy - I will report back - just don't hold your breath!!!!
Published prior to March 2014
By Anonymous
Thank good I googled these before buying! I was planning on getting one and I would have meant getting in debt and for what? for it to blow up and potentially my family and I! Tefal may claim it can't catch fire blah blah but if theres something near enough to it that can when it smokes and flames then that could be very different indeed. What are trading standards playing at they need to do something!
Published prior to March 2014
By k singh
My actifry also blew up. There was a loud bang and then a burning smell.Thank fully it was within the 12 months warranty and argos accepted the return straightaway as I was told they had quite a lot of returns so I am surprised what Tefal have said that only 2% have complained. I reckon quite a lot of people have not bothered to pursue this as the fault was outside the warranty. As i said i recieved my money back. However my cousin's actifry has just broke down and the warranty ran out in June 2010 ! So he has lost his 150. Not good at all because Tefal dont seem to have recalled all the fryers. I wont be buying Tefal ever again. They cannot be trusted. Other companies would have carried out a recall.
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