The Tefal ActiFry is safe to use, with changes made to the product since its launch having improved both its performance and durability.
So said ActiFry supplier Groupe SEB today in a statement made exclusively to HousewaresLive.net. It comes in answer to a number of user reports on the website which say that the electric fryer can produce smoke and even flames while in use.
The problem was first highlighted by BBC television’s Watchdog programme in November 2008. HousewaresLive.net picked up the story, and Groupe SEB put out a statement via the website reassuring ActiFry owners that the product posed no danger.
Now, the company is stressing that message again, and insisting that the unit “ensures absolute fire safety”.
Today’s statement reads: “We apologise to those customers that have experienced problems with their ActiFrys.
“Please allow us to reiterate that ActiFry is a safe product. It has undergone 500 hours of safety tests and had to pass an independent laboratory test to gain the European Safety Standards certification.
“This means that on the rare occasion of a product failure, the ActiFry will shut down safely. Some customers have reported their products producing smoke or sparks inside the unit. We accept that it may also be possible for a short-lived flame to appear inside the unit should any oil residue be on the heating element casing. Any appliance with a hot air heating system (eg convection oven, hairdryer) will produce smoke should the fan fail. This is because it causes the element to overheat and melt a small amount of surrounding plastics.
“However, the ActiFry has been designed to fail safe so it will automatically shut power off immediately and is made from flame retardant plastics so the unit cannot catch fire and therefore ensures absolute fire safety.”
“In line with normal product development and improvement there have been several changes to the ActiFry since its launch in 2007 to improve its performance and durability, and there have been no fan failures reported on products manufactured after 2008. As with most products from most companies it is normal for products to evolve and hopefully improve over their lifespan. Our aim is always to provide our customer with both innovative and reliable products.”
The statement ends by telling consumers that if their product fails within the 12-month guarantee period, the company will arrange to collect and repair it free of charge.
It goes on: “If your product fails outside of the guarantee period then there are several options available to you depending on the nature of the failure, and our customer relations team will be happy to discuss these options with you.”
The helpline number is 0845 602 1454.