Washing machines 'intentionally hard to fix'
Washing machine manufacturers have been accused of deliberately making their appliances costly and difficult to restore to working order.
According to leading consumer charity Which?, a number of leading manufacturers have altered the design of their washing machines so that repairing them is prohibitively expensive. Bosch, Beko, AEG and Hotpoint are among the firms accused of doing so.
The newer devices featured sealed drums, preventing access to the drum and bearings. As bearing failures are common, this is likely to mean that many washing machines are uneconomical to repair in the event of this particular problem.
"None of the machines from the 1980s and 1990s that we dismantled had a sealed drum. On these older machines, the bearings could be accessed and replaced if needed," said Which? expert Adrian Porter.
"It seems that washing machine design has changed over time - and not for the better," he added.
The only brand Which? investigated and found not to use sealed drums in its washing machines was Miele, which the campaigning group noted had a reputation for reliability.