Monday, 21 October 2019 10:29

ACCC warns consumers at risk from ‘recalled’ products still in circulation Featured

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Australians could be at risk of injuries or even death from 6.6 million individual products currently under voluntary recall, with about half of the products still likely to be found in people’s homes, according to the competition regulator, the ACCC.

Figures show that each year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is notified of about 650 consumer product recalls - but only about half of affected products are returned to sellers -  which the Commission says leaves one in four Australian households exposed to potential hazards.

Now the Commission has recommended that the Government strengthen Australian Consumer Law by requiring businesses to comply with a “new safety duty”, meaning businesses must take “reasonable steps” to ensure the products they sell are not unsafe.

“In Australia, two people die and 145 people are injured every day by unsafe consumer products,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Many people would be surprised to learn there is currently no law that requires businesses to not sell unsafe products.”

“We believe prevention is better than cure, and that legally requiring businesses to take steps to ensure the safety of their products before they enter the market is needed to protect Australian consumers.”

The ACCC is part of a global OECD campaign on product recalls that kicked off on Monday to raise awareness of the importance of making sure recalled products are removed from homes.

The Commission is encouraging consumers to sign up to the Product Safety Australia website to receive product recall alerts and to register their products with manufacturers, “where possible, to ensure they receive information straight away if a product is recalled”.

“Toys and products for babies and children accounted for almost one in three safety recalls monitored by the ACCC. It is really important that people sign up to ACCC product safety alerts and register products with manufacturers, so they stay informed about recalls and can act to remove unsafe products from their homes,” Court said.

“We also have the biggest recall in Australian history underway: potentially deadly Takata airbags can still found in about half a million cars. It is vital that consumers don’t ignore recall information if they receive a letter, email or text from a manufacturer.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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