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With Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard
You may have seen or heard about a Samsung washing fire at a rental property in Wanneroo recently. Early indications are that it was a top loader which is subject to a national product safety recall and I would like to use the case as a reminder about recalled products that pose a threat to public safety.
Under the Australian Consumer Law all consumer products supplied in Australia must be safe and meet consumer guarantees (acceptable quality, matches the description given etc.). Banned products cannot be sold and products or product-related services must comply with relevant safety standards. If there is a risk that a product will or may cause injury, it must be recalled. There is a mandatory requirement for businesses to report any death, serious injury or illness associated with a product to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) within two days.
Many product safety recalls are voluntary or carried out voluntarily at the request of a consumer protection agency. An example of a current voluntary recall is the Takata airbag recall, which is being run by the manufacturers of affected vehicles or their Australian representatives.
Compulsory recalls of a product are ordered where it appears the supplier has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the goods from causing injury.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announce product safety recalls online at www.recalls.gov.au, which I would encourage you to save to your favourites.
You can also subscribe to email alerts via that website. Alternatively, download the free app ACCC Recalls Australia, follow on Twitter @ACCCProdSafety or like the ACCC Product Safety Facebook page.
As I mentioned, current recalls include six Samsung top loading washing machines manufactured between 2010 and 2013. The affected models are: SW75V9WIP; SW65V9WIP; SW70SPWIP; SW80SPWIP; WA85GWGIP; WA85GWWIP. These faulty machines are responsible for more than 200 house fires across Australia. Unfortunately more than 6000 remain in WA homes due to a very poor response rate of owners across our state. We are lagging well behind the other states.
Other unsafe products to be aware of are:
It’s important to make sure you are not using recalled products and if you realise that you are, fixing the problem shouldn’t cost you. If a product you buy is recalled, the supplier may offer you a full refund, a suitable replacement product of the same value, or a modification or repair of the product. Your rights can vary slightly depending on the way the recall is conducted (voluntary and managed by the supplier or compulsory due to an order by the ACCC). As a starting point, check with the supplier for details. If you cannot resolve your problem with a recalled product, contact the ACCC or Consumer Protection WA (1300 30 40 54 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for help.