Tertiary education program

Defences available to manufacturers

There are four defences available to businesses that have manufactured unsafe goods:

  • The cause of the goods being unsafe did not exist when they were supplied by the actual manufacturer.
  • The goods were only unsafe because they complied with a mandatory standard.
  • Because of the state of scientific or technical knowledge at the time the goods were supplied by the manufacturer, it was not possible to discover the cause of the goods being unsafe.
  • The good was part of another good, and the defect only arose because of the design, markings, instructions or packaging of that other good.

Remedies and related matters

A manufacturer of unsafe goods must pay compensation to a person injured, or who suffers loss or damage by the goods. Consumers who suffer loss or damage because of defects in a manufacturer's goods can take action themselves, or the ACCC can bring a representative action on their behalf. If the loss or damage has two causes – (i) the unsafe goods and (ii) the person's own act or omission – the amount of compensation recoverable may be reduced in proportion to their share of responsibility for it occurring.