Act now on Infinity cables

26 March 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging the community to get a licensed electrician to check if degrading Infinity electrical cables are installed in their homes or businesses, as recent progress reports show that only 179 premises have so far been rectified and approximately 5 per cent of the supplied cable remediated.

A nationwide recall of Infinity cables was announced last year after they failed electrical safety standards due to poor quality plastic insulation coating. Tests have shown that the cable may become prematurely brittle from 2016 onwards, which could cause fires or electric shock if the cables were then disturbed. The relevant periods of cable supply are: 2010-2013 (in NSW), 2011-2013 (in ACT), 2012-2013 (in Vic, Qld, SA & WA) and in 2013 (in Tas).

“The ACCC is very concerned about how many homes and businesses still have degrading Infinity cables installed. Consumers that purchased new properties, undertook renovations or had electrical work carried out in the past few years should contact a licensed electrician for a safety inspection to determine if Infinity cables were installed,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“An electrician would typically be able to inspect a home for around $100, though costs will vary depending upon the size, location and design of the property. Such costs can be recovered from the supplier should Infinity or affected Olsent cables be discovered.”

“Consumers should not attempt to inspect cables themselves. Any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced under the safety recall. We also urge electricians and builders to alert their consumers and their cable supplier if they have installed Infinity cables,” Ms Rickard said.

The ACCC is monitoring progress of the remediation and has also been working with relevant industry associations to encourage their members to contact their customers and to advise their suppliers where the problematic cable is located.

The ACCC and state and territory regulators will assist any home owner that requests remediation of Infinity or affected Olsent cables. If they experience difficulty in getting cables remediated, they can contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

Background

The recalls apply to all sizes and configurations of TPS and Orange Round mains power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd and supplied under 'INFINITY' and 'OLSENT' brands. Further details on the recall are available.

Data received from suppliers as at 1 March indicates that between recall notifications and that date, the following progress had been made:

  • at least 182,415 metres of cable had been remediated (approximately 24,186 metres of cable had been replaced and at least 158,230 metres of cable had been returned to suppliers for a refund)
  • twelve suppliers had begun carrying out remediation
  • three of the smaller suppliers have completed their remediation
  • 179 homes had been remediated
  • at least 216 premises scheduled for future remediation
  • over 400 home remediation jobs in total forecast to be performed in the coming weeks

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Frequently asked questions

Table 1. Recalled Infinity cables in each state

State

km

%

Installation period

NSW

1,849

47%

2010-2013

VIC

910

23%

2012-2013

QLD

680

17%

2012-2013

WA

251

6%

2012-2013

ACT

162

4%

2011-2013

SA

44

1%

2012-2013

Tas

4

0.1%

2013

NT

0

0%

N/A

Release number: 
MR 43/15
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Media team - 1300 138 917

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