High lift jacks suppliers pay penalties following ACCC infringement notices

18 April 2016

Online retailers Autoplus Pty Ltd (Autoplus), Smartchannel Pty Ltd trading as Outbax Camping (Outbax) and Sun Yee International Pty Ltd (Sun Yee) have each paid a penalty of $10,200 after being issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC issued the infringement notices because it had reasonable grounds to believe that each of Autoplus, Outbax and Sun Yee had supplied a high lift jack that did not comply with the mandatory safety standard. This is because jacks tested by the ACCC from each of these suppliers did not meet overload safety requirements and did not have the required safety markings.  The supply of a product which does not comply with a safety standard is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

“A high lift jack that does not comply with the safety standard for jacks places users at increased risk of injury or death,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Since 2000, five Australians (on average) have been killed each year while working under a vehicle in a DIY maintenance setting with jacks being commonly involved. The performance and labelling requirements of the safety standard for high lift jacks are designed to reduce the risk of serious injury and death and ensure that users have accurate information about how to safely use these jacks.”

“All businesses supplying high lift jacks must ensure that their products comply with the Australian mandatory safety standard. The ACCC has put several other retailers who supplied high lift jacks on notice about their obligations to comply with mandatory safety standards and may take further enforcement action against other suppliers where appropriate,” Ms Rickard said.

The ACCC became aware of the online retailers supplying non-compliant jacks through a product safety compliance campaign targeting vehicle jacks that took place in mid-2015. Following ACCC engagement, all of the retailers identified conducted a voluntary recall of the non-compliant jacks.

Consumers who have purchased a high lift jack can check to see if it is the subject of a voluntary product recall at www.recalls.gov.au. If a consumer has purchased a high lift jack that is subject to a voluntary recall, they should immediately cease using the high lift jack and contact the retailer to obtain a replacement or refund.

The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.

Safety tips for the use of high lift jacks:

  • Buy and use vehicle and trolley jacks, support stands and portable ramps that meet mandatory safety standards.
  • Use the right jack for the job.
  • Ensure that you regularly maintain these tools so that they operate safely.
  • Always check the jack's label to ensure that its maximum load capacity is enough to support the vehicle you are lifting - otherwise the jack could fail and place you in danger.

Further safety information is on the Product Safety website.

Release number: 
MR 51/16
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Media Team - 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au
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