This International Product Safety Week (12-16 November) the ACCC, along with the European Commission and 24 other countries, is focused on reducing the number of unsafe consumer products being sold online.
Australia’s largest ever recall is now well underway with new figures released today detailing the first quarter of compulsory Takata airbag replacements under the Mandatory Recall Notice issued by the Australian Government.
More than 350,000 faulty Takata airbags were replaced in the quarter following 1 July 2018, equal to more than 3,000 replacements each day.
Some 2.5 million faulty Takata airbags have already been replaced in around 1.6 million vehicles to date, since the start of voluntary recalls in 2009.
Faulty products continue to cause serious injury and harm to thousands of Australians, with more than 4.5 million items recalled by suppliers in the 2017-18 financial year.
New figures show at least 10 people a day are injured and require medical attention as a result of unsafe products, according to mandatory reports provided to the ACCC by manufacturers and retailers.
The ACCC has released comprehensive state-by-state data detailing recall rates for deadly Takata airbags, and the first data detailing progress made by various vehicle manufacturers in removing them from Australian cars.
The ACCC says one year since the ACCC started overseeing the Takata airbag recall,
1.8 million potentially deadly airbags still need replacing as part of a compulsory recall that will run until 2020.
Over the past 12 months, 1.1 million faulty Takata airbags have been replaced in around 930,000 vehicles.
An estimated 2,600 Australians receive hospital treatment for injuries caused by toppling furniture and televisions each year, equating to approximately 50 people per week.
Since 2001 at least 22 children under the age of 9 have died in Australia from toppling furniture or televisions, with children under 3 years of age at greatest risk.
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Thermomix In Australia Pty Ltd (Thermomix) to pay penalties totalling $4,608,500 for making false or misleading representations and misleading the public in relation to its Thermomix kitchen appliances.
The Court held that Thermomix breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations to certain consumers through its silence about a safety issue affecting its TM31 appliance, which the company knew about.
The ACCC has proposed major changes to improve the safety of quad bikes, including the introduction of a safety rating system, crush protection devices and mandatory minimum performance standards.
Tragically, quad bike accidents result in an average of 16 deaths in Australia each year. They also result in approximately six people per day attending a hospital emergency department and two of these requiring hospitalisation for serious injuries.
To help reduce the deaths and injuries associated with quad bikes, the ACCC is proposing a mandatory safety standard that:
Chairman Rod Sims today announced the ACCC’s product safety priorities for 2018 at the National Consumer Congress in Sydney, and reaffirmed support for a general safety provision to be introduced in Australian law to reduce the risk of unsafe goods entering the market.
“Today, I am proud to release a new policy which sets out how the ACCC prioritises and manages product safety risks, and the issues we will target in 2018. As an agency, it is essential that we prioritise our product safety resource allocation,” Mr Sims said.
Quad bikes riders and industry can make a submission to the ACCC’s quad bike safety investigation, with proposed reforms outlined in an Issues Paper released today.
“Tragically, 114 people have been killed in Australia in quad bike accidents since 2011. The ACCC is investigating a range of possible options to improve quad bike safety and prevent further deaths and injuries in the community,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.
The ACCC is co-leading an international safety campaign urging parents and carers to anchor unstable furniture and large TVs to the wall to prevent infant deaths and serious injuries.