Product Safety

Taskforce to investigate stronger button battery safety

The ACCC has established a Button Battery Taskforce to investigate ways to reduce risk to the Australian community, particularly children, of button batteries.

In Australia two children have died in the past six years after swallowing a button battery, and hundreds of children suspected of swallowing button batteries have ended up in hospital emergency rooms.

At least 64 children have died globally.

Over 4,000 dangerous Takata airbags replaced a day but many still at risk

Despite 80 percent of recalled Takata airbags in Australian vehicles having been replaced since July 2017, there are growing concerns that some communities are not getting the message.

Since the ACCC’s recommendation for a compulsory recall began in March 2018, an average of almost 77,000 vehicles have had airbags replaced each month – or more than 4, 175 airbag replacements each and every business day.

ACCC urges caution with DIY vehicle maintenance

Around 120 Australians have died as a result of do it yourself (DIY) car maintenance accidents since 2000, while many hundreds have been hospitalised due to injuries, and the ACCC is warning consumers to take extra care when repairing their vehicles.

The ACCC has developed a safety campaign which includes a video explaining the correct procedure for common DIY car maintenance tasks to help raise awareness about the associated dangers.

More progress is needed in Airbag recalls

The quarterly recall figures for Takata airbags reveal steady progress is being made in the recall but the ACCC is warning motorists not to become complacent.

As at 31 March 2019 around 2.1 million (69 per cent) of vehicles have been rectified leaving around 734,000 (24 per cent) of vehicles remaining.

Around 192,000 (seven per cent) of vehicles have been identified by manufacturers as written off, unregistered for more than two consecutive years, exported, scrapped, stolen or modified and unable to have the airbag replaced.

Unsafe goods should be illegal to sell

There should be a law in Australia prohibiting the sale of unsafe goods, ACCC Chair Rod Sims told the National Consumer Congress in Melbourne today.

Using new data the ACCC estimates the annual cost of injury and death caused by unsafe consumer products is at least $5 billion and could be much more.

Excluding motor vehicle accidents, there are around 780 deaths and around 52,000 injuries per year from consumer products that many Australians have in their homes.

Target and Baby Bunting pay penalties for selling unsafe convertible strollers

Following the issue of infringement notices by the ACCC, Target Australia Pty Ltd and Baby Bunting Pty Ltd have paid penalties totalling $37,800 and $25,200 respectively for selling and marketing unsafe convertible strollers, and have each entered into court enforceable undertakings.

The convertible strollers were marketed as safe to be used as strollers for transporting babies and young children, but did not comply with the mandatory safety standard for prams and strollers.

A million airbags still to be replaced

Australia’s largest ever recall is nearly two thirds progressed with 2.8 million faulty Takata airbags replaced with around 1 million still outstanding.

More than 70 per cent of all affected airbag inflators have been replaced nationally since the Federal Government put manufacturers on notice in February last year.

“Despite good progress, both motorists and car manufacturers shouldn’t become complacent,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“If you receive a letter or call from your car’s manufacturer, don’t delay or ignore it.”