The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

TO­TAL RE­CALL

IN CON­SUMERS ’ HANDS HUGE NUM­BERS OF UNS AFE PRODUCTSCT­SSSTTILL

- DARYL PASS­MORE

FROM lux­ury cars with doors that open while driv­ing to chil­dren’s drink cups con­tain­ing po­ten­tially deadly bat­ter­ies, a soar­ing num­ber of prod­ucts are be­ing re­called due to safety con­cerns.

Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion fig­ures show the num­ber of re­calls has risen by more than 40 per cent since 2010 to 510 last year.

But only about half of the dodgy goods are ever re­turned, leav­ing thou­sands of haz­ardous prod­ucts in Aus­tralian homes.

Ev­i­dence given to a Se­nate eco­nom­ics com­mit­tee this year high­lighted that dan­ger­ous toys have a par­tic­u­larly low rate of re­turn, putting chil­dren at risk.

In an­swers to the Se­nate com­mit­tee in Fe­bru­ary, the ACCC said the av­er­age rate of re­turn in re­call cam­paigns was 56 per cent, but for toys it var­ied be­tween zero and 20 per cent.

“The ques­tion needs to be asked as to whether our cur­rent sys­tem for ap­prov­ing prod­ucts for the Aus­tralian mar­ket is ad­e­quate,’’ Shine Lawyers class ac­tions part­ner for Queens­land Re­becca Jan­causkas said.

Ms Jan­causkas is in­volved in three le­gal cases in­volv­ing med­i­cal prod­ucts. One is a class ac­tion by 3000 pa­tients, in­clud­ing Un­der­wood man Stu­art Cain (pic­tured), who re­ceived ar­ti­fi­cial hip im­plants man­u­fac­tured by John­son & John­son sub­sidiary DePuy be­fore they were re­called in 2010.

Mr Cain, 46, has been forced to give up his job as a nurse due to on­go­ing med­i­cal prob­lems he claims are due to the im­plant.

In one of the most high-pro­file re­cent house­hold goods re­calls, Sam­sung in 2013 warned of a to­ploader wash­ing ma­chine which could catch fire. But of the 144,000 ap­pli­ances made, about 70,000 have not been re­turned and there have been scores of fires since.

In the past month alone, 41 safety re­calls have been reg­is­tered on the ACCC’s of­fi­cial web­site list.

Re­cent cases in­clude prob­lems with door latches in some 2013-16 Range Rover mod­els which can re­sult in doors open­ing dur­ing mo­tion. And 15,000 cups sold at Event Cine­mas since June to pro­mote the film In­side Out have been re­called be­cause but­ton bat­ter­ies used to make the cup light up pose “an un­ac­cept­able risk of death or se­ri­ous in­jury’’.

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