The Sunday Mail (Queensland)




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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