ACCC warns millions of unsafe products are in Australian households.
Are you at risk?
By Practical Parenting Team
October 29 2019
The ACCC has revealed that Australians could be at risk of injury or even death from over six million individual products that are currently under voluntary recall.
Figures show that each year, the ACCC is notified of about 650 consumer product recalls, but only around half of those products are returned to retailers.
That means there are about 1.7 million recalled products remaining in people’s homes, and almost one in four Australian households are currently exposed to potential hazards.
So what should you be on the lookout for?
The biggest recall in Australian history is still underway, with potentially deadly Takata airbags still installed in about 500,000 cars. The faulty airbags can discharge deadly shrapnel-like fragments of metal and plastic when deployed in a crash.
Manufacturers are replacing the airbags free of charge, but owners need to book in with their dealers to swap them over.
While carmakers are making efforts to contact affected owners, you can log on to the Is My Airbag Safe website to check if yours is OK.
Industry experts believe there is around 4,000 kilometres of faulty Infinity cables sitting in homes across Australia. The cables were recalled because contact can dislodge the insulation and lead to electrical shock and fires.
"It's up to the builder to notify people if they installed these cables from 2010 to 2013," says Consumer affairs commentator Jo Ocukalo.
If you're unsure, contact an electrician to check the wiring in your home.
Toys and children's products
Toys and products for babies and children accounted for almost one in three safety recalls monitored by the ACCC.
Recent recalls include a Target jacket for kids with faulty buttons, a number of pyjamas that pose fire hazards and a baby sleeper that poses a risk of suffocation.
Consumer safety laws
"There's not currently any laws that prohibit a business from selling unsafe products," told The Morning Show.
Product recalls have been steadily increasing worldwide over the past decade. The ACCC wants the government to strengthen the Australian Consumer Law by requiring businesses to comply with a 'new safety duty', which would mean businesses must take “reasonable steps” to ensure the products they sell are not unsafe.
Top tips for safe and savvy shoppers
- Register products
- Sign up for recall alerts
- Stop using a recalled product immediately
- Follow recall instructions
- Spread the word
Find out more about product recalls on the ACCC website.
Watch: 2018 had many foods get hit with food safety issues. Here are some of 2018's biggest food safety recalls.