With more than 1 million recalled products still in circulation in Australia, the consumer watchdog is calling on government to step up its recall compliance requirements among businesses.
Older generation MacBook Pros, a range of Epson projectors and Kyocera multifunction printing devices are among the business technology products in Australia that have been recalled by manufacturers this year, but not all of them have been returned by users.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has suggested that roughly half of the 6.6 million individual products currently under recall in Australia are yet to be returned by end users.
The figure is one of the reasons the Australian consumer watchdog is recommending that government strengthen the Australian Consumer Law by requiring businesses to comply with a “new safety duty”, a move that is likely to affect technology retailers, which have to deal with their own fair share of product recalls in the local market.
In an effort to deal with the number of recalled products still in circulation, the ACCC is taking part of a global Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) campaign on product recalls that kicks off on 21 October to raise awareness of the importance of returning recalled products.
“In Australia, two people die and 145 people are injured every day by unsafe consumer products,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said. “Many people would be surprised to learn there is currently no law that requires businesses to not sell unsafe products.”
“We believe prevention is better than cure, and that legally requiring businesses to take steps to ensure the safety of their products before they enter the market is needed to protect Australian consumers,” she said.
According to the ACCC, estimates show there are around 780 deaths and 52,000 injuries per year from unsafe consumer products in Australia. This amounts to a cost of at least $5 billion to the economy, including medical costs, lost wages and lost productivity.