ARN

Fire hazard sees recall issued on TVs

More than 15,000 sets in Australia affected

Several thousand Loewe television sets are being recalled due to malfunction and the potential for fire hazard.

As part of a worldwide recall from the German manufacturer, Australian customers who have purchased one of Loewe's 100hz televisions between March 1999 and October 2001 are being directed to call the manufacturer (on 1800 661 992) or visit www.loewetv.com.au

There are about 15,500 affected televisions sets in Australia.

International Dynamics, the German brand's Australian distributor for two decades, informed Australia's regulatory bodies of the worldwide recall after Loewe Germany received reports of a number of television sets catching fire.

"After rigorous testing, the company engaged in a worldwide, voluntary safety recall," International Dynamics managing director, David Probert, said.

In Australia, such recalls are mandatory. International Dynamics approached the Australian Government to arrange suitable advertising and availability of service networks for the recall, Probert said.

From a total of 440,000 potentially affected televisions worldwide, Probert said there were 20 reported incidents of fire and 1300 reported incidents of malfunction.

"It was a very low reported incidence of televisions that actually caught fire," product and supplier liaison for International Dynamics, Michael Thornton-Smith, said. "But Loewe, to their credit, deemed it unacceptable for their brand. I can't think of many other brands that would have issued a recall on such a low amount of incidences.

"It is the kind of behaviour you would only expect from a precision manufacturer and a premium brand. We're proud to be associated with them." Loewe is bearing the costs of the recall. International Dynamics has taken on a network of third-party service organisations to aid the recall effort.

"It's a situation where you have to potentially service thousands of televisions as quickly as possible," Thornton-Smith said. "Our normal service requirements are far lower - so we have had to engage with a national service network and a call answering service to take customer inquiries."

Retail partners had been kept fully informed, he said.

"Our retail partners should - rather than take any action themselves - direct a customer to the web site and 1800 number dedicated to this recall."