LG comes unstuck on energy labelling

Watchdog takes action but CHOICE wants more bite

CHOICE has welcomed action by the ACCC against LG Australia over misleading energy labelling claims but says the watchdog needs to get tougher on the company after its third breach in six years.

CHOICE blew the whistle on incorrect energy ratings on LG refrigerators last March as part of a regular review of new fridge products.

LG claimed one of the fridges tested had an annual energy consumption of 738kWh, but CHOICE showed it actually used considerably more when it bypassed a special "energy-saving mode".

The ACCC has announced LG has given a legal undertaking to implement an upgraded trade practices law compliance program and will conduct additional testing on a range of appliances prior to being released on the Australian market.

CHOICE believes the company has got off lightly.

"LG was meant to have a compliance program in place under similar undertakings it gave the Commission in 2005 and 2006 following similar misleading claims on washing machines and air conditioners," says CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn.

"The fact they breached again means either their compliance program was ineffective or the company knew full well there was a breach. Either way, it's clear that LG does not take compliance seriously.

"They have probably done the numbers and worked out it's more profitable to breach, wait to be found out, fix the problem and then do it all again.

"We don't think this sort of negotiated resolution should be available to companies on their third strike. The ACCC should have taken LG to court and secured fines to send a clear message."

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18 Mar 2010 | This major fridge manufacturer claims the GC-L197NFS’s and GC-P197WFS annual energy consumption is 738kWh but CHOICE tests revealed it uses about 876kWh when bypassing the energy-saving mode.

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27 Sep 2010 | CHOICE welcomes action over misleading energy labelling claims.

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