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Samsung's flaming galaxy sparks call for reform

CHOICE says Samsung's ongoing failure to put safe products on the market illustrates why we need to improve our product safety system.

12 October 2016

Consumer group CHOICE has welcomed Samsung's decision to stop producing the Galaxy Note7 a week after the electronics giant took out a Shonky Award for the second year running and is calling for an overhaul of Australia's product safety system.

"It was bad enough that Samsung released 51,060 potentially dangerous smartphones into the market in August only to recall them weeks later. To then release faulty replacement devices defies belief," says CHOICE's Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

"If it wasn't so serious, it would be a joke. No company should be consistently releasing products which burst into flames and pose a major safety risk to consumers.
  
"We believe Samsung's ongoing failure to put safe products on the market reinforces our call for reform to Australia's product safety system. The system needs to be more transparent, proactive and agile, with consumers given better access to information about product failures."

Samsung picked up the lemon-scented gong at the 11th annual CHOICE Shonky Awards in Sydney last week, a little under a year after it received a similar award for its dangerous top-loader washing machines.

"It's pretty disgraceful that we're back in the same place within 12 months, with another Samsung product that poses a major incendiary hazard," Mr Godfrey says.
 
"Samsung has failed basic product stewardship and we think they can do a lot better.
 
"When a product such as the Galaxy Note7 smartphone has a problem that makes it dangerous, this is likely to be considered a major failure of the consumer guarantees found in the Australian Consumer Law. This means the consumer decides if a repair, replacement or a refund is right for them. [1]

"Given the company has stopped producing the devices, [2] and there have been instances of batteries exploding in other Samsung models [3] – why would you mess around with anything other than a full refund?"
    
To read the Galaxy Note7 obituary and for further information visit choice.com.au.

Media Inquiries Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson - 0430 172 669 - @choice_news

To read more on CHOICE tests, reviews and campaigns, go to choice.com.au

About CHOICE 
Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias. As vital today as when we were founded in 1959, CHOICE continues to fight for consumers and uncover the truth. By mobilising Australia's largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.

[1] ACCC Repair, replace, refund. ACL s54.
[2] Replacement Galaxy Note 7s Having New Battery Issues
[3] Samsung Responds to Questions Over Battery Problems in More Devices; Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has battery issue too, US man says, sues for $20k after being burned