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Samsung flames out two years running

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

05 October 2016

Samsung has taken out a Shonky Award for the second year running after the electronics giant offloaded 51,060 dangerous smartphones on the market in August only to recall them weeks later.

“If it wasn’t so serious, it would be a joke. No company should be releasing a product which bursts into flames and poses a major safety risk to consumers,” says CHOICE’s Head of Media Tom Godfrey. 

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

“Samsung has failed basic product stewardship and left consumers to clean up its flaming mess,” Mr Godfrey says. 

“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 [1].  

“This means the consumer decides what remedy is right for them.  Given users have reported battery problems with replacement 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?

“So regardless of what the company claims, if you are in any way concerned about your Samsung Galaxy Note7 or the safety of any other device, don't hesitate to put yourself and your family first and seek a remedy.

“Given their win last year, you would have to say Samsung is the least improved company over the past year.

“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.

“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,” says Mr Godfrey. 

Other 2016 Shonky Award recipients were:

• Reckitt Benckiser's Vanish Carpet Cleaner
• Amex
• Nestle’s Milo
• Cash Converters
• Medical Weightloss Institute
• Green and Clean’s bottled air
• Kellogg’s Pringles
• Camel Milk Victoria
Access the full report on the 2016 Shonky winners at shonkys.com.au 

Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE Media: 0430 172 669

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