Consumer group CHOICE welcomes the national recall of Clark Rubber's unsafe pool fence and is calling for stronger recall requirements and tougher product safety laws.
The announcement follows Clark Rubber's repeated refusals to voluntarily recall its dangerous pool fence, which tests showed failed the Australian safety standard.
"When a company becomes aware that their product presents a potential danger to public safety they should act swiftly to protect consumers," says CHOICE's Head of Media Tom Godfrey.
"This latest case is yet another reminder that we need to toughen Australian Consumer Law through the mandating of a general safety provision and the introduction of tougher recall requirements.
"Companies should be forced to disclose the key details of the product safety recall to the public, like how many products have been taken off the shelves and how many are still in circulation, something that doesn't happen at the moment unless the Federal Government declares a mandatory recall.
"It's also time the Federal Government introduce new legal and financial penalties to make it explicitly clear to businesses that it's illegal to sell unsafe products," Mr Godfrey says.
The national recall comes following a CHOICE investigation and tests of the Be-Safe Portable Pool Fence that revealed:
- A four-year-old could open the fence unassisted due to fundamental design flaws, such as the height of the latch and large gaps around it
- The company mostly fixed the fence's shortcomings with a redesign, but then did not recall the 100 original fences
- The redesigned fence failed to meet three clauses of the Australian standard, including the failure to provide a latch that can prevent the opening and closing of the gate.
"With around 15 children drowning in backyard pools each year on average, it's vital pool fences are fit for purpose and can stop an unsupervised child gaining entry," says Mr Godfrey.
The pool fence is manufactured by Hunter Products, and is sold exclusively by Clark Rubber starting from $799. If you have concerns about the safety of a pool fence in your area, contact your local council.
To join CHOICE's campaign for tougher product safety laws, here.
Tom Godfrey, CHOICE Head of Media and Spokesperson - 0430 172 669 - @choice_news