Dodgy product boom
With more than 550 product recall notices issued in 2016, it seems Australia is in the grips of a dodgy product boom, with our recall rate far outstripping the UK.
"Whether it's your favourite smartphone, a slow cooker, drone or your kids' pyjamas, hundreds of popular products have been recalled over the last 18 months that present a danger to you and your family," says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.
"This is particularly worrying, given that on average, only half of all recalled products will be returned to the company."
"The sheer volume of recalls is extremely concerning. We need to strengthen our product safety system, increase penalties and dramatically improve transparency," Godfrey says.
With just 37 days until Christmas, CHOICE has compiled a list of 12 recalls which have no place under the tree.
1. Ozsale kids' nightwear
Ozsale's Orange Superhero Pajamas
do not display the mandatory fire-hazard warning labels. Worryingly, the fabric and the length of the cape present a very real risk of injury, as it could easily brush against a heat source and very quickly catch fire.
2. Swarovski Octa Crystal Pendant Light
The crystal in the light fixture can detach if damaged during shipment, and if it detaches and falls, it poses an impact hazard.
3. Flashing Duck with LED Light
This flashing duck toy, which was sold through Priceline, contains a button battery and LED light which may become dislodged. If this occurs, there is a risk the button battery could be ingested by a child.
4. Kogan's 3DR Solo Smart Drone Quadcopter
Components of the drone have not been tested or approved by Australian electrical certification.
5. Inflatable frog
Mesco's and RPC Promo's inflatable frogs were promoted nationally at agricultural shows but unfortunately the inflation plugs could be removed by a child, presenting a choking hazard.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones
Samsung has recalled more than 50,000 Galaxy Note7 smartphones in Australia due to a fire risk. If you have one of the affected smartphones, stop using it immediately and seek a full refund.
7. Metagenics' NasoClear
Metagenics' NasoClear is a complementary medicine product that combines a saline solution with essential oils. Some products may contain Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as golden staph. Golden staph can cause life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis or blood-stream infections.
8. Breville's Fast Slow Cooker
Breville has recalled its Fast Slow Cooker due to a risk of scalding from hot liquids. Consumers who have the Fast Slow Cooker in their possession should contact Breville customer service to arrange for a replacement gasket kit.
9. Zoggs Bobin Swim Jacket & Zoggs Swim Jacket
These Zoggs jackets fail to display warning labels on their outer surfaces and do not comply with Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZ 1900:2014 Flotation aids for water familiarization and swimming tuition.
10. Spotlight's Rustic Cabin Birch Candle
Spotlight's Bouclair Home - Rustic Cabin Birch Candle has birch surrounding the candleholder, which could catch fire and remain alight longer than permitted by the ban on combustible candle holders. This could result in burns, serious injury or death if the candle catches fire.
11. Kmart — Spiral Vegetable Cutter
Kmart's spiral vegetable cutter has a manufacturing issue that may cause the blade to break during use. If the defect occurs, blade pieces may become mixed with food, posing an ingestion and laceration hazard.
12. Adairs kids' bean bag covers and Adairs adult bean bag covers
Adairs kids' bean bags and adult bean bags fail to display the mandatory warning that bean bags are not safe sleeping surfaces “for an infant under 12 months of age”.
Tips for consumers
- Check independent product review and comparison websites like CHOICE where products are tested and safety failings are highlighted.
- Check the productsafety.gov.au website for recalls.
- Register for free safety alerts from productsafety.gov.au.