Millions Of Dangerous Recalled Products Still Hiding In Aussie Homes
Up to three million unsafe and potentially deadly products are likely to be sitting in Australian households, as owners fail to act on urgent product recalls.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned 6.6 million individual products are currently under voluntary recall across the country.
The ACCC says it is notified of about 650 consumer recalls every year.
But according to new figures released by the watchdog on Monday, only half of the recalled products are safely removed from homes and returned to sellers.
One in four Aussie households is at risk of ignoring a recalled item, according to ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court.
"In Australia, two people die and 145 people are injured every day by unsafe consumer products," she said.
The alarming about of risky products sitting in homes has prompted the ACCC to push for a consumer law change by introducing a "new safety duty".
This would mean businesses would have to take "reasonable steps" to ensure the products they sell are safe.
“We believe prevention is better than cure, and that legally requiring businesses to take steps to ensure the safety of their products before they enter the market is needed to protect Australian consumers," Court said.
What Are The Worst Products?
In Australia, the ACCC estimates one in three product recalls are for toys and products for babies and children.
This month, the watchdog issued a recall for a striped baby romper that is sold online and in Myer stores across most states and territories. The garment has avocado pockets and ring snap fasteners that could potentially pose a choking hazard for small children if they are detached.
A separate recall for a green baby walker was issued two weeks earlier, on October 3. The walker does not have the required safety warnings for children aged 7-15 months and could injure a child if used incorrectly.
But the biggest recall in Australia's history is the potentially deadly Takata airbags, an issue that is still ongoing.
Earlier this month, the ACCC issued an urgent warning for defective Takata airbags found in approximately 20,000 vehicles already under recall that are now classified as "critical".
That listing means the affected cars, including certain Holden, Toyota, BMW, Mitsubishi and Honda models, should not be driven until the airbag has been replaced.
The airbag recall is "rolling", which means more vehicles can be added to the "critical" category at any time. According to the ACCC, about half a million cars are still to be rectified.
Court said it is vital that consumers are not ignoring information if they receive a letter, email or text message from a manufacturer.
The ACCC is also urging consumers to sign up for product safety alerts at Product Safety Australia.