ACCC, Infinity Cable Recall A Right Cock Up, Now Homes Seriously At Risk

Written by David Richards     26/03/2015 | 10:53 | Category: LIGHTING

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging consumers who installed or had installed by an electrician, Infinity electrical cables as there is a real risk that the cables could fail .

ACCC, Infinity Cable Recall A Right Cock Up, Now Homes Seriously At Risk
What is not known is who should pay for the electrical check in the first place. According to the ACCC the Chinese Company who supplied the electrical cable to the Australian distributor is taking responsibility for the costs associated with the recall.

The ACA first raised the alarm about Infinity Cable Co in April 2013 with Energy Safe Victoria (ESV). 

Sixteen months later the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a full-blown recall.

While good-quality cable will last decades, Infinity's wares could become brittle any time from 2016. The insulation may then break and expose live conductors, creating the risk of electrocution or fire.

About 4000km of cable was imported from China by the Sydney-based business which is now in liquidation. Its director, Lu Luo, is defending a criminal charge.

"The recall of installed Infinity cable has taken far too long to be implemented," said ACA director Andrew Davenport.

Now the ACCC is urging consumers to stump up what could be hundreds of dollars to get a home checked. 

The ACC claims that only 179 premises have so far been rectified and approximately 5 per cent of the supplied cable remediated.

"The ACCC is very concerned about how many homes and businesses still have degrading Infinity cables installed. Consumers that purchased new properties, undertook renovations or had electrical work carried out in the past few years should contact a licensed electrician for a safety inspection to determine if Infinity cables were installed," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

"An electrician would typically be able to inspect a home for around $100, though costs will vary depending upon the size, location and design of the property. 

Such costs can be recovered from the supplier should Infinity or affected Olsent cables be discovered."

"Consumers should not attempt to inspect cables themselves. Any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced under the safety recall. We also urge electricians and builders to alert their consumers and their cable supplier if they have installed Infinity cables," Ms Rickard said.

The ACCC is monitoring progress of the remediation and has also been working with relevant industry associations to encourage their members to contact their customers and to advise their suppliers where the problematic cable is located.

The ACCC and state and territory regulators will assist any home owner that requests remediation of Infinity or affected Olsent cables. If they experience difficulty in getting cables remediated, they can contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

Background

The recalls apply to all sizes and configurations of TPS and Orange Round mains power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd and supplied under 'INFINITY' and 'OLSENT' brands. Further details (link is external) on the recall are available.

Data received from suppliers as at 1 March indicates that between recall notifications and that date, the following progress had been made:

At least 182,415 metres of cable had been remediated (approximately 24,186 metres of cable had been replaced and at least 158,230 metres of cable had been returned to suppliers for a refund).

FACTS:
Twelve suppliers had begun carrying out remediation
Three of the smaller suppliers have completed their remediation
179 homes had been remediated
At least 216 premises scheduled for future remediation
Over 400 home remediation jobs in total forecast to be performed in the coming weeks