In a statement issued today the ACCC said that they had become aware that ChannelNews and SmartHouse had recently ran a story indicating that the ACCC had "changed its stance" in relation to a recall of Samsung television stands. The following information is provided to clarify this situation.
When a corporation voluntarily takes action to recall goods because they will or may cause injury to a person, the corporation is required to advise the Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs. In practice the ACCC receives notice of the recall and information is provided to the public via the website www.recalls.gov.au in providing this public notice the ACCC seeks to ensure that consumers gain a proper appreciation of the potential hazard so that they will respond to the recall and take the appropriate action.
The ACCC is aware of the very serious safety issue of heavy television sets falling as a result of being sited on unstable furniture or stands. Several young children have been killed in Australia over recent years when television sets have fallen on them.
On this occasion no statement of the hazard was received at the time of the recall notification. Consequently the ACCC developed a set of words to advice consumers of the potential hazard.
Lawyers representing Samsung asked that an alternative set of words be substituted for the description of the hazard. As the result of an administrative lapse an ACCC officer received the amended words and edited the website entry. This was an error and the ACCC has determined that the alternate words do not provide sufficient advice about the nature of the potential hazard.