ACCC Hits Retails + Distributors Over Dodgy Power Boards + Adaptors

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Several Australian distributors who have supplied house brand power boards and double adaptors are currently being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer. Commission after 13 recall notices were issued for defective power products some up to 10 years old.

The distributors who specialise in third party and housebrand products are also being held liable by retailers who were issued with recall notices.

Key retailers facing recalls are Woolworths, Masters and Big W which are both owned by Woolworths and Coles owned K Mart. In some cases the productys have been sourced direct by the rtailer.  
 

In a statement issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission they said that they are vurging consumers to inspect all power boards and double adaptors in their homes after receiving 13 recall notifications within the last five months. There have been 216,273 potentially affected units distributed nationwide, with the majority supplied within the last five years.

“These products were recalled because there is a risk of overheating and fire. The electrical contacts of the sockets are poorly aligned and the plastic enclosure does not meet the flammability requirements of the applicable electrical standard,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Power boards and double adaptors are often in high use at Christmas time so check www.recalls.gov.au (link is external) to see if yours is unsafe. If you have a recalled product, stop using it immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange.”

The recalled products are:

Masters Home Improvement-Olsent 4 Outlet Powerboard
Corevision Limited- 4 Socket Powerboard Outlet
Masters Home Improvement-Olsent Powerboards 6 Outlets
Home Timber & Hardware Group-Assorted Olsent Powerboards
Woolworths Limited -Woolworths Essentials Double Adaptor and Chevron Double Adaptor
Woolworths Ltd-“Essentials” & “Chevron” Surge Cubes
Woolworths Ltd-“Essentials” 4 Outlet Power Board & “Chevron” 4 and 6 Outlet Power Boards
Woolworths Ltd-“Essentials” & “Chevron” Double Adaptors
BIG W-“Chevron” Surge Cube
BIG W-“Chevron” 4 and 6 Outlet Surge Protected Power Boards
BIG W-“Chevron” Double Adaptors
Kmart Australia Limited-Performer 4 Way Power Board, Performer 4 Way Surge Power Board and Performer 6 Way Power Board
SRG Leisure Retail Pty Ltd-4 Outlet Powerboard Sold at Supercheap Auto, BCF and Ray’s Outdoor Stores.

In August, the ACCC received a voluntary recall which triggered an investigation into faulty power boards by both the ACCC and state electrical regulators. A number of other suppliers were identified as a result and the affected products were traced back to two manufacturers in China.

Although the original samples of each of the products received approval for sale in Australia, the issues detected leading to the power board recalls were as a result of changes or defects to the product after approval and at the manufacturing stage.

“The ACCC reminds importers that they have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and meet appropriate safety standards,” Ms Rickard said.

This includes sample testing and quality assurance programs to ensure the continued compliance to these standards.  Without a regular testing program in place, if an issue is detected, suppliers are not able to simply remedy products supplied within a certain batch or date range.

“The absence of a testing program resulted in one supplier being required to take recall action on all power boards they had supplied since 2002,” Ms Rickard said.

To stay up to date on the latest recalls, download the ACCC’s Recalls app for Android and smart phones, follow Product Safety on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.recalls.gov.au.
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