Over the five year period between 2004 and 2009, according to the European Commission, the number of products notified to the EU Recall Registration System (RAPEX) increased from 468 to 1,993. 60 per cent of products recalled in 2009 originated from China and reports showed consumers suffering from a range of personal injuries including electric shocks and chemical burns.
IKEA sliding mirror door danger
A look at the Trading Standards website uncovers quite a list of product recalls. One of the most recent was a range of IKEA sliding mirror doors. Reports showed that the large, heavy mirror could detach and fall, creating sharp shards of glass. Customers who had bought the doors were asked to contact IKEA to arrange a replacement.
Dishwasher fire hazard
An in-home repair programme was launched by BSH Home Appliances Limited after it was found that certain models of Bosch, Neff and Siemens dishwashers purchased between 1999 and 2005 were found to pose a potential fire hazard.
Mothercare travel seat risk
Mothercare issued a safety notice after identifying a potential problem with the fabric used in one of their car seat ranges. The fabric had not been treated with the correct fire retardant. Anyone who had purchased the Mothercare Xcursion Travel System between 1 September 2010 and 19 July 2011 was urged to contact their local store to arrange a replacement cover or discuss alternative options.
Manufacturers, distributors and retailers have a strict duty to ensure their products are safe and fit for purpose and do not pose a risk to consumers. They also have stringent guidelines to follow concerning the notification to consumers of any potential hazards and to ensure recalls or other actions are conducted efficiently.
Claiming compensation for defective product injuries
Consumers who suffer personal injury because of defective products or manufacturing procedures are usually entitled to claim compensation against those responsible. Some of the most common problems caused by defective products include choking, electric shock, burns and crushing of hands or fingers. Hazardous fumes have also been known to cause injury, and few people will forget the case of the ‘toxic sofas’ which saw over a thousand victims claim compensation for contracting respiratory and skin problems after sitting on leather furniture made in China treated with the now banned fungicide DMF.
If you have been injured due to a defective product, Stephensons have the specialist expertise to help you. Call us on 01616 966 229 for independent, confidential advice on making a defective product claim.
By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney