What rights do you have to seek compensation on a faulty product?
Hoverboards have recently undergone a massive recall in the USA due to incidents of battery packs overheating causing household fires and personal injuries.
Within Australia, this product is currently subject to a recall/ban. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) determined that hoverboards did not meet the safety standards that are stipulated by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. This is on the grounds that it has been determined that current hoverboards have a susceptibility to overheating and abnormal operation of electrical outlets. There is a particular concern that this may pose a risk of injury to the consumer or alternatively in the nature of property damage.
This ban/recall was determined by Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer and enforced by the Consumer Protection No 3 of 2016
Currently, the ACCC and state and territory consumer affair agencies have indicated that they are monitoring the sale of hoverboards and inspecting hoverboards to ensure compliance.
Drones have also been subject to some criticism as to the risk that may pose to the consumer when the toy is in use. Currently, drones are permitted to be sold within Australia, however some concern about their use and the risks they pose continue to be vocalised.
These concerns have focused upon the fact that the harm may not always be a result of the pilots negligence but rather through causes such as signal jamming, programming issues or technical malfunction.
You may be asking what rights you have if you have purchased one of these products and in your use of the product you have suffered an injury?
The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 states that manufacturers of goods are liable to compensate if the goods have a safety defect and as a result of that defect, the individual suffers injuries provided that the product is supplied in trade or commerce.
The damages available to an individual injured as a result of a safety defect are not subject to any statutory guidance. Rather, the damages recoverable are the same that are recoverable for negligence under common law.
The time for commencing actions is limited by section 143 of the Australian Consumer Law, which states that a person may commence a defective goods action at any time within 3 years after the time the person became aware, or ought to have become aware of the alleged loss or damage, safety defect and identity of the manufacturer.
If the prescribed period of limitation lapses, then the claimant would no longer be legally able to investigate their entitlements.
If you believe you have sustained an injury as a result of your use of a defective product or unsafe good, then we encourage you to seek immediate medical assistance and legal advice.
Call 13 43 63 and speak to one of our personal injury lawyers about our defective product claims. We offer ‘No Win-No Fee‘, however conditions do apply. Our NSW offices are in Sydney, Parramatta, Campbelltown, Newcastle, Penrith, Wollongong and Gloucester.