Autobarn receives a sober warning

Published: 
11 Nov 2008

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Autobarn Pty Ltd, after concerns about representations made on the packaging of a personal breathalyser.

During December 2007, Autobarn retailed the AL6000 Lite personal digital breathalyser in its stores nationally. The packaging represented that the breathalyser met with an Australian Standard for personal alcohol testing devices, when it did not. 

The Australian Standard (which is not mandatory) is represented by a '5 ticks' certification trade mark. 

The breathalyser was manufactured and packaged in Korea and obtained by Autobarn through a New Zealand based supplier. 

Autobarn acknowledged the ACCC's concerns that the representation made on the packaging may have been misleading or deceptive and therefore may have breached section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Autobarn has provided the ACCC with a court-enforceable undertaking that:

  • it has ceased to engage in the potentially contravening conduct
  • in the future, it will ensure that any products retailed in its stores that feature an Australian Standard will comply with that Standard
  • it will publish corrective notices in national newspapers and in-store
  • it will offer a refund to customers in certain circumstances, and
  • it will implement a  trade practices law compliance program for Autobarn employees and others involved in its business.

"Standards certifications are an important tool for consumers when making purchasing decisions," ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, said today.

"While the Australian Standard for personal breathalysers is not mandatory, it provides an assurance to purchasers that the product meets a certain level of quality.  For this reason, it is important that consumers can trust claims made by products about adherence to the Australian Standard."

Mr Kell commended Autobarn's willingness to cooperate with the ACCC, including its efforts to remove the product from its stores. 

"Every company, from the manufacturer through to the retailer, has an obligation to ensure that their products meet any certifications that may be represented on the packaging.  A failure to do so has the potential to not only deceive consumers, but also lead to more serious safety implications."

Contact details

Media inquiries

For media inquiries to the ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, please call Mr Brent Rebecca, ACCC Media, on (02) 6243 1317.

Release # MR 315/08

General inquiries

Infocentre: 1300 302 502

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission