Hai Feng International Pty Ltd, trading as Big Red Jacks Tools & Equipment (Big Red Jacks), has paid a penalty of $12,600 after the ACCC issued an infringement notice.
The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Big Red Jacks had supplied a vehicle jack that did not comply with the Consumer Product Safety Standard for Vehicle Jacks.
The ACCC alleged that Big Red Jacks supplied a ‘Torin Big Red 4 ton double ram bottle jack’ (4 Ton Jack) which did not comply with both labelling and performance requirements for vehicle jacks because:
- the jack was not permanently and legibly marked with specified instructions regarding its operation and its working load limit; and
- the ‘overload protection’ function did not operate in some instances until the weight placed on the jack reached 8,450 kg, when its nominated capacity was 4,000 kg. Where fitted, the overload protection function must activate when the jack is subjected to a force no greater than 15 per cent of its nominated capacity (that is, between 4000 kg and 4600 kg for the 4 Ton Jack).
“Vehicle jacks that do not comply with the mandatory standard pose a very serious risk of injury or death to consumers using them,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The mandatory standard in relation to vehicle jacks up to eight tonnes is designed to reduce the risk of injury and death arising from poor product quality and a lack of warnings about the dangers associated with the use of vehicle jacks.”
“At least 120 people have died from do-it-yourself car maintenance accidents since 2000, many of whom have been crushed and killed while working under their cars and using equipment incorrectly,” Ms Rickard said.
The ACCC took this enforcement action after a national surveillance project, in which it inspected 159 vehicle jacks from 99 traders. Big Red Jacks submitted a voluntary recall for the ‘Torin Big Red Jack’ and five other vehicle jacks on 21 October 2019 after the ACCC inspection.
“It can be almost impossible for consumers to detect whether products like vehicle jacks comply with mandatory standards, which is why the ACCC conducts national surveillance across a range of products each year,” Ms Rickard said.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, traders and individuals must not supply consumer goods that do not meet the relevant mandatory standard, and it is vital for consumer safety that manufacturers and suppliers meet these standards.”
Consumers who purchased a jack from Big Red Jacks are strongly urged to check the recall information to see whether their jack is affected.
Notes to editors:
- The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice if it has reasonable grounds to believe a person or a business has contravened certain consumer protection laws.
- Big Red Jacks is an importer and supplier of jacks, tools and other equipment, and until at least May 2019, supplied products through its store in Tullamarine, Victoria (which closed in mid-2019), online at www.bigredjackste.com.au, through its eBay store and via phone and email.
- The mandatory standard for vehicle jacks applies to products with a capacity of no more than eight tonnes that are designed to raise a vehicle such as a car, caravan or trailer.
- There are 43 mandatory consumer product safety standards currently in force. Consumers are encouraged to be aware of what products are subject to a mandatory safety standard and to ask retailers for proof of compliance when buying such products.
- Earlier this year, the ACCC developed a safety campaign including a video explaining the correct procedure for using vehicle jacks.