Toys “R” Us Australia Pty Ltd (Toys R Us) has paid a penalty of $10,200 after the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in relation to the supply of ‘Nantucket 4-in-1’ household cots that did not comply with the mandatory safety standard. Toys R Us has also provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC.
Toys R Us operates over 30 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores throughout Australia, as well as an online Toys “R” Us store. It sold the Nantucket cots online and in its stores between February and November 2013.
Toys R Us recalled the Nantucket cots after testing obtained by the ACCC identified that the cots did not comply with the safety standard and that there was a risk of injury or death to infants from the cots, including from falls, entrapment or suffocation. Toys R Us cooperated with the ACCC and initiated a recall shortly after being contacted.
“Mandatory safety standards prescribe certain design, performance and labelling requirements to safeguard Australian consumers from the risk of serious injury or death. Retailers have an obligation to exercise effective and ongoing due diligence in sourcing and testing products before stocking them for sale to consumers, in particular where a failure to do so puts the safety of infants and children at risk,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The ACCC is committed to ensuring that all Australian suppliers, regardless of their size, meet their product safety responsibilities.”
“It is disappointing that the Toys R Us compliance system failed to identify this problem. Companies must have quality assurance systems that can ensure the integrity of their supply chain and that important product safety standards are complied with,” Ms Rickard said.
“Adopting and maintaining a comprehensive compliance program is a fundamental aspect of any retailer’s ability to comply with safety standards.”
As part of the court enforceable undertaking Toys R Us has provided to the ACCC, it has agreed to provide further notices to consumers about the recall, to continue to offer free collection of affected cots and refunds to customers, and to implement a consumer law compliance program with a particular focus on enhancing its product safety procedures.
Parents and carers can check if their cot has been recalled on the Recalls Australia website.
This outcome follows two other matters involving traders that supplied household cots in breach of the standard: New Aim Pty Ltd (New Aim) and Le Tian. Those smaller, online traders each recently paid one infringement notice and provided court enforceable undertakings to the ACCC.
5,500 household cots have been recalled since 2013 as a result of the ACCC’s cot safety surveillance program.