Unsafe toys recalled from sale in pre-Christmas audit


A pre-Christmas safety audit conducted by South Australian consumer authorities has resulted in four toy products being taken off shelves across the nation.
South Australian Minister for Consumer Affairs Gail Gago says Product Safety Officers have visited around 70 department stores, discount variety retailers and independent specialty retailers in metropolitan and regional centres of South Australia to inspect the safety of their toy products on sale.
“Our inspectors, from the Office of Business and Consumer Affairs (OCBA), tested the safety of over 430 toys on sale at those stores, against mandatory safety standards,” she said.
The four toy products that failed safety tests were:

  • A Shrek soft toy, measuring 15cm, which failed tension and small parts testing when the ears readily detached. This posed an inhalation and ingestion hazard to small children, aged up to 18 months
  • Three ‘Tinkers’ wooden toys which have been recalled after failing the ‘drop’ test. Small parts broke off the toys, when dropped, again posing an inhalation and ingestion hazard to children of various age groups. The wooden Tinkers toys are: a car containing a small animal character; a pull-along dog toy; and a pull-along snake toy. 

“As a result of this work undertaken by our Office of Business and Consumer Affairs in SA, national recalls are now underway with these toys, involving 10,326 Tinkers toy items and 6,716 Shrek toy items,” Ms Gago said
“Anyone who has purchased Tinkers wooden toys may return them to any Big W store for a full refund. And anyone who has purchased the 15cm Shrek toy, which has been available from major toy retailers, should also return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.”
There were 14 instances of non-compliance detected in the safety checks, but the remainder were minor, relating to issues such as incorrect labelling, and all have been addressed by traders to OCBA’s satisfaction.
South Australian Minister Gago says traders and suppliers have been getting the safety message.
“Traders have been quick to respond to requests for test reports and information, to withdraw unsafe products from sale and recall-non-compliant goods.
“It is very pleasing to see that the traders involved in the recalls are taking safety issues seriously and that there’s been a small improvement this year in the level of non-compliance.
“We put this down to OCBA’s ongoing communication with traders, making them aware of their obligations and responsibilities to supply safe products.
“Whole suppliers and traders are also now choosing to select toys from the manufacturers that come with current test reports, to assist them in selecting safe products for the South Australian market.”
Traders can face maximum penalties of $10,000 if they are prosecuted for supplying non-compliant products. From the 1 January 2011, under the new Australian Consumer Law, fines of up to $1.1 million will apply to corporations supplying banned goods or goods that do not comply with mandatory safety standards.

Contact details

The South Australian Office of Business and Consumer Affairs' product safety section can be reached on 08 8152 0732. 

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