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Recalling defective products in line with the Consumer Protection Act

Dec 9th 2013, 10:51


Recalling defective products in line with the Consumer Protection Act


Pieter Conradie, Director, Dispute Resolution, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

The Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008 became operational on 1 April 2011 (Act) and changed the way in which manufacturers, retailers, producers and importers (suppliers) will conduct themselves with regard to defect products in general and the recall of unsafe products. Are you aware of the steps to be taken when you receive information that your product has been manufactured or assembled with a device which caused the product to be unsafe, or do you want to wait until it’s too late and face the music of monetary claims without your insurance being in place?

In terms of the Act the suppliers are liable for any harm caused as a consequence of supplying unsafe goods, a product failure, defect or hazard in any goods or inadequate instructions or warnings provided to the consumer pertaining to any hazard arising from or associated with the use of any goods, irrespective of whether the harm resulted from any negligence on the part of the supplier.

Safety monitoring and recall falls within the jurisdiction of the Consumer Commissioner who may recall a product and compel a supplier to supplement warnings. Failure to adhere to rulings by the Consumer Commissioner and which results in damages caused may result in criminal liability. Safety monitoring, investigations, notification of the public and recall of goods are dealt with in s60 of the Act. Safety recall guidelines were published on 3 June 2012.

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