What to do about unsafe or recalled products
What to do about an unsafe product, product recalls and alerts, notify a product safety concern.
If you believe a product is unsafe, you should contact us — and also the supplier or manufacturer.
You also have the right to a repair, refund, replacement or compensation under the Consumer Guarantees Act. One of the guarantees is that products must be of acceptable quality and this includes that the product is safe.
The Consumer Protection website has more information about what to do when you have a problem with goods.
Reporting an unsafe product
If you're injured by a product have a near miss, or are concerned about the safety of a product, please take the time to report this to us and the supplier or manufacturer, so that the information is available on which to base safety measures.
Recalls don't necessarily involve the return of every product to the supplier. The term recall is now used to cover a wide range of actions that can be taken as a result of an unsafe product being identified.
For example, a recall may:
- be issued to advise consumers of the need to have the product upgraded or repaired
- involve no more than the supplier sending out additional components or instructions to customers.
When a product that you have bought is recalled, you may have rights to a refund or replacement, or the company may offer to repair the product. Your rights to get a refund or a replacement depend on whether the fault makes the product unsafe.
The Consumer Protection website has more information about your rights with faulty products.
Sometimes, the company recalling the product may repair the product (eg, by fitting a new part), in which case they should:
- arrange for this to be done for you
- pay any reasonable costs involved, and
- keep your inconvenience to a minimum.
What to do with a product that's being recalled
Don't keep using a product that has been recalled. You may be aware of the hazard and feel happy to accept any risk, but anyone else who comes into contact with the product may not be aware of the risk.
The recall notice of any product should provide:
- enough information for you to identify the product, understand the potential hazard and know what to do, and
- a contact point if you need further information.
You may be asked to return the product to a retailer, or directly to the manufacturer using a postage-paid envelope or courier. Contact the supplier if you have concerns about the method of returning the product. Their contact details should be in the recall notice.
Throwing away a recalled product
If a recalled product has a low value, you may just want to throw it away instead of seeking a refund or replacement. This may be the easiest option for you, but it will make it difficult for the company to monitor the numbers of affected products and whether the recall has been effective.
If you decide to throw away a recalled product, we recommend that you:
- contact the supplier so they can account for your product, and
- make sure that the faulty product cannot be used again.
If the product it is not disposed of correctly, it could be reused or on-sold later putting a new user at risk who may be unaware of the fault.
Where to find current recall information
The Recalls website shows the latest product recalls, warnings and alerts.