Product Recalls: Staying Up-To-Date

Keeping a close eye on any publicly announced recalled products is an area that’s often overlooked by test and tag students. This area forms an essential part of the industry as many of these recalled appliances pose a significant risk to the public.

It’s worth pointing out that recalled items are still capable of passing standard tests, even if they are considered faulty. By knowing which appliances have been officially recalled, you can avoid the possibility of passing a faulty product.

This means if you're testing and tagging appliances daily, it's important to know:

  • The test and tag process relating to recalled products, including second hand equipment
  • Where recall notices originate from
  • Where to find the latest recall notices

What you should do

If you come across an item, whether new or second-hand, which has been recalled, it needs to be withdrawn from service immediately and placed with a High Visibility Failed Tag. These tags help ensure that the appliance can be easily identified as a ‘failed item’ and clearly be seen by everyone. If you prefer, you can also use regular Failed Tags as an alternative, but we recommend using Hi Vis tags as they’re more prominent.

High Vis Test Tag

Image: High Visability Fail Tags

Who issues product recalls

Although product recalls are basically the responsibility of the supplier, the Minister of Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs (The Australian Government’s consumer affairs spokesperson) is capable of ordering a compulsory recall if the product will or may cause injury. This might include risk of electric shock, fire hazard or general danger to the user.  

Typically, recall notices will have instructions on what to do next, which is usually to stop using the appliance, followed by returning it to the place of purchase. Here is an example of what a recall notice will normally look like.

A common misconception is that these recalled products are solely a result of cheap imports. But supringisngly, a large percentage are in actual fact well-known brands.

How to keep track of product recalls

Product recalls can be found in various types of media, such as newspapers and public announcements. However, the easiest way to keep track of all the recalled products is via the governments Product Safety Recalls Australia website. This dedicated website collates all of the recalls within Australia in one place, ensuring you're up-to-date with the most recent recall notices.