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Call for safety checks, recall mechanisms

Monika Singh
Friday, March 02, 2018

THE fact that Fiji does not have a proper recall system or regulations that would require traders to recall or remove defective products from the market is a cause for concern, says Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Premila Kumar.

Ms Kumar made the statement in response to questions on the impact of the decision by the Federal Government on a new, compulsory recall of 2.7 million cars affected by the defective Takata airbags.

According to ABC News, cars on the compulsory recall list include various models that have already been subject to a voluntary recall in Australia — Toyota, Mazda, Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and several others.

Among the new manufacturers on the list are Ford, GM Holden, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.

Ms Kumar said vehicle recall was not unusual as every year millions of vehicles were recalled globally because of manufacturing defects.

She said the stringent safety requirements and regulations in the motor industry in countries such as Australia, United States and in European meant that manufacturers were required to have a recall system if defects were found in vehicles.

However, Ms Kumar said it was of great concern that overseas recalls were often not taken seriously by the authorities concerned such as the local motor industry.

The council also questioned the safety check systems in place in the country and whether they were adequate and stringent enough to detect, trace and identify recall vehicles entering as second-hand.

It called on the Fiji car industry to show some urgency to ensure that a proper vehicle recall mechanism was in place as part of its corporate social responsibility. Ms Kumar said consumers should also contact their local dealer to enquire whether their vehicle had been included in vehicle recalls.

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