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Jean-Yves Gilg

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Irwin Mitchell calls for stricter inspections of faulty non-food items

Irwin Mitchell calls for stricter inspections of faulty non-food items


Defects in children's toys and clothing most common recalls, finds rapid alert system

Irwin Mitchell has called for stricter product inspections after more than 2,000 non-food items were registered as dangerous.

The European Commission Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products (RAPEX) registered some 2,072 alerts and 2,745 follow-up actions in its system. Faults and defects in children's toys and clothing were the most common recalls.

In January, retailer Next was forced to issue a recall on children's dressing gowns over fire safety concerns.

Meanwhile in April, Swedish furniture giant IKEA recalled its Lattjo Bat Cape due to 'risk of strangulation' after reports that three children had suffered marks and scratches to their necks.

City firm RPC recently revealed a 26 per cent rise in product recalls between 2013/14 and 2014/15 in the UK with the number of recalled vehicles in the motor industry seeing a 30 per cent increase.

Recent scandals involving General Motors, Renault, and Volkswagen for problems with their technology and emissions have been a major contributing factor.

Meanwhile, national firm Irwin Mitchell is currently investigating potential defects with E-cigarettes, hoverboards, and possibly faulty white goods.

Product liability lawyer Catherine Slattery has called for urgent action to tighten regulations governing products entering the European market.

'While of course it is welcome that faulty and defective products are being identified and recalls are being sent out to ensure consumers are protected, the figures clearly indicate there are far too many problematic products entering the market,' she said.

'We have seen just how serious faulty products can be and it is particularly concerning that recalls for children's toys are some of the most common.'

Arguing that the current system does not guarantee all products that reach the shelves will be safe for consumers, Slattery added: 'Clearly steps need to be taken to understand why so many defective products are entering the market and further measures need to be implemented to tighten inspection rules to try and prevent these items hitting the shelves in the first place.'

The European Commission is currently developing improvements to the rapid alert system which will increase the focus on online sales as it looks to reduce the number of unregulated products entering consumers' homes directly.