14 Nov 2016

Who is responsible for goods that are defective or dangerous?

As consumers we may find ourselves in situations where the goods we purchase do not only result defective but also dangerous to our health and safety. Goods that do not function properly may also damage surrounding property and goods. For instance, an iron that catches fire may not only hurt the person using it but could also cause a lot of damage to the property surrounding it.

When a product results defective and dangerous, the Consumer Affairs Act does not only give consumers the right to claim a remedy for the defective product, which can take the form of repair, replacement or refund, but also provides financial compensation for the injured party, that is, the consumer.

The person responsible to provide a remedy for the defective good is the seller. However, when the defective good also results dangerous and causes damages to consumers and their property, the responsibility falls on the producer of the defective good. If, however, the producer cannot be identified and the retailer fails to meet the consumer’s request to provide the identity of the producer or at least identify the importer of the goods, then the seller becomes responsible for the product sold.

Whenever requested, information on the producer should be supplied within 30 days from when the seller receives the written request. Consumers have the responsibility to send this kind of request by registered mail or official letter and must also clearly indicate the product that caused the damage as well as the date and place where the product was purchased.

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