The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) is proposing unlimited fines for manufactures who fail to respond adequately to recalled products and improvement in the merchandise registration system.
There has been growing concerns over the emergence of serious incidents involving recalled products which the producers are slow or do not recall which creates risks.
Currently the penalty for manufactures who delay or take inadequate action in a recall situation is only £5,000 but ESC (charity organisation) is requesting for tougher penalties based on the percentage of profits from the recalled product.
It argues that change in legislation will help ensure manufacturers respond quickly and effectively in recall situations as well as improve standardised guidelines in product registration.
No incentive for manufacturers
Emma Apter from the ESC said: “The current recall system is not effective enough, and without tougher penalties there is no incentive for manufacturers to act quickly and take the best corrective action possible.
“Whilst it is a complex issue, with no quick fix solution, we believe there are a number of steps that have the potential to make a significant improvement.”
She added that there is mass confusion in the recall system and no clear level of action for manufactures where as if more people registered their products and followed the guidelines, it would be easier to trace recalled products.
Set clear guidelines
ESC has also invited Trading Standards to set out clear guidelines on exactly what manufactures should do if their product is subject to a recall.
Research from the charity shows that over the last six years, there have been 266 recall notices for electrical products and only 10-20% was returned leaving millions of UK residents at high risks of fire or electrocution.
There is lack of understanding by the consumers the purpose of registration cards and only 5-10% fill them in for new items because of concerns that their information could be used for marketing purposes.
Likely to register with independent firms
Half of the research participants said they would be more likely to register products with an independent organisation and if assured that their details would not be used elsewhere
In the British Retail Consortium and Trading Standards Industry conference held this week, the charity encouraged more people to submit their details on purchase or immediately afterwards and this was the first stage at tackling the longstanding issue.
The charity hopes that the Industry will work with them to achieve higher return rates for recalled items.