Parts 3 – 5 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (which forms Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) contain provisions on product liability. Under these provisions, consumers can seek compensation or damages for personal injury or other loss caused by a safety defect in products supplied by a manufacturer.
Goods with a safety defect are those that are not as safe as what people are generally entitled to expect.
Generally the manufacturers or importers of products are liable under Parts 3 – 5 of the ACL. But if other suppliers, such as retailers, cannot identify the manufacturer or importer, they may be deemed liable for the damages.
Suppliers may reduce their exposure to product liability action by using these responsible and sensible business practices:
conducting regular reviews of product designs and production
implementing and reviewing quality assurance procedures
testing products regularly to relevant standards, including batch testing
conducting appropriate marketing
providing clear and thorough user instructions
where necessary, conducting a quick voluntary recall of any products that are defective or unsafe.