Major Companies Pay Penalties For Button Battery Breaches

Remote Control Fob With Button Battery

The ACCC issued infringement notices to three major companies in December, for failing to meet the mandatory standards for button batteries.

Several infringements were issued to Mechatronics Group (IMG) relating to replacement car key remotes. The notices were concerned with a failure to include safety warning labels. Infringements were also issued to Repco and Supercheap Auto, who supplied the Mechatronics products to consumers.

This follows on the heels of Tesla being required to pay a large penalty in regard to its own key fob remote control devices, in this case for a failure to conduct the necessary safety tests.

In addition to the fines issued by ACCC, Mechatronics have been required to recall 45 different types of remote control.

New mandatory standards for button battery safety came into effect in June 2022, specifically to deal with the serious risk to small children of swallowing the batteries.

The New Standards

The new standards impact:

  • Manufactures & suppliers that sell button batteries or package button batteries
  • Manufactures that use button batteries in the assembly of their finished products
  • Suppliers and retailers that sell products containing button batteries, including accessories, i.e., remote control devices.
  • Companies that repair, or replace products containing button batteries

“Car key remotes and fobs are everyday household items that are tempting toys for young children, and frequently within their reach. These types of products must have explicit and clearly visible warnings,” ACCC Acting Chair Catriona Lowe said.

“Button batteries are incredibly dangerous for young children. All businesses, including manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, involved in the supply chain for button batteries or products powered by them must comply with the mandatory safety and information standards to help keep Australian children safe,” Ms Lowe continued.

If your company is uncertain about its product compliance in relation to the button battery standards, we recommend seeking expert advice as soon as possible.

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