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issue: April 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

China Report
Rare Product Recall in China


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by Clint Stevens, China correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine

A Chinese appliance maker has voluntarily recalled defective food processors in the first product recall since Shanghai enacted a regulation protecting consumer rights last October.

GMP Electrical Appliances Co LTD, a joint venture between Shanghai and Hong Kong businesses, announced that it will recall all ZD-30A food processors sold since Sept. 1, 2002 in Shanghai and Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province.

According to the company's publicity officer, Wang Yanhong, a saleswoman in a Nanjing department store suffered facial injuries from flying machine parts on Nov. 4, 2002, when she was demonstrating the food processor.

The company suspended sales soon after the incident. Sales records showed 456 units had been sold in the two cities, according to Mr. Wang.

According to the Shanghai Consumers Association, the city's new regulation on protection of consumers' rights, which took effect on January 1, 2003, clearly requires companies to recall any defective products and requires retailers to inform customers as soon as defects are found. The new rule was the first regional regulation for product recalls, according to Zhao Jiaoli, secretary of the Association. Other cities like Beijing and Shenzhen are also drafting similar regulations.

Product recalls are very rare in China. Most companies in China find it more cost effective to pay compensation to victims individually compared to a complete product recall. But under the new regulations, local industry and commerce authorities have the right to force companies to recall defective products. This is a big step in protecting consumers in China and forcing Chinese companies to take full responsibility for the quality of the products they manufacture.

 

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