Kmart vows to improve safety ratings after toy ruled noncompliant

Source: 1 NEWS

Kmart has vowed to improve its children's toys safety ratings after the Commerce Commission found one of its home-brand toys weren't compliant with the ratings.

Kmart Botany.

The Kids & Co fire engine toys sold by Kmart in New Zealand from January 2018 to January 2019, were assessed and labelled by Kmart as being safe for children aged three and under.  

However, the Commerce Commission disagreed, after examining "the nature, appearance, colours, sizes, shape and function of the toys," assisted by an expert. 

"When tested in accordance with the standard for that age range, the fire engine toys did not pass a test which aims to simulate possible damage that may occur to a toy when used by a small child," the Commerce Commission found. 

The assessment showed there was a risk that small parts of the fire truck should detach, proving to be a choking/suffocation hazard for small children. 

Commission chair Anna Rawlings stressed that businesses must objectively ask themselves when grading toys if it they are targeted towards young children when assessing the product. 

"Some toys appeal to children of many ages but toys which appeal to and can be used by children under the age of three must comply with the standard, even if they are also appropriate for children over that age." 

Without an admission of liability, Kmart has undertaken several steps to resolve the Commerce Commission's investigation without a need for further action. 

These included not selling the fire truck toy, or any variants of it, in New Zealand, reviewing its safety rating assessments, conduct audits to ensure its compliance with the ruling and ensure its supplier is conducting the correct testing of its children's toys. 

While there has been no injuries or complaints reported to the company about the product, Kmart issued a voluntary recall notice and stopped selling the toys in 2019.