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Voluntary recall to be mandatory next April

Posted October. 26, 2000 19:50,   


Beginning next April, companies that notice serious defects in their products will be required to report their findings to authorities within one week, and the authorities will be empowered to recommend voluntary or mandatory recalls of the products after reviewing the reports.

The Regulatory Reform Committee decided Thursday to add these regulations to the existing consumer protection law and will enforce the revised law within this year after it is approved by the National Assembly.

According to the revision bill, manufacturers uncovering defects in their products that could result in serious damage to consumers¡¯ lives, health or property will be required to report the findings to regulators. Those who violate the provision will face up to 30 million won in fines.

Government agencies receiving the reports will carefully review the cases and recommend voluntary recalls in the case that consumer damage is feared. If the manufacturers reject the recommendation, the agencies will issue orders for recalls when it is deemed necessary.

Officials said that there is a possibility that manufacturers will not report any serious defects they uncover to authorities. But such cases will soon be brought to light, they added, as consumer protection organizations are continuing to obtain and analyze related data from various institutions such as hospitals, fire stations and health centers. An enforcement regulation will specify the guidelines for serious product defects.

Moon Chul fullmoon@donga.com