Oct 24: Carseat expiry; Vanishing car; All not fine; Archive - health campaign | FAIR GO | TV ONE | tvnz.co.nz [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Oct 24: Carseat expiry; Vanishing car; All not fine; Archive - health campaign
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Carseat expiry
Reporter: Erica Wood

Parents came to Fair Go with concerns about confusing expiry and manufacture dates on their children's Evenflo car seats bought from Baby Factory.  There is no legal requirement in New Zealand to have expiry dates on child restraints, however, American company Evenflo has a self-imposed standard which states their seats are safe to use for six years from date of manufacture.  Parents noticed some of their car seats had had the original expiry and manufacture dates re-stickered, scratched or melted off.  Some found contradicting dates and did not know which one to take notice of.

Evenflo's New Zealand distributor, Warwick Edwards, says a major order fell through in the United States so Evenflo was left with loads of unsold seats in storage.  About two thousand of those were later brought into New Zealand, but by that time there was only about two years left until those seats expired.  To solve that problem Warwick Edwards changed the dates with Evenflo's permission.  Warwick Edwards says that because the expiry dates are not a legal requirement, he has no problem with what he has done and would do it again.

The Baby Factory says they have confidence the baby seats are safe for the next six years and they acted in good faith on the basis that Evenflo had authorised Warwick Edwards to change the labels.  However, when challenged by Fair Go, they said they would no longer accept any seats that have had altered dates.

Plunket's National Child Safety Advisor, Sue Campbell, says having confusing expiry dates is highly unsatisfactory, and wants to discourage companies from changing dates.  However, she does think the seats are still safe to use and parents should continue to use them.

In summary, Fair Go thinks there is no point in having a standard if you're not going to stick to it.  We accept these seats are probably safe to use, but consumers should have been fully informed about the date changes at point of sale.  If you weren't, then we think you have every reason to take it back and ask for a refund.

All not fine
Reporter: Kevin Milne

Rhett Brown of Northland fell from a building site, broke his neck and is now a tetraplegic. The Labour Department (OSH) took both his builder employer and the site contractor to court and they were each fined $22,500 for not doing all possible to prevent such an accident. The builder paid out immediately, but the contractor, Apex Construction Ltd, went into liquidation due to "losing an OSH claim they couldn't recover from." This meant Rhett didn't get his $22,500 because it was the company not the directors who were fined.

Rhett is paralysed from the top of the chest down, and has subsequently been hospitalised with other ailments due to his paralysis. The two former directors of Apex, Steven Austin, and David Woolford, have never taken it on themselves to pay the fine to Rhett. They have no legal obligation to do so but we think they have a moral duty to pay out.

We contacted both directors and urged them to reconsider. But both say they disagreed with the court's decision and feel no moral obligation to pay out.

Given Rhett's condition, Fair Go finds that position hard to stomach and wonders why, in cases like these, the court fines a corporate entity, rather than the directors, responsible. 

Vanishing car
Reporter: Phil Vine

For some people a car is more than a car. It's a dream of something more. That description may well apply to Glenn Pukeroa. He put his pride and joy, his 1971 Mach #1 Ford Mustang into a high security storage centre in Auckland, only to find eight months later it had disappeared. As he says "off the face of the earth."

More perplexingly Glenn's been shown security camera footage of the Mustang on a Tuesday at 7.30pm and then an hour and a half later he claims it had gone. He's been offered some interesting explanations such as the thieves moving so slowly they didn't set off the motion sensitive cameras.

Worse than that it seems no-one's able to pay Glenn the money he thinks it's worth: $35,000. Sadly he didn't take out his own personal insurance and he expected the storage company would be covered. Wrong. They only have public liability cover, so unless it's the storage firm's fault, if they left the gate open for instance, then no pay out. If the place had burnt down, the insurance company says, then people would have to rely on their own contents policies. An expensive lesson about taking out your own insurance if you put anything in storage. Hopefully the owner looks as if he'll come to the party and compensate Glenn out of his own pocket.

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