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Consumer warning about bicycle safety


Consumer warning about bicycle safety

Coles Myer NZ Holdings Ltd, trading as K Mart New Zealand, was fined $5,000 plus costs in the Auckland District Court last week for breaching the Fair Trading Act in relation to the sale of an unsafe bicycle. This is the second time the company has appeared in Court for failing to comply with bicycle safety standard regulations.

The prosecution followed a customer complaint to the Commerce Commission relating to a “Huffy Kaibab” men’s pedal bicycle sold by K Mart in Henderson. The bicycle’s left pedal crank arm had become loose and fallen off within minutes of being used.

As a result of this complaint, the Commission purchased another bicycle of the same type and had it tested for compliance with the bicycle safety standard regulations. During a one-kilometre test ride, the same left pedal crank arm of the bicycle also became loose.

Commerce Commission Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said the Commission has had a number of complaints about bicycles. “This decision provides a timely reminder to all retailers that they are responsible for ensuring their bicycles comply with the safety standard regulations.”

Background Under the Fair Trading Act, the Commerce Commission enforces six Product Safety Standards Regulations. They are for:
▪ pedal bicycles;
▪ cigarette lighters;
▪ baby walkers;
▪ household cots; and
▪ children’s night clothes;
▪ toys for children aged up to three years.


The standard for bicycles is AS/NZS1927: 1998 Pedal Bicycles – Safety Requirements. In 1996, K Mart was fined $25,000 in the Auckland District Court on three charges of selling dangerous bicycles. The Commerce Commission has conducted 39 investigations into bicycle safety issues in the last calendar year. These investigations resulted in 15 warnings, two settlements and two recommendations for prosecution. Informations have been laid against King Cargo (see earlier Commission press releases available on the website, www.comcom.govt.nz).

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