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ACI reveals defective cable found in DIY stores

The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) has announced that as part of its ongoing market surveillance it has found several samples of defective cable on sale in two national DIY chain stores.

Despite a call from the ACI for electrical distributors to consider their responsibilities and not to compound the defective cables issue, the ACI has discovered, as recently as November last year, Atlas Kablo cable on sale repackaged under the trade mark of a distributor in two national DIY chain stores. Homebase and Focus DIY were immediately made aware of the issue and samples of cable were removed from the stores for further testing. Samples tested were found to fail and in both instances the product was withdrawn once the issue was brought to the company’s attention. The distributor that supplied the cable did not put a general public product recall into effect and therefore the public remains unaware of the issue.  

Atlas Kablo cable was the subject of a manufacturer’s product recall last summer when several cables were identified as defective. The company has since ceased trading. Yet despite this, it has been brought to the ACI’s attention by contractors and end users across the UK that some distributors have disregarded the product recall and the defective cable remains on sale. This cable was made in Turkey and imported into the UK by an unknown number of cable distributors.

Peter Smeeth, spokesperson for the ACI said: “Whereas previously we understand that these cables have been sold directly to electrical contractors, the discovery of cables in DIY stores means that defective cables have been readily available for the general public to purchase, an audience that will be less informed about the dangers of such cable. We commend both DIY groups in this instance for immediately taking action once this issue was brought to their attention and removing the cable from their shelves”. Mark Kennedy, technical manager, Homebase said: “As soon as we became aware of the issue, in May 2010, we withdrew all affected stock from sale and returned it to the supplier. We ordered new stock at the beginning of October, but on 19th November we were alerted to the fact that the same supplier had once again delivered a quantity of the unapproved cable, contrary to our instructions. “Once again, we immediately withdrew from sale all cable stock from this supplier and returned it to them. We have no plans to stock mains electrical cables from this supplier in future, and we are currently seeking an alternative supplier for this product”, continued Mr Kennedy. Peter Smeeth continued: “We believe the net is closing on distributors who choose to flout a manufacturer’s product recall and ignore their legal duties. The ACI will continue its campaign and name those trading in defective cables and we will bring to the attention of the appropriate authorities such instances”. The advice from The ACI is that all Atlas Kablo cable in the supply chain should not be sold or installed and should be returned to the place of purchase.

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