NZME fined for selling dangerous magnetic toy that hurt child

Fri, May 26
Buckyball nagnetic toy.

NZME Advisory Limited (NZME) has been fined for selling a dangerous magnetic toy that left a child needing surgery.

According to the Commerce Commission, NZME sold the magnetic puzzle toys, mostly known as buckyballs, on its website it used to own between October 2020 and September 2021.

The commission said the product was sold in breach of an unsafe goods notice. The notice bans the supply of any magnets, sold in sets of two or more, that are a particular size and strength.

"The ban exists because if more than one of the magnets are swallowed, they can attract to each other within the body which is extremely dangerous," Commerce Commission’s general manager of fair trading Kirsten Mannix said.

"Tragically, we are aware of one case in New Zealand where a child did swallow two of the magnets from one of the magnetic toys supplied by NZME, and significant surgery was required to remove them."

The commission said NZME sold 213 sets of the magnetic toys between October 2020 and September 2021.

NZME recalled the sets and contacted customers to notify them of the recall after being approached by the commission to do so.

NZME was fined $87,750 in the Auckland District Court yesterday.


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