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Ray-Ban sunglasses recalled over ‘cracking, breaking’ concerns

01/05/2019By Myles Hume
Australia’s consumer watchdog has issued a recall notice for Ray-Ban brown tortoiseshell sunglasses sold through Big W Optical, amid concerns the product’s lenses may break under pressure and cause ocular damage.

Non-prescription pairs of the sunglasses – which were only supplied and sold in Big W Optical stores – were the subject of a product recall issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on 21 April.

According to Big W Optical the glasses were sold between November 2016 and January 2019, and were stocked across stores in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

 A Big W spokesperson told Insight: “The safety of our customers and their families is our priority. I can confirm there were no reported incidents with the sunglasses that were recalled.

“There was a very small number of customers – less than 20 – who purchased these non-prescription sunglasses and we contacted them each individually where details were provided. The sunglasses were on sale until 31 January and promptly removed from sale once we found a potential safety risk to customers.”

“Luxottica Australia did not supply Big W with any Ray-Ban products and we have no information about the source of these products.”
Luxottica spokesperson

In a statement the ACCC warned the sunglasses may not comply with the mandatory standard: “Consumer Protection Notice No. 13 of 2003 - Consumer product safety standard: Sunglasses and fashion spectacles”.

The regulator found that some non-prescription lenses might not be sufficiently robust, leading them to potentially crack or break under pressure, and potentially cause eye damage. There may also be a variation between the left and right lenses.

The glasses can be identified by the style number ‘RB4175’, which is located on the inside of left arm of the glasses. The recall does not apply to sunglasses that have prescription lenses.

Luxottica Australia confirmed to Insight that it is aware of the recall, but does not have a business relationship with Big W Optical.

The company issued a statement saying, “Luxottica Australia did not supply Big W with any Ray-Ban products and we have no information about the source of these products. The voluntary recall only affects the model bought at Big W stores and does not impact any Ray-Ban styles purchased from Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban stores or any authorised Ray-Ban resellers. Any customer who bought this model at Big W is asked to contact Big W directly."

The ACCC advised that consumers cease using the sunglasses and immediately return them to a Big W Optical store for a full refund.

The recall notice comes at a particularly tumultuous time after Big W Optical’s operating company Woolworths Group announced last month it would close the optical business on June 30, affecting 175 staff.


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