Suitcases taken off store shelves after failing official test

By Chen Yi-chia and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sun, Feb 04, 2018 - Page 3

The Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee earlier this week said it has ordered manufacturers to recall four models of suitcases after they failed to pass a government-administered drop test.

The committee recently conducted drop tests on 25 suitcase chosen at random following the promulgation in March last year of official guidelines on suitcase sturdiness.

Four suitcase models failed to pass the test, committee official Wang Ming-te (王德明) said, adding that they were required to survive 14 drops from a height of 90cm.

The Elle Boutique de Camelia 29 inch suitcase, with a suggested retail price of NT$6,310 (US$216), broke a wheel after one drop, but a cheaper case with a retail price of NT$1,180 survived the test unscathed, he said.

Three other suitcase models sold under the Outdoor, Leadming and Aaron Nation brands did not pass due to cracks in the casing, he said, adding that the tests showed that quality and price are not correlated.

The manufacturers have been notified that they should recall the suitcases, Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection official Wang Hung-ju (王鴻儒) said.

Noncompliance could result in the government pulling the product certificate and fining the producers NT$100,000 to NT$1 million, he said, adding that improved products must pass further inspections or risk fines of up to NT$2 million.

The government’s testing protocol does not reflect normal use and is unfair to manufacturers, said a manager surnamed Chen (陳), who works at Aaron Nation importer Chiang Yin Industries Co, adding that no other government subjects suitcases to such tests.

If a suitcase is damaged by improper handling, airline companies are contractually obliged to pay compensation, Chen said.

The government is retroactively applying new standards to older products that were certified under different standards, which is unfair, said an assistant manager surnamed Lin (林), who works for Elle’s importer, Shanying Enterprises Co.

The merchandize has been pulled off the shelves and the next batch would be modified to meet government standards, Lin said.