Bear in mind that under the Consumer Protection Act you can only sue in the event of death, personal injury and damage to private property in excess of £275. You would not be able to sue for loss or damage to the product itself. Therefore if you were to buy a defective car, which then crashes and injures you, you can sue as a result of your injuries, but not to recover the cost of the car.

But who do you sue? The Consumer Protection Act imposes liability on the producer, or any person / organisation who puts their name or trademark on the product, which generally gives the impression that they are the producer. The product may be own-branded by a retailer such as a supermarket. This is where the retailer gives the impression the product has been made by them, even though they are simply reselling someone else’s product. Where this is the case, unless the actual producer is mentioned on the packaging, it will be assumed that the retailer is the producer. Where the item has been imported into the EU from outside the EU, it will be the organisation who first imported it into the EU. This is relevant for dangerous toys which have been made in the Far East. Where you have a long distribution chain, it may be difficult to identify the liable producer. In this case you are within your rights to request details of the producer from the supplier of the product. If the supplier is either unwilling or unable to provide these details, then that person will be liable, as if they had been the producer.

Consumer Protection Act: Unsafe Products