6th Oct 2017
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CHOICE announces its 2017 ‘Shonky Awards’
shonky lemons

CHOICE announced its 12th Annual Shonky Awards yesterday, with gongs going to a safety product that could kill you, laundry liquid that performs worse than water and a ticket reseller that’s “no better than a scalper in a back alley”.

Samsung took the Shonky for its $3000 waste of time and water washing machine. The Samsung WD16J9845KG washer/dryer combo took more than 6.5 hours to complete a cycle and used 149 litres of water to wash and dry a 3.5kg test load.

Then there’s Cuddly’s Sensitive Hypoallergenic fabric softener which performed worse at softening fabric than plain water but at $6 per litre, cost 3000 times more than H2O.

The Pain Erazor pen won the Shonky for dubious pain-relief claims, with ads fro the product declaring drug-free pain relief through "the science of electro-analgesia". Although there are studies that show transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can offer pain relief, the CHOICE jury decided the Pain Erazor’s claims could not be substantiated.

Other Shonkys went to Viagogo, a website for ticket resellers which also provides an outlet for frauds and fake ticket sellers; Vitamin Gummies, which claim to make kids’ teeth and bones stronger but consist of 50 per cent sugar doing more to cause decay and cavities; the poorly labelled Coles Complete Cuisine cat food which could harm your feline friend and the Westpac Bump Account, for “targeting unborn babies with a bad deal”.

Saving the worst for last is the Shonky Award for repeatedly failing to disclose a safety device that can actually kill you, which went to car manufacturers Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda.

You may remember the Takata airbag recall earlier this year – dodgy airbags installed in 100 million vehicles worldwide, 2.35 million of which were sold in Australia.

Globally, these airbags have so far caused more than 180 injuries and 18 deaths.

It’s always a bit of fun to see who or what CHOICE names and shames in the Shonkys, but when people’s (and animals’’) health and lives are at stake, these awards become something so much more serious.

Have you had any experience with these products? Would you like to add to the list?

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    COMMENTS

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    inextratime
    6th Oct 2017
    11:11am
    My Mazda had the 'shonky' air bags now fully replaced by Mazda dealer. A class action against the various suppliers is being organised.
    bob
    6th Oct 2017
    3:50pm
    Did you check that the dealers ,as some are doing,(The fault comes with age and some dealers due to spare parts stock are just installing later versions of the same brand with the same fault). did not just instal the same brand faulty airbag.
    Couldabeen
    6th Oct 2017
    4:01pm
    As the fault is occurring in around a quarter of a percent of cases of deployment and Takata are fairly confident that they know which batches have a higher probability of failure rate, it is very unlikely that either the original or the replacement units will be faulty. But in the majority of cases, you will never know if your airbag can even deploy.
    Ageing but not getting old
    8th Oct 2017
    2:23pm
    My 2007 Nissan Tiida (which I bought second hand last year) was recalled for 'replacement' barely a month after purchase. How can I find out what type of replacement went in (manufacturer, model & batch number)? I am somewhat concerned about my driving with one that is still a bit 'iffy'.
    Couldabeen
    6th Oct 2017
    3:57pm
    Choice is being misleading and scaremongering with regard to the Takata airbags. There is not a design flaw in the manufacture of these devices. With a less than a quarter of one percent incorrect inflation, you are still safer with one than without it. The failure has been in the ammonium nitrate with problems in how it "explodes". It is supposed to burn in a controlled manner, but it appears that some batches have suffered contamination from unknown sources that changes the predictable burn to a spontaneous flash. Several times Takata thought that they had zeroed in on the critical batches and had replaced units from what was believed to be the high risk batches. So when they say replaced with like for like, that is not the full story.
    The driver of the Honda CRV that was killed in Western Sydney had declined a request from Honda to present his car for airbag replacement. Honda had more than met it's responsibility in his case.
    Ageing but not getting old
    8th Oct 2017
    2:36pm
    Sorry; This probably should have been on this comment.

    My 2007 Nissan Tiida (which I bought second hand last year) was recalled for 'replacement' barely a month after my purchase. I took it in as soon as practical. How can I find out what type of replacement went in (manufacturer, model & batch number)? I remain a little concerned about my driving with one that is still a bit 'iffy'. However, I had an incident where a car came out from a side street in front of me two months ago, which I swerved to avoid. I wound up on the median strip, where I knocked down a traffic sign and a v. small tree (albeit at a slow speed as I'd also braked). The bags did not deploy. There was damage, but not enough to fully bend/crumple the bonnet.
    musicveg
    8th Oct 2017
    3:07pm
    Honda was great in replacing my airbags quickly and efficiently, I think some people may have been too lazy (or too busy) to get around to getting the change done.
    musicveg
    8th Oct 2017
    3:08pm
    Never ceases to amaze that people will believe the advertising of some products, this goes with more products than you realize.


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