Inexpensive auto fuses “car electrical fuses” can end up being very expensive. Some fuses currently being sold look like fuses but are not fuses. They fail the fuse test and so fail to prevent damage to electrical wiring in cars which have the potential to cause fires. It is a salutary lesson that it is very important to ensure that quality control is adequate.
The author purchased auto fuses at a discount store to replace a similarly rated fuse which had failed. The author acknowledges he failed to check for a reliable local company on the packaging of the product to endorse and be responsible for the quality of the product. The author also failed to ensure that the discount store retailer was appropriately identified on the receipt. Trading name on receipt was not registered with ASIC.
The upshot was a car with burnt-out electricals and a fuse which showed clear evidence of over-heating of the plastic without the active metal fuse element actually failing. The author has notified Consumer Affairs Victoria about the faulty product with details of the brand.
Potentially there are many people, possibly thousands of people out there who have installed such fuses in their cars. It is highly likely that when there is a need for the protection these fuses will fail. The cynic may think that for auto-electricians, this provides them with more business as cars are either repaired at great expense as auto-electrician businesses are well paid and the repairs can take a whole day or longer to complete. It can cost thousands of dollars. Otherwise cars go to the wreckers for recycling. Potentially however there could be car fires which may put people’s lives at risk.
Consumer Affairs Victoria made it clear in a letter sent on the 14th of April 2015 that they were not prepared to look into this matter . As a public interest exercise I am prepared to name the product. I have elected not to go to VCAT to claim compensation for the damage because of the protracted time in being able to identify who is responsible for offering that product for sale, the lack of an obvious Australian importer of the fuses, the costs involved in preparing expert evidence to present, and the fact that the vehicle had a much greater use value than monetary value.
The offending product is under the brand name “Legion Tools” Item No. T608-H with the label “10 PIECE AUTO PLUG-IN FUSES” This product is labelled “MADE IN CHINA”.
Hopefully no-one else has this problem, but if any others who have a similar problem make a complaint to Consumer Affairs Victoria, it is possible that C.A.V. will take it more seriously.
For those of you who need to buy fuses for your car my advice would be to steer clear of the Legion Tools brand.
Note: Envirosaphe is said as envirosafe.