The New Zealand Commerce Commission has fined SDL Trading $81,000 for selling a dangerous baby bath toy.


The toy – which when tested came apart in to small pieces, presenting a choking hazard – was supplied to 63 retailers over three years. Over 4700 units were sold and only 46 have been recovered.


The package contained a warning on the back stating that the product was not suitable for children under three years, but on the front contained the words 'baby bath' and an image of a baby.


This imagery and lack of warning on the front of the package misled consumers to believe the product was suitable for babies.


“There is no warning sign on the front and the set has visuals in the word 'baby' and a picture of a baby in a nappy on the front,” Prue Vincent, a psychologist for the Commerce Commission said.


SDL Trading removed the toy from sale and tried to recall the product when it was made aware that the Commerce Commission was investigating.


The toy was sourced from China and represented 10 per cent of SDL's stock.


The judgement said that the company's conduct was negligent.


“Parents of children rely on toy manufacturers and distributors to ensure that their products will not present a hazard to their children,” Judge Philippa Anne Cunningham said.


SDL Trading pleaded guilty to six charges in the Auckland District Court.


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