Euro Solar and Australian Solar Panel will be feeling the heat this winter after the ACCC instituted proceedings on 8 May 2013 against the two companies for false and misleading claims about the origins of the solar panels they manufacture and supply. Mr Nikunjkumar Patel is also being prosecuted for being knowingly concerned in, or a party to, the alleged conduct.
The ACCC alleges that Euro Solar and Australian Solar Panel has been misleading the public since 2012 by:
- representing to the public through a number of media outlets that the solar panels they manufacture or supply are made in Australia when, in fact, they are made in China; and
- placing testimonials, not made by genuine customers, on their respective websites.
As mentioned in a previous post this year, strong enforcement is at the top of the ACCC’s priorities list for 2013, with consumer protection being a specific area of focus. Chairman Rod Sims stated, in relation to the action, that “the ACCC is currently prioritising work in the areas of credence claims and fake testimonials, as outlined in the Compliance and Enforcement Policy”.
The matter has been filed in the Federal Court’s Fast Track List and is listed for a scheduling conference in Adelaide on 8 July 2013.