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Product liability: keeping up with a fast-moving landscape

We are seeing rapid changes to the product liability landscape with far-reaching implications. Autonomous vehicles are just on the horizon and in a BBC News update posted last week, it was reported that people using self-driving cars will be allowed to watch television on built-in screens under proposed updates to the Highway Code! E-scooters are already on our streets (both legally and illegally) and these, along with other emerging technologies (like AI) are testing the limits of product liability laws, forcing reviews by both the EU and the UK government.

Elsewhere, the law relating to food safety is subject to upheaval. And recent reports published by the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) provide a window into ongoing problems like Lithium-ion and button batteries. Against this background, we wanted to give you a quick update in which we look at:

  • A number of product safety issues, which were featured in recent product safety reports issued by the OPSS and elsewhere, including lithium-ion batteries, button batteries and high powered magnets.

  • The Law Commission’s recent report on autonomous vehicles and news that Mercedes will accept legal responsibility for accidents caused by their self-driving cars.

  • Several recent updates and consultations issued by the Food Standards Authority including on precautionary allergen labelling, recycled plastics and CBD products.

  • And finally, catching up on recent product liability judgments including a claim concerning a drain cleaner and the ongoing VW NOx Emissions Group Litigation.

 

Publication Authors:

 

Daniel West Daniel West