CHINA - Industrial and commercial authorities have launched a probe into Nikon China after the company was accused by China Central Television of selling defective products.
Many consumers have complained of dust buildup on the image sensor of the Nikon D600 camera, CCTV said on its annual 3/15 Gala news programme on Saturday.
The programme exposes business misconduct and defends consumers' rights. It has been broadcast by CCTV annually on March 15, World Consumer Rights Day, since 1991.
The Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Industry and Commerce said on Sunday that it is investigating the problems mentioned in the CCTV report.
Shi Shulu, deputy director of the bureau's Consumers' Rights Protection Department, said the local government will investigate the complaints before taking further measures.
Sales of the Nikon D600 cameras were halted on Sunday on some shopping websites including JD.com and Suning.com, and the model was replaced with the D610.
However, on taobao.com, China's largest online shopping website, D600 cameras were still available on Sunday afternoon.
According to the CCTV report, one person had the image sensor on his D600 cleaned five times, but the dust kept coming back.
On 3/15 Gala, Du Yang, who owns a Nikon D600, was shown using the camera after it was cleaned at the service centre in Shanghai. The dust returned after 10 shots. It was then cleaned a second time, but the dust returned after Du took some pictures.
Under China's consumer rights law, the owner of a digital camera has the right to a refund or replacement if the product still doesn't work after it has been repaired by the manufacturer twice. But Nikon insisted that a cleaning doesn't constitute a repair, the CCTV report said.
Many D600 users including Du have asked for a refund or a free upgrade to the newer model D610, but Nikon has refused their demands, even though some D600 owners in the United States have been offered a free upgrade to the D610, according to CCTV.
Nikon China responded to the news report on Sunday via its micro blog, saying that the company attaches great importance to the report and will provide Chinese customers with high quality, standardized global service.
On Feb 26, Nikon publicized service measures on its website addressing this problem, the micro blog said.
Under the service advisory issued by Nikon, all D600 owners are eligible for a free inspection to clean and replace the shutter assembly and related parts. But CCTV noted that Nikon has failed to reveal the cause of the issue, and that some D600 owners are frustrated because the problem hasn't been corrected.
Nikon China did not comment on the issue when contacted by China Daily on Sunday afternoon.
In another case exposed by CCTV, seven suspects were detained on Saturday for selling expired bread in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.
China's amended law on consumer rights, which took effect on Saturday, is aimed at ensuring that consumers have equal rights in disputes with sellers, said Liu Junhai, a professor with the Law School at Renmin University of China.
Under the amended law, consumers have the right to return goods they bought through the Internet, television, telephone or mail within seven days from the date of receipt.