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Articles Tagged with defective product

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hoverboardA 3 year old girl died from her injury after a hoverboard explosion caused a major fire in her apartment in Harrisburg, PA, last Friday night. The hoverboard battery was charging at the time of the explosion.  The girl fell from the second story of her home as she was trying to escape the blaze that was ravaging her apartment. Her two sisters suffered critical burn injuries and her dad as well as a teenage boy who was in the house at the time of the accident, were treated for smoke inhalation. Dennis Voe, a 21 year old  firefighter who was en route to the fire was struck by a car and died from his injury as well.

It is the first time that a hoverboard explosion is directly linked to a fatality. The accident prompted a federal investigation. Previously the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated multiple cases of burn injuries related to defective hoverboards. So far investigations have led to the recall of approximately half a million hoverboards with defective battery packs. At least 8 models manufactured in China with defective lithium battery packs were part of the defective models recalled. Despite the many fires and injuries caused by exploding hoverboards many families still buy them and use them.

If you or your children own one of them, you can check the list of the hoverboards recalled by CPSC. However, please remember that owning a hoverboard that is not on the list is not a guarantee that the battery may not be prone to fire hazard.  Do not charge your hoverboard at night when you sleep but during the day in a location where you can keep an eye on it and where there is an extinguisher nearby.

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Elliot-KayeWhen a company discovers that one of its products is defective, the potentially harmful product must be recalled and consumers must be warned about the products hazards. Companies that fail to timely do so may be subject to multi-million-dollars civil lawsuits by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In the past the CPSC had a weak reputation but since Elliot Kaye took over as Chairman, the Commission became much stricter. While in 2009 the total amount of penalties imposed by the CPSC didn’t even reach $10 million, the total penalties for last year  was $26.4 million. So far this year, this amount reached $31.25 million.  The lowest amount of 2009 is also related to the fact that up to 2008, CPSC penalties were capped at $8000 per violation. In 2008, after several children died after ingesting lead tinted toys the Congress decided to increase the cap to $100,000. The Congress also increased the  aggregate limit of $1.825 million for a series of related offenses to $15 million. Nominated by president Obama, Kaye was hoping to increase penalties even further.

Companies have often considered potential civil penalties related to defective products as a “cost of doing business”. This is exactly what Elliot Kaye has been fighting.  During his tenure at the head of the CPSC, several companies including Johnson Health Tech, Philips Lighting, Teavana, Jarden Consumer Solutions and Gree Electric Appliances had to pay multi-million-dollars settlements for failing to timely report product hazards.

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A defectively designed gear-shifting control in some previously recalled 2014 and 2015 Fiat Chrysler Jeep Cherokee models caused 266 crashes and 68 injuries according to a report that was recently published by the National Highway  Traffic Safety Administration.  The report doesn’t mention any deaths despite the fact that Star Treck actor Anton Yelchin was killed on June 19 after his 2015  Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backward and  fatally pinned him against a wall. According to the report, rollaway crashes are prone to happen with these types of gear-shifting controls because they are confusing for the driver. Most reported cases involved drivers who believed they were in the Park  position and exited the car. Read more in the Claims Journal

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Almost every day defective products that can potentially injure or kill consumers are being recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The number and diversity of products being recalled are on the rise. Last year in the U.S. there were more cars recalled than cars being sold. Does this mean that more defective products are being sold or that the consumer is better protected?

In a recent article in the New York Times, Stacey Colley  explains that better detection technology and stricter safety rules have lead to an increase of products recalls. The recent massive recall of frozen fruits and vegetable by CRF Frozen Foods is a good example of how new technologies can help in identifying  dangerous products and recalling them. After the Ohio Department of Agriculture found a bacteria responsible for listeria in a bag of frozen food during a routine test, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  used a technology called whole genome sequencing to determine if people got sick from eating contaminated CRF Frozen Food. The CDC found that 8 people in 3 States had to be hospitalized after eating CRF products that contain the listeria strain.

Recalls have also increased in number and in complexity. Before it was easy to trace defective products from small local suppliers. Now suppliers are fewer but they are giants and their products can be disseminated all around the country or the world.   The most recent example is the Takata airbag inflater recall. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that that it is the most complex recall it has ever overseen.

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Defective sterilization process may have caused contamination in some Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea tuna cans. Contaminated products may potentially cause life threatening illnesses. According to CNN, the quality and compliance team discovered a malfunction OF a machinery part during the sterilization process during a routine inspection in a Georgia production plant in which both brands were manufacturing their products. The malfunction may have caused some products to be not fully cooked.

The recall affects 31,579 cases of Bumble Bee canned tuna with UPC codes codes 8660000020, 8660000021 and 8660000736 sold nationally in February 2016. The recalls also affects 2,745 cases of Chicken of the Sea brand with UPC codes are 0 4800000195 5 and 0 4800000245 7 and produced last February and March.

Bumble Bee product recall

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Defective front disk brakes and quick-release levers installed on 1.3 million bicycles in the US may pose a risk of injury to bicycle riders. An open quick release lever on the bicycle’s front wheel hub can come into contact with the front disc brake rotor causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle. Therefore the following companies are recalling some models from the following brands:

bike recall

If your bicycle is from one of these brands, the video below can help you determine if your bicycle is affected  and if so what to do about it.

 

 

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Bed handle
The company Bed Handles Inc is re-announcing the recall of 3 models of their portable bed handles  because they are defective and have caused the death of 4 people. These products are: Bedside Assistant, Model BA10W, Travel Handles Use, Model BA11W, Adjustable Bed Handle, Model AJ1.

When attached to an adult bed without the use of safety retention straps, the handles can shift out of place, creating a dangerous gap between the handles and the side of the mattress, posing a risk of entrapment, strangulation and death.

Recently a 90 year old woman died in a nursing home after being entrapped in the gap between the mattress and the defective bed handle. Before her three other women died in similar conditions.

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airbagThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just announced that they were probing another company for defective airbags. According to the document posted on the NHTSA website, ARC Automotive is being investigated for airbag inflator rupture following two reports of incidents during which two people were injured.  A first incident of airbag inflator rupture was reported in 2009 but was considered an isolated case. However after KIA reported, this year, a product liability lawsuit for another airbag rupture from the same manufacturer, the US Safety regulators decided to probe ARC Automotive, Inc. The ARC probe will cover airbags in about 420,000 Fiat Chrysler Town and Country minivans from model year 2002, and 70,000 Kia Optima midsize sedans from model year 2004. Read more on the CNBC website

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Beech-Nut Product recallAttention parents, some Beech-Nut products may potentially be dangerous for your children and should be returned to the manufacturer for a refund. After a consumer found a small piece of glass in a jar Beech-Nut Stage 2 Sweet potato & Chicken, the manufacturer issued a voluntary recall of the product. The recalled product is in a 4oz glass jar marked “DEC 2016” and includes product numbers “12395750815” through “12395750821” on the cap. It bears the establishment number “P-68A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

 

 

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Trellis 6In December, Covidien announced a voluntary recall of  its Trellis-6™ and Trellis-8™ peripheral infusion systems  after customers reported a manufacturing error where the proximal and distal balloon inflation ports were labeled incorrectly resulting in the potential for incorrect sequence of balloon deflation. An incorrect sequence of balloon deflation  could potentially create blood clots that could travel downstream and go to the lungs and seriously injure the patient. Today Medtronic, that just acquired Covidien announced that the recall has now been classified as a class I recall by the FDA. Read more in the press release