The 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
Attention 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.
In 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
When a person is injured or dies because of an automated external defibrillator failure, it is often the result of a defective design or a manufacturing flaw such as the inadequate quality control of outsourced components. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are usually stored in public places and ready for use if someone suddenly suffers from a life threatening cardiac arrhythmia. Unfortunately these medical devices have a history of malfunctions. In the last 10 years the FDA received more than 72,000 medical reports associated with defective AEDs. During the same period of time, 111 recalls were conducted affecting more than two million defective products.
Therefore the FDA decided to take additional steps to improve the quality of these products. The agency issued a final order that will require AED manufacturers to submit premarket approval applications (PMAs), which undergo a more rigorous review than what was required to market these products in the past.
Read the FDA press release here
Death, injury and warranty claims can serve as an early warning of defects or other problems in a car and manufacturers are required by law to submit this information to the government. For the last 11 years, Honda consistently under reported these claims and was fined $70 million for not doing so (see Honda Fined for Violations of Safety Law).Even though this penalty is the highest amount ever fined a car manufacturer by the federal regulators it still seems very modest in comparison to the revenue of the giant car manufacturers. The Obama administration wants to raise the maximum fine to $300 million but would that be enough?
Baja Motorsports knowingly failed to report immediately defects and an unreasonable risk of serious injury involving 11 models of minibikes and go-carts said the Consumer Product Safety Commission in charges that were resolved by a settlement reached recently between the two parties.
The defective minibikes and go-carts were sold by Baja Inc., and its corporate affiliate, One World Technologies Inc., of Anderson, S.C. in the United States from 2004 to 2010. During that period of time Baja received several reports that people had been injured, including a child who was severely burned, after the gas cap leaked or detached from the fuel tank. Baja also received reports of stuck throttles. The CPSC charged that the the throttle could stick, due to an improperly positioned fuel line and throttle cable, posing a sudden acceleration hazard. The company didn’t file a full report with the CPSC until June 2010.
Read more on the CPSC website
For over a decade, GM knowingly kept 2.6 million defective cars on the road killing and injuring an untold numbers of road users. From the civil lawsuit brought by personal injury lawyer Lance Cooper who discovered that GM hid information about the defective ignition switch to the multiple recalls of 2014, Impact Magazine, the quarterly issue from the Center for Justice and Democracy focuses on General Motors’ product liability. The magazine looks at the history of the recalls as well as the bankruptcy shield, the issues with used and rented cars and also questions the NHTSA stand.
Download the complete issue of Impact here
Toyota announced a new car recall in the US yesterday because a defective lever system in some Sienna minivans can cause the vehicles to shift out of park mode “without the driver depressing the brake pedal” and resulting in a vehicle roll-away. 24 accidents related to the defective car have been reported to Toyota so far. The recall affects approximately 615,000 Sienna minivans from Model Years 2004-2005 and 2007-2009. This is the second time in a month that Toyota has issued a recall of its vehicles in the US market. Earlier this month, the car manufacturer issued a recall for more than 780,000 vehicles to address a defective suspension in its RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h models.
Nissan also announced yesterday that it was recalling nearly a million defective cars worldwide because a defective accelerator sensor could cause the car to stall. No accidents have been reported so far according to the manufacturer. The recall affects Infiniti M, Serena, X-Trail, Lafesta and Fuga models produced in Japan between 2004 and 2013.