Toyota to Recall Lexus SUVs for Floor Mats that Can Cause Sudden Acceleration

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Toyota has decided to recall 154,000 of their 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450H luxury SUVs due to faulty floor mats that can cause sudden or unintended acceleration. According to a news report in The Associated Press, the floor mats can trap the gas pedal and cause the SUVs to speed up without warning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also looking into whether Toyota reported the problem quickly enough. Federal regulators sought this most recent recall after reviewing complaints from customers and records from the automaker.

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J & J Sold Vaginal Mesh Implants Without FDA Approval

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Johnson & Johnson continued to sell vaginal mesh implants for nine months after federal safety regulators told the company to stop marketing the device. According to a Bloomberg report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which had received numerous consumer complaints about adverse effects, told the health-care products maker in a letter dated August 24, 2007 to stop selling Gynecare Prolift until the agency decided if the device was “substantially equivalent” to other products on the market. In its letter, FDA officials cited the potentially high risk for organ perforation when surgeons insert the mesh vaginally to shore up weakened pelvic tissues.

The letter prohibited J & J from marketing the device until they provided adequate information and got FDA approval. Selling the device would be a violation of federal law, the letter stated. The FDA cleared the device in May 2008. But, in the interim, J & J continued to market and sell the products.

Life-Changing Side Effects

Now, the company faces more than 1,400 vaginal mesh lawsuits from women who allege a variety of painful side effects including organ perforation, pain, scarring and even nerve damage. Nearly 300,000 in the United States were implanted with these mesh devices in 2010. J & J had started selling Prolift in 2005 without filing a new application after determining on its own that the device was substantially similar to Gynemesh, which was already cleared by FDA. However, FDA officials disagreed with J & J’s interpretation and required that the company file a new application.

Lack of Studies and Testing

This information comes to light even as the U.S. Senate is looking at making changes to the FDA’s device review system, which allows medical devices to be sold without human testing if there are other “substantially similar” products already in the market. Transvaginal mesh implants are among several medical devices that have found their way into the market and into people’s bodies without safety studies or testing. In January, the FDA ordered J&J, Murray Hill, New Jersey-based C.R. Bard Inc. and other manufacturers to study organ damage and complications related to these defective products. The agency received 123 complaints about Prolift from 2005 to May 15, 2008, when the device was cleared.

Justice for Victims

It is absolutely outrageous that this industry giant thought that it could get away with violating federal law. Thanks to the lawsuits that have been filed by thousands of women, these facts are now coming to light. The FDA letter was recently unsealed in court at the request of plaintiffs’ attorneys. This also seriously questions the FDA’s ability to enforce the law. One expert quoted in the Bloomberg news report compares the FDA to “a sheriff packing a water pistol.”

These mesh implant products have left thousands of women all over the country with life-changing and irreversible side effects. This account highlights yet another instance of how the safety and health of consumers are compromised by reckless manufacturers who are unwilling to put consumer safety above profits. If you have been affected by these defective products are looking for more information about pursuing your legal rights, please click here.

 

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Hatchery in Missouri

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Estes Hatchery in Springfield, Missouri, has been linked to a Salmonella Montevideo outbreak that led to 66 food poisoning cases in 20 states, including California. According to a KOLR 10 news report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the illnesses were reported between February 28, 2012 and June 6, 2012. The victims ranged in age from 1 to 83 years. About 35 percent of those who were sickened were 10 years old or younger. Findings of multiple traceback investigations of live baby poultry from homes of those who became ill helped link the contamination to Estes Hatchery, officials said.

Food Poisoning Statistics

According to the most recent statistics available from CDC, 1,034 foodborne illnesses were reported in 2008 sickening more than 23,000 people and killing 22. Almost half of the outbreaks had a single cause or food source. More than 1,200 people were hospitalized because of these outbreaks, which accounts for 6 percent of those who got sick. This was the largest number of hospitalizations for foodborne illnesses reported since the outbreak surveillance system began in 1973. The top three causes of hospitalization in 2008 were salmonella (62 percent); E. coli (17 percent); and Norvirus (7 percent).

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Chevy Cruze Vehicles Recalled for Potential Engine Fires

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Chevrolet is recalling every Cruze built in North America during the past two years for a vehicle defect that can cause an engine fire. According a news report in Forbes, this recent vehicle recall makes it the second time that almost the entire Cruze fleet has been involved. General Motors officials say 413,418 Cruze cars from model years 2011 and 2012 are part of the campaign for issues with the engine shield. The recall involves modifying the shield so that flammable liquids won’t get trapped in the engine compartment posing a fire hazard. This recall was announced after 30 instances of engine fires were reported. There have been no reports of injuries or fatalities as a result of these Chevy Cruze fires. Vehicle owners are expected to be notified next month.

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Ford Explorer SUVs Investigated for Power Steering Issues

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Federal Safety regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSAS) are looking into complaints regarding auto defects involving steering issues with Ford Explorers. According to The Associated Press, so far, 15 drivers have complained that their 2011 Explorer SUV suddenly lost its power steering assist. When this occurs, the SUVs can become difficult to control. Officials are trying to determine if there will be a safety recall of the 83,000 potentially defective Explorers.

Dangers of Power Steering Failures

Some drivers who have reported the issue say that a warning message appeared on the instrument panel before the power steering failed. In a few of the cases, restarting the SUV solved the problem. It does not appear that anyone has been injured or killed as a result of these auto defects. It is absolutely essential to have the power steering working properly in a vehicle. When this feature fails it may become difficult to turn or even change lanes. Drivers who are experiencing issues with their steering should immediately slow down and pull over. These are flaws that could end in serious injury car accidents.

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Orange County Woman Killed in SUV Rollover Accident

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Blanca P. Estela, 39, of Santa Ana, was fatally injured in an SUV rollover accident after officials say a tire blew out and the vehicle rolled over. According to an Associated Press news article, the rollover crash occurred a little after noon on June 20, 2012 on the northbound Interstate 15 near Sloan, Nevada. State troopers say a rear tire on the 2006 Dodge SUV failed before the vehicle swerved and rolled over on the freeway shoulder. Estela was pronounced dead at the scene. A 9-year-old girl, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was airlifted with critical injuries while four others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and many friends of Blanca Estela, who are mourning her terrible loss. My heart also goes out to the young girl who has been critically injured as well as the four victims who have suffered injuries in this crash. I wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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Mercedes and BMW Issue Recalls for Potential Defects

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced an auto defect recall for more than 3,600 Mercedes-Benz sedans and wagons for rear suspension issues. According to a report in Torque News, the auto recall includes E350 sedans and wagons produced between July 1, 2006 and April 30, 2009. Officials say the rear connecting rod for the load leveling system can fail causing the rear suspension to no longer level the rear of the car.

When this happens, the vehicle could become difficult to control. Officials say approximately 3,613 cars currently on the road may have this defective auto part. Owners of the E350 4MATIC vehicles being recalled will be notified and the full recall will begin in August of this year. It is not clear if anyone has been injured or if there have been any car accidents as a result of this defect.

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Cooper Recalls SUV Tires for Tread Separation Issues

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has issued a defective product recall for 10,236 radial SUV and light truck tires sold under its own and three customer names for possible tread separation issues. According to a news report in Tire Business, the recalled tires may have been manufactured with contaminated rubber in the tread compounds, which could result in tread separation. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Cooper officials said that they received reports from several dealers regarding the tires developing “early life tread separations when placed in service.”

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Federal Officials Add 600,000 Toyota Camry Cars to Door Fire Investigation

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has expanded an investigation of auto defects in Toyota vehicles relating to fires that can start in the doors. According to an Associated Press news report, with the addition of 600,000 Toyota Camrys, the investigation now includes 1.4 million cars and SUVs from the 2007 to 2009 model years. The probe, which began in February, includes more than 800,000 Camry cars and RAV4 SUVs from the 2007 model year. Also included in the recall are Camrys from the 2008 and 2009 model years as well as some 2007 to 2009 Yaris subcompacts and all 2008 Highlander hybrid SUVs. So far, both Toyota and NHTSA have received 161 complaints of fires involving these vehicles. Nine injuries have been reported.

Dangerous Door Fires

Officials say these vehicles use the same power window switch in the driver’s door. The switches can overheat and cause fires. The government has announced that it has upgraded this investigation to an engineering analysis. Depending on the results of the analysis, the investigation can lead to a recall. Toyota owners who smell smoke or feel their doors heating up are asked to contact their dealers or take the vehicles in for an inspection.

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Kolcraft Strollers Recalled for Potential Injury Hazards

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Kolcraft has issued a defective product recall for 36,000 of its Contours Options three- and four-wheeled strollers because it could pose laceration or fingertip amputation hazards. According to Consumer Reports, a child’s or adult’s finger can get caught in the opening formed when locking and unlocking the hinge mechanism that adjusts the handlebars, presenting an amputation and laceration hazard. So far, Kolcraft and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have received five reports of injuries involving the hinge mechanism, including three incidents where children’s fingertips were amputated. In two cases, adults’ fingers were lacerated or smashed.

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