Manufacturer Recalls Bicycles for Potential Crash Danger

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Specialized Bicycle Components Inc. has issued a defective product recall for about 12,000 bicycles because a part can break off and cause riders to fall down and get injured. According to a news report in The Associated Press, the company made the announcement along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stating that the front fork of the bicycles can break. So far, the company has received four reports of these front forks breaking. Victims have suffered facial fractures, head and shoulder injuries as well as lacerations as a result of these defective bicycles.

The recall includes some 2008 and 2009 models of Globe bicycles for both women and men, which were sold from July 2007 through July 2012. Consumers are asked to stop using these recalled bicycles right away and take them to an authorized dealer to have the faulty fork uninstalled and replaced at no cost.

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Rental Car Companies Agree not to Rent or Sell Recalled Vehicles

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The four largest rental car companies in the country have agreed to requests made by two senators who are pushing for legislation to prevent rental companies from renting or selling defective vehicles that have not yet been repaired. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, Senators Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer announced the agreement Thursday with Hertz, Avis, Enterprise and Dollar Thrifty, the four most popular rental companies in the United States.

The companies have said they will support the law, which will for the first time put them under federal oversight on recalls. The push for this new law came from Cally Houck, the mother of Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline, 20, who were both killed in a fiery crash in 2004 while returning to the Bay Area after visiting their mother in Ojai.

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Toyota Yaris Ranks Poorly in Injury Crashes

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The Highway Loss Data Institute released a report based on insurance data for vehicle model years 2009 to 2011, which shows that people traveling in a Toyota Yaris are more likely to get injured than occupants of any other vehicle. According to the Los Angeles Times, the institute found that personal injury claims were filed 28.5 times for every 1,000 Yaris vehicles that were insured by the industry.

Next to the Yaris, the Suzuki SX4, a small crossover, had the second highest risk of injury to occupants posting 26.6 claims per thousand vehicles insured. Other vehicles that scored poorly in terms of occupant safety include the Chevy Aveo, Mitsubishi Galant, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa and Sentra, Hyundai Accent and the Dodge Avenger. It is interesting to note that the vehicles with the highest injury claims are also small cars.

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Man Killed in Angeles Crest Highway Motorcycle Accident

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Dan Cretu, 38, was killed in a Los Angeles County motorcycle crash, after he lost control of his cycle near mile marker 27 of the Angeles Crest Highway. According to a report in The Pasadena Star-News, the fatal accident occurred the morning of September 22, 2012 in La Canada Flintridge about four miles north of the 210 Freeway. Cretu was riding a 2012 Aprilia motorcycle when it veered off the right side of the roadway and struck a sign, California Highway Patrol officials said. Cretu was thrown off his motorcycle and landed on a dirt and grass embankment. He was transported to an area hospital where he died. Officials are still looking into what caused this fatal injury accident.

I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Dan Cretu for their terrible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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Trader Joe’s Supplier Recalls Peanut Butter for Salmonella Contamination

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Sunland Inc., which makes the Trader Joe’s brand peanut butter, has recalled 76 different defective products due to the possibility of salmonella contamination. According to an NBC News report, the company has recalled three brands of Trader Joe’s peanut butter and almond butter. The products have been linked to 29 infections in 18 states including California caused by the rare salmonella Bredeney. Sunland is also recalling peanut and almond products sold under popular brands including Archer’s, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Heinen’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Sprout’s and Serious Food. The products have best-by dates between May 1, 2013 and September 24, 2013.

The food poisoning cases linked to these products were reported between June 11 and September 2, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far four people have been hospitalized. The company is recalling the products although officials say they have not detected positive results for the rare salmonella strain in the products. Symptoms of a salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and cramping. The illness may last four to seven days. Some people who become more seriously ill may require hospitalization.

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General Motors Recalls Vehicles for Transmission Issues

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General Motors is issuing an auto defect recall for nearly 474,000 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn cars due to transmission problems, which can cause the cars to roll away unexpectedly. According to a news report in The Associated Press, the vehicle recall affects 2007 to 2010 Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura vehicles, many of them in the United States. All the vehicles involved in this recall have four-speed automatic transmissions.

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Young Football Player Killed in Accident Caused by Tire Tread Separation

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Even Perez, 10, was killed in a car accident in California after the vehicle in which he was a passenger went out of control and crashed, the morning of September 15, 2012. According to a news account in The Hanford Sentinel, the fatal SUV rollover crash occurred on the 5 Freeway south of Derrick Avenue near Coalinga. California Highway Patrol officials say that 2001 Mitsubishi SUV was traveling at about 70 mph when the tread on the left rear tire separated.

The SUV overturned into the center median and three out of the six passengers, including Even, were ejected. Even died at the scene. His mother, Alma Lopez-Diaz, 37, and four other passengers were transported to a Fresno hospital. They were identified as Even’s three siblings and one other child – 13-year-old Eddie Lopez, Christian Cervantes, 9, Alex Alukya and Rosemary Perez, both 12.

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FDA Halts Imports of Mexican Mangoes due to Salmonella Contamination

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is putting a hold on mango imports from a Mexican packinghouse after the company’s mangoes have been related to food-borne illnesses in 15 states including California. According to an Associated Press news report, the FDA announced the safety alert against Agricola Daniella, a mango supplier with multiple plantations and one packinghouse in Sinaloa, Mexico. This alert basically means that the U.S. government will not accept any further imports from the company unless it can show testing that proves that the mangoes are no longer contaminated.

The company’s mangoes have been linked to salmonella illnesses in 15 states. So far, 121 people have been sickened. No deaths have been reported. A California importer recalled the Daniella brand mangoes last month after they were linked to dozens of illnesses nationwide, a majority of them in California. Various retailers sold those mangoes from July 12 to August 29.

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Man Killed in Monrovia Car Accident

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Jimmy Hughes Jr., 37, was killed in a Los Angeles County car accident after he lost control of his SUV and crashed into another vehicle. According to a City News Service report, the fatal crash occurred on the 134 Freeway near Harvey Drive in Monrovia, the morning of September 14, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Hughes was westbound on the freeway when he lost control of his Chevy Suburban SUV, which went off the shoulder, across the median and into eastbound lanes. The SUV then collided with a Toyota Solara and overturned. Hughes sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the Toyota Solara suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jimmy Hughes Jr. for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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Government Probes Ford Crown Victoria Steering Issues

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Federal officials have launched a vehicle defect investigation into Ford Crown Victoria police cars after complaints regarding possibly faulty steering columns. According to a news article in The Associated Press, the probe affects about 195,000 cars from the 2005 through 2008 model years. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received three complaints that part of the steering column can separate and result in loss of steering control. No crashes or injuries have yet been reported. During the investigation, officials will determine whether the vehicles in question are defective and whether a safety recall is warranted.

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