Nissan Vans Recalled for Rollaway Risks, Chevy Vans Recalled for Fire Hazards

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Nissan is issuing an auto defect recall for 18,880 NV commercial vans to repair shifter cables that could cause the transmission to not engage park. According to an MSN news report, certain 2012-13 NV models have a shifter mounted on the steering-wheel column that is susceptible to road vibrations and could knock the shifter cable out of position. The NV is a new high-top commercial van that was introduced in 2011.

Two Vehicle Recalls

Nissan filed a document with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating that a lock clip was installed incorrectly on certain vehicles. As a result, the shifter may not match the selected gear making a rollaway possible. The Japanese automaker said it discovered the problem through a warranty claim in December and that no injuries or related accidents have been reported. When the recall begins on April 8, Nissan dealers will inspect and reposition the faulty clip.

In another campaign Chevrolet is recalling its 48 Express CNGs, vans converted to run on compressed natural gas. A vent pipe, which normally expels excess gas pressure to the outside air could instead expel the gas into the passenger compartment posing a fire hazard. Only 2011 models equipped with four CNG tanks are included in this recall. Impco Automotive, the company that retrofits GM’s vans to run on CNG, will fix the pressure-relief device and vent pipe at the end of March when the recall begins.

Auto Product Liability Issues

Both these vehicle recalls involve dangerous defects that could cause catastrophic injuries or even death. If you have been injured in a car accident involving a recalled vehicle, please preserve the vehicle in its current crashed condition unaltered so it can be thoroughly examined for vehicle defects, malfunctions, design defects and other evidence.

Injured victims can seek compensation from the manufacturer of the defective auto by filing a product liability claim. Victims or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced auto product defect lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the case and ensure that their legal rights are protected. The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free initial consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

Toyota Recalls 310,000 SUVs for Defective Seatbelts

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Toyota is recalling about 310,000 of its FJ Cruiser SUVs, the majority of which were sold in the United States, due to defective seatbelts. According to an NBC news report, the problem involves seatbelts that could fail due to excessive wear and use.

Toyota explained in a statement that the seatbelt retractors for the driver and front passenger seatbelts are mounted on the rear door of vehicles. Due to the insufficient strength of the rear door panel, cracks may develop over a period of time if the rear door is repeatedly and forcefully closed, the Japanese automaker said.

This latest recall involves 310,000 of the vehicles, which covers the 2007 through 2013 mode years. Of those vehicles, 209,000 were sold in the United States and another 52,000 were sold in the Middle East. Other countries involved in the recall include China, Australia and Canada. Toyota will notify owners once it comes up with a specific solution for the problem. This recall comes less than two months after Toyota recalled more than 1 million vehicles due to problems with defective airbags and windshield wipers.

Toyota Safety Recalls

Toyota has created for itself a reputation for quality and long-term reliability. But that was shaken to the core when the automaker recalled millions of vehicles for sticky gas pedals and faulty floor mats that caused sudden acceleration problems. In 2012 alone, Toyota recalled 3.9 million vehicles for safety issues. In addition, the automaker has been slapped with millions of dollars in fines for failing to meet federal recall guidelines.

Defective Seatbelts 

When seatbelts have the potential to fail in any vehicle, the occupants are exposed to significant danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in night car crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours. Any way you analyze the numbers, it will quickly become apparent that seatbelts have played a significant role in bringing down the number of fatal car accidents in the United States over the last two decades.

Product Liability Issues

When seatbelt failure causes injuries to vehicle occupants, the injured victims can file a product liability claim against the automaker and/or the maker of the seatbelt. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. An experienced auto product liability attorney can help injured victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options in such cases.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/toyota-recalls-310-000-suvs-seatbelt-problem-1C8895938

Salmonella Warning Causes Protien Bar Recall

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a consumer alert warning against eating certain ProtiDiet High Protein Chocolate Dream bars, which may possibly be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the manufacturer, Pro-Amino International Inc., has recalled the protein bars, which are sold in packages of seven.

These products have been recalled in several states including California, as well as online. Consumers are urged not to eat these potentially contaminated bars and either throw them away or return to the seller. So far, the FDA says no illnesses have been reported as a result of these products.

Salmonella Statistics and Symptoms

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, public health departments nationwide documented 1,527 food poisoning outbreaks resulting in 23 deaths, 1,184 hospitalizations and 29,444 illnesses. Salmonella accounted for 30 percent of these outbreaks and 49 percent of food-borne illness related hospitalizations.

Salmonella is one of the most common food-borne illnesses. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, painful abdominal cramping and fever. Symptoms may develop 12 to 72 hours after the infection and the illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but in some cases the diarrhea and dehydration may be so severe that hospitalization may become necessary. Infants, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems are at highest risk.

Consumers’ Rights

Anyone who has been sickened by a contaminated or defective product has legal rights. Product manufacturers, including food producers, have a duty and responsibility to provide clean and safe products for consumers.

Victims of food poisoning can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California personal injury attorney who has successfully handled food poisoning cases will be able to advise victims regarding their legal rights and options. If you have been sickened by a contaminated food product, please isolate the product so it can be tested in a laboratory and report your illness to the local healthcare agency.

Chrysler Recalls Dodge Challenger Vehicles for Fire Risk

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Chrysler is issuing an auto defect recall for about 2,500 Dodge Challenger muscle cars with V-6 engines because of a short in a wiring circuit that can set them on fire. The Associated Press reports that the owners are also being told not to park their cars in a garage or near a structure until the problem can be fixed. The cars are from the 2013 model year and have V-6 engines. They were made during an eight-week period that ended January 24, 2013.

Chrysler has not identified precisely where the short occurred, but said it is “in a place that most owners would never see.” So far, seven fires were reported. The fires caused vehicle damage, but no one was reported injured.

Chrysler is in the process of notifying owners by telephone and by mail. The automaker will provide loaner cars until repairs are made at no cost to owners. Chrysler will also make arrangements to transport the cars to dealerships to make the repairs. Challenger owners who have questions are asked to contact their dealers. This Chrysler recall also affects another 1,900 cars on dealer lots that have yet to be sold.

The Danger of Vehicle Fires

Vehicle fires are a serious problem in the United States and a number of these fires are caused by vehicle defects and malfunctions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports there has been a drop in the number of vehicle fires in recent years. The association reports that there were 184,500 passenger vehicle fires including 285 deaths and 1,440 injuries nationwide in 2010. The cost of damages due to these fires was approximately $1 billion.

Holding Car Manufacturers Accountable

Vehicle fires can cause not only damage to the vehicle or property, but they could also result in catastrophic or fatal burn injuries. Those who own these vehicles that have been recalled would be well advised to the contact the dealer immediately and schedule the free repair that has been offered.

Anyone who has been injured in a car fire caused by a defective auto part should get prompt medical treatment and contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who will fight for their rights and hold the negligent automaker or manufacturer accountable. The vehicle in question should be preserved unaltered so that an expert can thoroughly analyze it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence.

Nissan Recalls Vehicles for Defective Airbag Sensor

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Nissan is recalling five of its 2013 models for faulty sensors that may permanently turn off the front seat passenger airbag. According to a news report in The Washington Post, the recalled vehicles include the 2013 Nissan Altima mid-size sedan, the Pathfinder SUV, the Leaf electric car, the Sentra compact sedan and the Infiniti JX35 SUV. Nissan has not determined the number of vehicles involved in the recall or the manufacture dates for these vehicles.

Airbags May Not Deploy

A bulletin issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the problem involves sensors used to determine occupant weight in the passenger seat that may have been built out of specification. Defective airbag sensors could cause the airbag system to malfunction and block airbag deployment in the event of a crash. The automaker said it began to notice an increase in warranty claims relating to the supplemental airbag warning light and/or the passenger airbag status light on certain 2013 vehicles last December.

Nissan officials say no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of this problem. When the recall begins, Nissan will notify owners and dealers will inspect sensors in the occupant detection system (ODS) and replace them as necessary. Anyone who owns 2013 Nissan or Infiniti vehicles that are involved in this recall campaign are asked to contact the automaker at 1-800-647-7261 or visit NHTSA’s website at www.safercar.gov.

Injuries and Compensation

According to NHTSA, there were 284 airbag-related deaths between the years 1990 and 2007 of which 180 were children. Common injuries related to airbags include facial injuries, broken bones, loss of hearing, blindness, whiplash, airbag burns, head injuries and severe bruising. We have come to count on airbags to give us that extra layer of protection in the event of a crash. When airbags fail to deploy, there is the potential for catastrophic or even fatal injuries.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured as a result of an airbag defect or any other auto product defect, please contact a reputed products liability lawyer who has successfully handled airbag defect cases. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Families that have lost loved ones as a result of airbag failure or other auto defects can file a wrongful death claim against the automaker seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Honda Recalls 250,000 Vehicles Worldwide for Defective Brakes

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Honda Motor Company is recalling nearly 250,000 vehicles worldwide for defects that can suddenly apply a vehicle’s brakes without its driver’s involvement. According to a news report in The Associated Press, so far, no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of these defective vehicles.

The Japanese automaker has announced that it is recalling more than 183,000 vehicles in the United States including the Acura RL, Acura MDX and Pilot models. More than 56,000 vehicles were recalled in Japan including the Odyssey and Legend Model.

In addition, 8,000 vehicles in Canada, 1,000 in Australia, 300 in Mexico and 70 in Germany, are being recalled. The recalled autos were manufactured between March 2004 and May 2006. Some drivers complained about the braking issue including 17 in Japan and one in the U.S. Officials say the braking problem is caused by “improper electronics and wiring in the vehicle-stability-assist system.”

Federal Probe

We reported in October about a probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after a Honda Pilot owner in Massachusetts reported that her 2005 Pilot would suddenly stop without her applying the brakes. A New York Times article stated that there was a total of 185 examples of “unexpected braking.”

Many vehicle owners complained that their cars quickly decelerated from highway speeds to near stop in highway travel lanes. At the time, federal investigators said they identified fault conditions that may result in false detection of a panic stop by the Brake Assist system resulting in unexpected, severe brake application.

Dangerous Defects

When the brakes are applied inadvertently or without warning, there is the potential for serious injury crashes. I trust NHTSA is looking into when Honda knew about these defective brakes and whether the manufacturer recalled the vehicles in a timely manner.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle, it would be in your best interest to preserve the vehicle unaltered so it can be examined by an expert for any evidence of defects and malfunctions. If you own one of the vehicles included in this Honda recall, please get your vehicle examined for any potential problems.

New Ford Vehicles Recalled for Defective Child Safety Locks

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Ford Motor Company is recalling about 6,500 new vehicles in the United States and Canada to replace a defective rear door lock that may have a faulty child safety mechanism. According to a news report in The Detroit News, the Dearborn automaker is recalling some 2013 Ford Focus, C-Max and Escape vehicles because the child lock on the left rear door may have been installed incorrectly.

In correspondence to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford officials said that the child lock may not engage when the operator uses normal turning force to activate it and the operator may incorrectly believe that the child lock is engaged.

Faulty Installation of Safety Locks

Ford has said that it is not aware of any crashes or injuries connected to the recall. This auto defect recall covers 5,675 vehicles in the United States and 859 in Canada. The vehicles were all built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne and Louisville from November 16 to November 21, 2012.

When the recall begins, dealers will replace the defective child safety locks. Owners should start receiving their notices by the end of the month. Ford has said that it temporarily halted shipment of vehicles on after it found out about the problem and initiated an investigation into the issue. During this investigation, Ford officials say they learned a supplier had sent a mixed stock of parts, which led to the faulty latches being installed.

Serious Dangers to Young Children

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. In 2009, 1,314 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes and about 179,000 were injured. One CDC study even found that in one year more than 618,000 children ages 0 to 12 rode in vehicles without the use of child safety seats of booster sear or a seat belt at least some of the time.

Child safety locks in vehicles offer an extra layer of safety and protection for our young ones. When these locks fail to work the way they are supposed to, the consequences can be devastating.

If your child has been injured as a result of a defective child safety lock, you may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer by filing a product liability claim. An experienced product liability attorney will be able to give more information to injured victims and their families about pursuing their legal rights.

Bumble Bee Tuna Cans Recalled for Potential Contamination

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Bumble Bee Foods has issued a voluntary recall for specific codes of five-ounce Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light tuna products because of loose seals that may lead to spoilage or bacterial contamination. According to a CBS news report, Tri-Union Seafoods LLC also announced a recall of many lots of its Chicken of the Sea cans for improper packaging and the risk of contamination as well.

A statement from Bumble Bee says that the products included in this recall do not meet the company’s standards for seal tightness. Loose seals could cause the food to spoil or result in contamination that could sicken consumers.

So far, no illnesses have been reported as a result of these defective products. Consumers are urged to visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s web site for a complete list of the recalled products. Company officials say their top priority is to remove the recalled products from distribution. Consumers who have purchased these products are asked to discard them and contact Bumble Bee at 1-800-800-8572 with any questions or concerns.

Food Poisoning Statistics

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), salmonella is the most common type of food-borne illness in the United States followed by Campylobacter, listeria and E. coli. Each year more than 48 million Americans suffer from some type of food-borne illnesses. Also, bacterial infections such as salmonella and E. coli poisoning result in a majority of hospitalizations when it comes to food-borne illnesses.

Preventing Food Poisoning

There are several safety measures that can be taken to handle food safely and prevent food poisoning:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before and after handling any raw meat, fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure that foods are stored at the right temperatures. For example, refrigerate and freeze foods that need to be chilled right away.
  • If you are cooking meat, use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly.
  • Wash utensils and disinfect surfaces before and after use to prevent cross-contamination.

If you or a loved one has become ill as a result of contaminated food, please isolate and preserve the food so it can be tested in a lab. Also, report your illness to the local health care agency. If you have suffered losses, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.

Ford Subject to Recall Over Stalling Issues

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Ford Motor Company’s cars and SUVs for stalling or surging engine problems.  The investigation will cover about 725,000 vehicles including the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner as well as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan.  All models were manufactured between 2009 and 2011.

How The Investigation Began

According to data collected by the NHTSA and Ford, at least 1,500 drivers have experienced sudden loss of power that can lead to crashes.  So far, there have been three reports of collisions, one with an injury.

The NHTSA became involved because the North Carolina Consumers Council had received many complaints about the vehicles and petitioned for an investigation.  Any non-profit consumer safety group can petition the NHTSA to look into problems related to safety in vehicles.  So far, a recall has not been issued but the agency has not ruled out that possibility.

Ford reported that vehicles manufactured between June 22, 2009, and October 15, 2009, may contain faulty circuit boards that control vehicle throttle.  The supplier worked with Ford to change the manufacturing process, and no more problems were reported after October 2009.

However, the NHTSA has decided to investigate vehicles manufactured after that date due to the fact that owners of 2010 and 2011 vehicles have also reported the problem.  Ford has also received more than 27,500 warranty claims for throttle problems.

Can I Be Injured By A Recall Problem?

Every year, people are injured in crashes related to recall issues.  Sudden unintended acceleration has been one of the most deadly forms of recall problems in recent years, but other problems also lead to death and injury.  Exploding tires, sudden losses of power, and seizing of axles or steering wheels could precipitate a deadly crash or one that causes serious injuries.

Those who are affected by vehicle recalls should take care of the problem immediately according to the manufacturer’s or NHTSA’s directions.  Ignoring a recall issue could lead to serious personal injury or death.

Can I Collect Damages for a Recall Injury?

A recall does not relieve the manufacturer of legal responsibility for the damages caused by a crash that occurs due to auto defects.  When a manufacturer creates or produces a product that injures others, that manufacturer may have to pay compensation to anyone who is injured through the use of the product.  This is known as the theory of product liability.

In order for a manufacturer to be liable for damages caused by a product, the following must be true:

  • The manufacturer was responsible for the design, production or marketing of the product.
  • The produce was deficient in design or manufacture or the company marketed the product inaccurately or dishonestly.
  • The victim was injured while using the product in the intended manner and made no unauthorized modifications to the product.

In the case of recall defects, the products usually meet the test for manufacturer liability when drivers are injured.  A personal injury attorney can help victims recover damages for injuries they sustain due to these defective products.

Quadratec Recalls Defective Floor Liners Due to Acceleration Issue

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a recall of Quadratec, Inc.’s, floor liners designed for use in Jeep Wranglers due to a possible sudden unintended acceleration issues.  According to the NHTSA, the liner’s anchor point may tear during use, especially if the liners are exposed to high temperatures.  This tearing may allow the liners to shift forward, depressing the accelerator and possibly resulting in a crash.

Quadratec Floor Liners May Be Hazardous

So far, there have been no injuries reported as a result of this issue.  The defective auto part recall is expected to affect 15,836 floor liners manufactured to fit Jeep Wrangler models between 2007 and 2003. The part numbers for the affected floor liners are as follows:

  • 14254.0301 07
  • 14254.0301 08
  • 14254.0301Q
  • 14254.0302 07
  • 14254.0302 08
  • 14254.0302Q
  • 14254.0303 07
  • 14254.0303 08
  • 14254.0303Q
  • 14254.0309 07
  • 14254.0309 08
  • 14254.0309Q

These liners were sold as aftermarket parts between May 1, 2012, and February 14, 2013.

The company plans to notify owners and exchange the liners or provide a hook guard kit that will help to secure the mat to the floor without shifting.  Concerned owners can contact the company at 1-800-463-2998 or info@quadratec.com for more information on the recall or to find out how to return the floor mats.

This recall is limited to Quadratec products and is being conducted by the company in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Jeep/Wrangler is not a part of the recall.  Those with questions may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Recalls Attempt to Mitigate Damages

Companies who find that their products may be hazardous to the public often issue recalls in order to prevent accidents and injuries.  However, this does not necessarily relieve the company of liability if an accident is caused by a defective product.

Manufacturers have a duty to provide products for the public that are safe and do not cause injury.  If a manufacturer knowingly or unknowingly releases a dangerous product on the market, that company can be held liable for damages.  This means that companies must exercise strict quality control measures to ensure that their products are safe for consumption by the public.

In recent years, car manufacturers have experienced a rash of recalls over poorly-designed or poorly-made products that pose the threat of injury to users.  Many of these manufacturers have issued multiple recalls in an attempt to fix these problems.

Sudden Unintended Acceleration or SUI has been a problems for several car manufacturers, most notably Toyota.  While Toyota attempted to blame floor mats for its problems, recent data appears to point to other factors such as computerized engine components, although the company denies this claim.  In the case of the Quadratec floor mats, however, there is no doubt that the company’s product has contributed to SUI issues in Jeep vehicles.

What Should I Do If I Am A Victim of SUI?

If you experience an accident caused by sudden unintended acceleration, it is important that you talk with a recall injury attorney immediately to protect your rights.  A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover damages for the injuries sustained in such an accident.

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