Nestle Recalls Hot Pockets as Part of Massive Meat Recall

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Nestle USA is recalling 238,000 cases of its Hot Pockets pastries because they may contain meat included in a massive recall of nearly 9 million pounds of potentially diseased and unsound beef products. According to an NBC News report, three different sizes of Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets and Hot Pockets Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese products in the two-pack box are part of the voluntary recall announced this week. Nestle officials say the firm used meat produced by California-based Rancho Feeding Corp. Last week, the plant recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef parts including whole carcasses and heads, feet, livers and so-called “mountain oysters” among other items. More

Federal Safety Agency Says 22 Million Vehicles Were Recalled in 2013

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airbag recallThe U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is out with its list of the top 10 recalled vehicles in 2013 and Toyota has topped the list for the second year in a row. According to a news report in The New York Times, cars and trucks from Toyota and its Lexus brand were among the almost 22 million vehicles recalled last year in 632 actions. In 2012, 16.4 million vehicles were recalled in 581 actions. The recall numbers in 2013 are the highest since 2004, when recalled vehicles hit 30.8 million.

 Top 10 Carmakers Who Recalled Vehicles

Toyota’s recalls included about 1.6 million vehicles involved in two recalls for airbags that could deploy suddenly. In one case electronic interference was blamed and in another, spider webs blocking drain holes. Second on the list was Chrysler with 4.7 million vehicles recalled in 36 actions. More

Automakers and Dealers Oppose Rental Car Recall Bill

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Automakers are being criticized for objecting to a bill that would mandate rental car companies to park all recalled vehicles until they are repaired. According to a report in Detroit Press, car manufacturers say they are concerned about a proposed law that could force them to fix rental cars before repairing individual owners’ cars. Automakers are also worried, they say, that rental companies could sue them for lost revenue while recalled vehicles are out of commission.

Objection from Corporations

The opposition to this rental recall bill comes from an alliance representing Detroit’s big three automakers as well as Toyota and Volkswagen among others. The alliance also includes the National Automobile Dealers Association, which represents 16,000 new car dealers. Senator Barbara Boxer, who got major rental firms to agree to back her bill to stop leasing out unrepaired, recalled vehicles, shot down the idea that rental car companies get first dibs at repairs if this legislation passes.

Bill Has Tragic Origins

As is the case with many bills and laws that had tragic origins, this one, named the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act, is named after two young women, sisters, who were killed in 2004 while driving a rental car that had been recalled for a defective power steering hose that could cause a fire. The sisters were killed when the car, which the rental company had not repaired, caught fire and crashed head-on into a truck. Their mother, Cally Houck, has been pushing for congressional action to prevent such accidents in the future.

Saving Precious Lives

It is heartbreaking that it often takes these types of tragedies to bring about positive change in our communities and our country. Unrepaired recalled vehicles – whether they are on our roadways, an auto dealership or in the parking lot of a rental car company ready to be leased out – are extremely dangerous.

As a auto defect lawyer who represents victims of defective auto accidents and their families, I can only hope for the passage of this bill, which requires every company that rents out cars – be it a large, nationwide company or a small local used car dealer – to fix these hazardous defects before someone gets behind the wheel. It is also important to remember that recalled cars not only endanger the lives of drivers and vehicle occupants, but also the lives of everyone one shares the roadways – other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and other commuters. Of course, automakers and dealers worry about the financial consequences and their bottom line. But for many of us, this bill is a matter of life and death.

Honda Recalls 44,000 Fit Sport Vehicles Due to Defective Stability Control

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Honda has recalled nearly 44,000 2012-13 Honda Fit Sport models because of a problem with the cars’ electronic stability control system. The New York Times reports that Honda will update the software on the “vehicle stability assist” to rectify the problem. Honda officials said that the Fit Sport’s stability control system was programmed according to the handling characteristics of the Bridgestone Turanza tire model. However, some vehicles were equipped with Dunlop SP tires.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the system did not react as quickly as it should have to stop a slide. The Fit Sport is different from the standard Fit because it has larger tires and a rear stabilizer bar. The Honda Fit’s vehicle stability assist system basically uses sensors and a computer to determine if the vehicle is moving in a direction at odds with what the driver is doing with the steering wheel. The system then applies the brakes on single wheels to try and correct the movement.

Danger of a Rollover

Honda says the stability control system can cause the car to tilt too far before it applies the brakes to prevent a crash. This software glitch could cause the vehicle to tip over or roll over. The defect was discovered in government testing of the vehicle models.

Honda says so far no crashes or injuries have been linked to this defective vehicle. Honda dealers will update the system’s software free of charge when the recall notifications begin in mid-May. So far, this year alone, Honda has recalled about 183,000 vehicles for problems with the electronic stability control system, which could cause the vehicles to slow down unexpectedly.

NHTSA has required electronic stability control as standard equipment on all light duty vehicles. These systems are said to significantly reduce the chance of a rollover accident. Rollover crashes, according to NHTSA, account for about 30 percent of all traffic accident deaths. In fact, NHTSA estimates that when all cars have stability control systems, up to 9,600 lives will be saved each year in the United States.

Liability Issues

But, when these systems fail to function as they are expected to, the consequences can be devastating for vehicle occupants. Apart from fatal injuries, rollovers can also cause catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma and spinal cord damage that could result in paralysis.

Anyone who has been in a rollover crash caused by a defective vehicle would be well advised to contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who has a successful track record of fighting large automakers on behalf of injured consumers, and holding them accountable.

Subaru Issues Safety Recall for Defective Brakes

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Subaru has issued an auto defect recall for about 200,000 Legacy and Outback all-wheel-drive vehicles in the United States because the brake lines in these vehicles can rust and leak fluid. According to an Associated Press news report, the recall affects cars from the 2005 through 2009 model years sold in 20 states and Washington D.C. where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.

Subaru filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating that salty water can cause the brake lines in these vehicles to rust and leak. If fluid leaks, it could take longer for drivers to stop the cars thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

Recall and Repairs

A spokesman for Subaru stated that the problem was discovered during internal testing and that no related crashes or injuries have been reported. Owners of these vehicles are asked to take them to a Subaru dealer for inspections. The vehicles involved in this recall were made between December 2003 and April 2009. Although the company sold more than 400,000 Legacy and Outback vehicles during the affected years, Subaru estimates that only 200,000 are covered by this recall.

When the recall begins, Subaru dealers will check the cars for leaks. If leaks are found, then dealers will replace the brake lines at no cost to consumers. If there are no leaks, mechanics will apply an anti-corrosion wax as a preventive measure.

Used Car Buyers Beware!

When a car has braking problems, there is the potential for serious injury crashes. In this particular case, Subaru officials say that the defective brakes can cause longer stopping distances. This could put not only the vehicle’s occupants at risk, but also others on the roadway such as pedestrians and bicyclists. This also appears to be a recall limited to 20 states. These types of recalls are problematic because car sales often occur across state borders.

If you are getting ready to buy a used car, please be sure to check NHTSA’s website, www.safercar.gov to find out if the vehicle you are about to buy has been recalled. It is absolutely worth it to take this time to do the research when it comes to the car you’ll be driving. If you have been injured in a crash involving a recalled vehicle, please preserve the vehicle so it can be examined by an expert thoroughly for defects and malfunctions. An experienced auto product liability lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.

 

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.

Special K Cereal Recalled for Possible Glass Fragments

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Kellogg Company is recalling several batches of its Special K Red Berries cereal because they may be contaminated with glass pieces. According to an NBC news report, the recall was precautionary because glass was found in a single batch of one of the ingredients.

Kellogg has said that no consumer injuries were reported as a result of this contamination. Those who purchased the recalled items may call Kellogg’s consumer center at 1-800-962-1413. The company will provide coupons to replace the cereal.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans will get sick as a result of food contamination or food poisoning each year, resulting in about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 fatalities.

Prior Kellogg Cereal Recalls

This is not the first time that Kellogg’s has recalled cereal products for contamination. In October, the company recalled about 2.8 million packages of Mini-Wheats due to the possibility of mesh fragments that may be mixed up with cereal. In 2010, the company recalled many popular brands of its cereal including Fruit Loops, Corn Pops, Apple Jacks and Honey Smacks over strange smell and flavors, which were later attributed to packages.

Food Producers’ Responsibilities

Food manufacturers have a responsibility to produce items that are safe for consumers. A number of food-borne illnesses and injuries caused by contaminated food can be avoided if food manufacturers are diligent about following federal food safety standards. Each year, millions are sickened as a result of contaminated food products.

Anyone who has been injured or sickened by tainted food would be well advise to immediately stop consuming the food, isolate it and place it in a separate bag do it can be tested in a laboratory for contaminants. It would also be a good idea to report the incident to your local healthcare agency, which maintains a record of these incidents and helps identify a trend or an outbreak.

Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation from the manufacturer for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to advise product defect victims regarding their legal rights and options.

Toys Recalled Due to Potential Choking Hazards

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Cleveland-based Dunecraft Inc. is issuing a defective product recall for a series of marble-sized toys including Water Balz, Skulls, Orbs and Flower toys, that expand when place in water. The recall involves about 95,100 Dunecraft products sold in U.S. and Canada at retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond. According to a Consumer Reports article, the toys can be swallowed and cause a life-threatening condition. Officials also say that the ingested toys are not visible on hospital x-rays and must be surgically removed from the boy. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a statement that an 8-month-old Texas girl ingested a Water Balz toy and needed surgery to get it removed in August 2011.

Injuries and Fatalities Relating to Toys

According to a CPSC report, in 2010, the agency received reports of 17 deaths and 251,000 injuries that were linked to toys. The report states that balloons and small balls were associated with 47 percent of the reported deaths in 2010. A majority of the deaths (11) were from choking while drowning caused four deaths.

Taking the Necessary Precautions

These are defective toys that should not be in the market in the first place. However, during this holiday season, store shelves are flooded with dangerous and defective children’s products that can put our little ones in harm’s way. The best way to protect our children is to be aware of the hazardous products out there so we do not bring them into our homes in the first place. Safety experts warn that when it comes to choosing toys, safety comes first. They say if it fits through a toilet paper tube, it’s a choking hazard and a young child should not have access to it.

Product Liability Issues

If a dangerous or defective toy has injured you or a loved one, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages by filing a product liability claim against the toy manufacturer. In such cases, victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, treatment costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In the case of a fatal injury, family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages. Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will be able to advise them about their legal rights and options.

Toyota Recalls 2.8 Million Defective Vehicles

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Toyota is issuing a vehicle defect recall for 2.8 million cars including its high-profile Prius hybrid models. According to an NBC News report, the most recent recall is the result of a water pump problem and a steering shaft defect. These defects can result in steering problems on a variety of Toyota models using the components. The steering shaft defect is involved in the recall of vehicles including the Corolla and Prius models. About 620,000 of those vehicles may also be equipped with the defective water pump.

Vehicles that may need both parts repaired were sold between 2001 and 2010 in Japan and from 2003 to 2011 in the United States. Another 10,000 Toyota vehicles are being recalled solely due to the faulty water pump. This recall is being viewed as a significant setback for Toyota, according to the news article. One month ago, the Japanese automaker announced its biggest recall ever for a single part – 7.4 million vehicles over a faulty power window switch that could pose a fire hazard.

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Britax Child Safety Seats Recalled for Potential Choking Danger

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Car seat manufacturer Britax has issued a defective product recall for children’s safety seats and boosters due to a potential choking hazard. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the chest pads in these safety seats are made of a softer material that could come apart if the child bites or chews on it. If that happens the pieces could become a choking hazard. The recall involved 55,455 restraints.

Once the recall begins, Britax will provide replacement pads made of firmer material, with instructions on how to install them. Those who own these seats are asked to remove the current pads and continue to use the seat until the replacements arrive. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call Britax at 1-888-427-4829.

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