Federal Officials Investigating Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable Cars for Sudden Acceleration

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching an investigation into 310,000 older model Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable vehicles after reports of unintended sudden acceleration. According to an article in the Detroit News, the federal auto safety agency is conducting a preliminary investigation on 2000 and 2003 Taurus and Sable models and has so far received 50 complaints regarding incidents involving stuck throttles. The defect is apparently due to the failure of a plastic bracket that holds the speed control cable in place. The vehicles that are a part of this probe are equipped with 3.0L V6 Duratec engines.

The fractured bracket in these vehicles allows the cable to move, which may cause the throttle to stick. A number of these failures occur in vehicles that have more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. So far, no car accidents or injuries have been linked to this potential vehicle defect.


Nissan Recalls Altima Vehicles for Incorrectly Torqued Bolts

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Nissan has issued a vehicle defect recall for about 13,919 of its 2012-2013 Altima sedans because they may have been equipped with incorrectly torqued transverse link bolts and power steering rack bolts. According to an article in Consumer Reports, the bolts could become loose and fall out leading to loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a car crash. This recall involves Nissan Altima vehicles made between May 10 and July 26, 2012. When the recall begins at the end of the month, Nissan will notify owners and dealers will tighten the bolts to the proper torque specifications at no charge to car owners.


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.


FDA Traces Salmonella Outbreak to Cantaloupe

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Hundreds of people have suffered from food poisoning because of a salmonella outbreak that the US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has traced to contaminated cantaloupe. According to an alert put out by the FDA, the contaminated cantaloupe was collected at the Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana. The salmonella found in the cantaloupe is linked to a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis that has already resulted in 178 reported illnesses.

Consumers who have recently purchased cantaloupe should ask their retailers where the cantaloupes were grown and whether it is safe to eat. Washing the potentially contaminated fruit will not help as the bacteria is inside the cantaloupe. Cutting into the contaminated food can also be dangerous as it could allow harmful bacteria to surface. FDA officials have one piece of advise for consumers: When in doubt, throw it out.


Castaic Man Killed in Santa Clarita Area Car Crash

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Anthony Friel, 45, was killed in a Santa Clarita area car accident after he lost control of his Toyota pickup truck and crashed. According to a news report in The Signal, the fatal accident occurred early morning on August 26, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Friel was traveling in the northbound lanes of the Interstate 5, between Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway, at the time of the incident. His truck collided with a sign and then went airborne, before striking a large tree. Friel suffered massive head injuries. He died at the scene. Officials are investigating the cause of the crash.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of Anthony Friel who are mourning the loss of their loved one. I offer my deepest sympathies to them. Friel was apparently a local resident who graduated from Saugus High School and worked as a stagehand.


Mercedes-Benz Recalls SUVs for Defective Floor Mats

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Mercedes-Benz has issued a vehicle defect recall for thousands of SUVs for defective floor mats that can affect the accelerator pedal. According to a Consumer Reports article, the affected vehicles include 8,500 M-Class SUVs from model year 2012 to 2013. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that the ML350, ML550 and ML63 have all-season mats that do not properly conform to the contour of the floor. In some cases, the mats can trap the accelerator pedal making it difficult to slow down or even stop the vehicle as it suddenly accelerates.

It is not clear if any accidents or injuries have been reported in connection with these faulty floor mats. Anyone who owns one of these recalled vehicles is asked to remove the floor mats until free replacements are distributed. It is not clear how long Mercedes-Benz will take to replace the poorly designed mats or when owners will be notified about these defective mats.


SUV Rollover Crash in Temecula Proves Fatal

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Freda Maloseuga, 44, was killed in a Temecula car accident after she lost control of her SUV, the night of August 7, 2012. According to The Press-Enterprise, the SUV rollover crash occurred on the Interstate 15. The victim was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban north on the Interstate 15 near Winchester Road, when the left rear tire began to lose pressure, which led to a tread separation. California Highway Patrol officials say Maloseuga was traveling at about 65 mph when she turned the steering wheel abruptly and lost control. She overcorrected and the SUV began to spin and overturned. Maloseuga was transported to an area hospital where she died from her injuries. A total of seven people were injured in the crash.

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

Car Crash Statistics

According to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were seven fatalities and 367 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in Temecula in 2009. During the same year, 203 people died and 7,974 were injured due to Riverside County car accidents. More

Dehumidifiers Recalled for Fire and Burn Hazards

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a defective product recall for hundreds of thousands of Kenmore dehumidifiers for fire and burn hazards. According to a CPSC report, approximately 795,000 of these defective dehumidifiers are part of the recall. Officials say there have already been 107 reports of incidents resulting in $7 million in property damage and three reports of inhalation injuries. The affected units are 35-, 50- and 70-pint dehumidifiers made by Kenmore between the years 2003 and 2005. The defective products were sold at Sears and Kmart. Anyone using these devices is urged to stop using them and return them to the store for a refund.

Kenmore Recalls

This massive recall is not the first time that Kenmore has had an issue with defective and dangerous products. In November of 2009, Kenmore recalled gas ranges because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. In August 2009, Kenmore issued a recall on electric ranges for potential fire hazards. Similarly, in May 2008, Kenmore had to recall their wall ovens for fire and burn hazards. More

Volkswagen Beetle Vehicles Recalled for Defective Tires

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Volkswagen is issuing an vehicle defect recall for some of its 2012 Beetle sedans that are equipped with defective tires. According to Consumer Reports, 46 vehicles are being recalled for having inappropriate summer tires. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that the tires can become overloaded or under-inflated. Vehicles with improperly inflated tires have an increased risk of being involved in a car accident. The owners of the affected VW vehicles will be notified in September. Volkswagen will replace the faulty tires free of charge. It is unclear if the defective tires have resulted in car crashes or injuries.

Tire Care during the Summer

Tire care is especially important during the summer. Long summer trips, heavy loads and higher temperatures put additional stress on a vehicle’s tires. It is important to check your tires regularly. Look for signs of uneven wear or damage. Make sure that there is enough tread on the tire to operate safely. Place a penny in your tire tread. If it is not deep enough to see the top of Lincoln’s head, then you may need new tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Use a gauge to make sure your tires are at the recommended inflation pressure and not at the maximum level. Also, make sure you never overload your vehicle. Tires are more likely to fail when a vehicle is overloaded.

Dangers of underinflated and worn tires

NHTSA found that vehicles with tires that are underinflated by more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a crash. Additionally, tires that are underinflated up to 25 percent are at a greater risk of overheating and failing. Tire depth will also affect the handling of your vehicle. The accident rates for vehicles with full tread depth on the tires are 2.4 percent while tires with inadequate depth have an accident rate of 26 percent. More

Anaheim Car Accident Proves Fatal for Woman

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Kimberlee Reimer, 49, was killed in an Anaheim car accident after she lost control of her vehicle and crashed, the evening of July 21, 2012. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal car accident occurred at the on-ramp to the Interstate 5 at Katella Avenue. California Highway Patrol officials say Reimer was driving a Hyundai and had approached the merge point to enter the northbound I-5. Her car then veered right, before falling off the freeway’s east embankment and travelling across all lanes of Katella Avenue. Reimer died at the scene. Officials are looking into what caused the accident.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of Kimberlee Reimer, who are mourning this tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Car Crash Statistics

According to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 23 fatalities and 1,970 injuries occurred in 2009 involving Anaheim car accidents. During the same year, Orange County car crashes claimed 141 lives and injured 13,373 people.

What Caused This Crash?

Based on this news account, it is unclear as to how or why Reimer lost control of the vehicle. There are several unanswered questions here. Was there an auto defect or mechanical malfunction in the vehicle? Was speed a factor? Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway, which may have caused or contributed to the crash? Were other vehicles involved? For example, was Reimer’s vehicle run off the roadway by another vehicle? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

Liability Issues

If a vehicle defect or a defective auto part caused the accident, then, the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective product can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. In such cases, it is important that the vehicle be preserved in its current condition, unaltered, so that an expert can assess it thoroughly for vehicle defects, malfunctions and other evidence. An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney who has successfully handled auto product liability cases against large automakers will be able to advise victims’ families about their legal rights and options. The best auto product liability law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to car accident victims or their families.

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