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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Kellogg Issues Massive Recall of Mini-Wheats Due to Contamination

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Kellogg has issued a defective product recall for its Frosted and Unfrosted Mini-Wheats cereal because the products may be contaminated by metal mesh fragments. According to a CBS News report, the recall involves nearly 2.8 million boxes of the cereal including Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size Original and Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite Size products. The “use by” dates for these products range from April 1, 2013 to Sept. 21, 2013. Kellogg had posted the recall information on their web site on October 8, 2012.

However, consumers were not made aware of the potential problem until three days later, on October 11, 2012. Kellogg officials say the public is not at a high risk as a result of the contamination. So far, no injuries or illnesses have been reported due to these recalled products. Anyone with questions or concerns is asked to contact 1-800-962-1413.

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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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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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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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Fresno-Based Company Recalls Cantaloupe for Salmonella Contamination

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DFI Marketing of Fresno is recalling cantaloupe due to food poisoning concerns. According to a news report in The Newport Beach Patch, salmonella was found on a single sample of cantaloupe during routine testing conducted at a wholesale produce distribution center, which is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) testing program. So far, no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products include about 28,000 cartons of bulk-packed product. The fruit was packed on August 26, 2012 and distributed primarily to retail customers in 21 states including California. Some of the fruit was also exported to Mexico. Anyone who has these defective products at home would be well advised to not consume them.

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