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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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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Defective Strollers Recalled after Child’s Death

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Peg Perego USA Inc. is issuing a defective product recall of 223,000 strollers for risk of entrapment and strangulation. According to a news report in Consumer Affairs, a 6-month old baby from Tarzana, California was killed after his head was trapped between the seat and the tray of his stroller in 2004. Officials say a 7-month-old girl from New York was nearly strangled in a similar fashion in 2006. The risk of entrapment or strangulation on these defective strollers is at its highest when a baby under the age of 1 is not properly harnessed. In such cases, the infant can pass through the opening between the seat bottom and the stroller tray.

The defective product recall affects 223,000 strollers made by Peg Perego. The two different versions of the strollers that are being recalled are the Venezia and the Pliko-P3. These strollers were manufactured between January of 2004 and September 2007. All of these recalled products have a one-cup holder. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the strollers. More

Federal Government Approves New Safety Standards for Play Yards

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new safety standards that will protect children as they play in portable play yards. According to Consumer Reports, these potentially dangerous and defective products, which are commonly referred to as pack-and-plays, were involved in more than 2,100 incidents. The play yards were reported to the agency between November 2007 and December 2011 accounting for 60 deaths and 170 injuries. The new regulations relating to play yard safety will become effective six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

New Federal Safety Rule

The mandatory federal requirements for play yards include a stability test to prevent the play yard from tipping over; latch and lock mechanisms to keep the play yard from folding on a child when it is in use; entrapment tests for attachments so a child’s head does not get trapped; and floor strength tests to ensure structural integrity and to prevent children from getting trapped by the play yard floor.

The new rule will also mandate play yard manufacturers to follow minimum side height requirements to prevent children from climbing out of the play yard on their own. In addition, manufacturers must test the play yards to prevent the top rails from folding downward and cause a neck entrapment. However, manufacturers were able to do away with a provision that would have addressed misassembly, known to be a common cause of play yard deaths.

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