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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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.

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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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Mercedes Recalls SUVs for Airbag Projectile Dangers

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Mercedes-Benz has issued a vehicle defect recall for certain luxury SUVs from the 2011 model year because a part of the dashboard could become airborne if the front passenger airbag deploys in a crash. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the recall includes 189 vehicles built from September 20, 2010 through April 27, 2011. A document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that the vehicles have a molding strip between their front passenger airbag and a flap that covers the airbag.

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Hercules Truck Tires Recalled for Potential Tread Separation Issues

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Hercules Tire & Rubber Company has issued a product defect recall for certain H502 radial medium tubeless truck tires due to the potential for tire tread separation. According to a news report in The Modern Tire Dealer, the affected tires, about 1,222 in all, may have been produced with insufficient tire liner thickness due to an improperly working machine. This may cause U-cracks in the tires, which could in turn result in tire tread separations, increasing the risk of a crash. Hercules has stated that the defective tires will be replaced free of charge and has begun notifying owners. Owners may also contact Hercules at 800-677-3573 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s web site at www.safercar.gov.

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Child’s Death Leads to Recall of Window Blinds

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Michigan-based Blind Xpress is issuing a defective product recall for about 139,000 custom-made vertical and horizontal blinds after a toddler was strangled by the cord loop of a vertical blind. According to a Consumeraffairs.com report, the incident occurred in 2009 when the 2-year-old girl from Commerce Township, Michigan, died from strangulation injuries. The loop of the cord in that case was not attached to the wall or floor. Blind Xpress custom vertical blinds apparently have an adjustment cord and sometimes, a weighted device at the bottom. The horizontal blinds don’t have inner cord stop devices to prevent the accessible inner cords from being pulled out. This exposes children to the risk of becoming entangled in the cord loop.

The recall involves all Blind Xpress vertical blinds that do not have a cord-tensioning device that attaches to the wall or floor and all horizontal blinds that do not have inner cord stop devices. The blinds, which were made in the United States, were sold at various blind specialty stores from January 1995 through December 2011 for between $16 and $380. Anyone who has these window coverings at home is asked to stop using them immediately and contact the Window Covering Safety Council at 800-506-4636 to receive a free repair kit.

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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.

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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.

Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute under Investigation for Sticky Throttles

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Older-model Ford Escapes and Mazda Tribute SUVs manufactured by Ford are under investigation for a defective auto part that may have already resulted in at least one fatality. According to The Associated Press, the 730,000 SUVs that are under investigation have V-6 engines and belong to model years 2001 to 2004. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that there have already been 99 complaints from owners that the throttles can stick. The potentially defective throttles have allegedly been the cause of 13 crashes resulting in nine injuries and one fatality.

According to the report, Ford Escape owners filed 68 of the complaints and 31 were filed by owners of Mazda Tribute vehicles. Investigators are looking into whether the issue stems from a 2004 auto recall involving the same model vehicles. It appears that the recall of about 590,000 vehicles in December of 2004 involving a defective accelerator cable may have resulted in damaged cruise control cables.

Numerous Recalls in 2012

The potential auto recall involving these 730,000 SUVs is certainly sizeable, but that number is relatively small when compared to some of the recalls that have already occurred this year. Earlier in the year, 1.4 million Toyota Camry sedans and RAV4 small SUVS were recalled for door fire hazards. There was also a recall of Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVS for fuel tank fire hazards involving 5.1 million vehicles. More

Nissan Recalls 2012 Juke Vehicles for Faulty Seatback Latches

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Nissan North America is issuing a vehicle defect recall for about 12,000 Nissan Juke small SUVs due to defective rear seatback latches. According to Consumer Reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is stating that certain models of the Juke SUV have rear seat back latches that may fail during a frontal collision, increasing the risk of injuries to rear passengers.

NHTSA says this safety issue is related to “incomplete weld penetration” of the rear seat latches, which are designed to lock the seatbacks into upright position. This vehicle defect affects more than 11,000 of the vehicles in the United States. About 700 vehicles in Canada are also being recalled for the same problem. Nissan is expected to notify vehicle owners by the end of July. When the recall begins, local Nissan dealerships will replace the faulty rear seat strikers at no cost to owners.

Injuries Caused By Seatback Failure

Seatback failure can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries to vehicle occupants. Seatback failure occurs when automakers manufacture seats that are not equipped to withstand impact during a car crash. Even in a low-speed collision, seatback failure can cause the entire seat to disconnect from the vehicle and either eject the passenger or collide with another passenger. Some of the common injuries suffered as a result of seatback failure include bone fractures, head injuries, internal organ damage, scarring, disfigurement and spinal cord injuries. According to NHTSA, three out of four people ejected from a vehicle will be fatally injured. More

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