Each month, I attempt to mention some of the product recalls that we believe to be significant. The following recalls fall in that category:
MITSUBISHI TO RECALL 27,367 MINIVANS
Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will recall more than 25,000 minivans over an airbag defect. Mitsubishi Motors, Japan’s fourth-largest automaker, will be recalling 27,367 “i” minivans due to a defect in how passenger-side airbags were packed that could prevent them from inflating fully. The minivans affected by the recall were produced between December 25, 2005, and July 22, 2006, all sold in Japan. Mitsubishi will also implement a service program to repair a gear shift defect in 11,610 “i” minivans free of charge. The vehicles involved were produced from January 10th to April 4th of this year. All were sold in Japan.
MITSUBISHI WILL REPAIR SENSOR DEFECT
In a service program, the Tokyo-based Mitsubishi will repair a sensor device defect in activating airbags in 16,954 Outlander sport utility vehicles and sold in Japan, as well as about 120 units sold abroad. The service program will also be implemented in exporting countries, according to the respective country’s safety rules. The Outlanders were produced between October 9, 2005, and March 4, 2006.
FORD RECALLS 140,000 VEHICLES OVER FAULTY DOORS
Ford Motor Co. is recalling over 145,000 vehicles in the United States for a range of problems from defective latches to faulty drivetrains. The recall involves 139,537 2005 model-year Five Hundred and Montego sedans and 2005-2006 model-year Freestar minivans because the side door latches may let in water. This may cause the latch mechanism to freeze in cold weather, and the door could open while the vehicle is moving.
Separately, Ford is also recalling 6,164 Escape hybrid sport utility vehicles from 2006 model year because a drivetrain shaft may fracture. If a fracture occurred, it could cause the vehicle to move, even in the park position, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said. Ford dealers will inspect the drivetrain shaft and replace it if necessary.
You can get more information on these recalls by going to NHTSA’s Web site, which is www.nhtsa.gov.
PLAYSKOOL TOY BENCH RECALLED AFTER DEATHS REPORTED
Toymaker Playskool and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall in September of about 255,000 of its “Team Talkin’ Tool Bench” toys following the deaths of two young children. Playskool, a unit of Hasbro Inc., said it had received reports that a 19-month-old boy from Martinsburg, W.Va., and a 2-year-old boy from League City, Texas, suffocated when oversized, plastic toy nails sold with the tool bench toys became lodged in their throats.
The company said it is recalling the product even though the toy nails are not considered a small part, and the toys are intended for children age 3 and older. According to CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson, the packaging for the toy did not have a choking hazard warning because none of its parts is considered to be a “small part” as classified by the agency. The typical measurement for a small toy part is 2-1/2 inches in length and 1.75 inches in width, or smaller. The Team Talkin’ Tool Bench is a 20-inch tall plastic toy tool bench with an animated red toy saw, a yellow toy drill and a blue toy vice. The toy talks and makes various sound effects. The product also includes a toy hammer, screwdriver, two 2-1/4-inch plastic screws, two 3-inch plastic nails and pieces to build a small toy plane. The red Playskool logo is on the front of the brown surface of the tool bench.
The toy was sold at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target, KB Toys stores and various other stores nationwide from October 2005 through September 2006, priced at about $35. The CPSC said consumers should immediately take the two toy nails away from children and contact Playskool to get information on returning the nails for a $50 certificate for another Playskool product. For additional information, consumers can call Playskool at 800-509-9554 or go to the company’s Web site at http://www.playskool.com.
SEGWAY RECALL SCOOTERS
There has been another scooter recall by Segway. The company’s calling back more than 23,000 of its Personal Transporters because of a software glitch that could throw the wheels into reverse, causing riders to fall off. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has told people to stop using the self-balancing scooters immediately. It says Segway has received six reports of people suffering head and wrist injuries. The company is offering a free software upgrade to fix the problem. This is the second time the scooters have been recalled since they first went on the market in 2002.
THE BATTERY RECALLS CONTINUE
The tremendous number of laptop battery recalls may leave some customers feeling confused as to what is going on. So far, companies that have issued recalls include Dell Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Fujitsu Ltd and Panasonic. The batteries in all of these cases, with the exception of Panasonic, are manufactured by Sony Corp., and may pose a fire hazard from small particles causing the battery to short circuit.
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