VOLVO RECALLS 360,000 CARS FOR SPEED CONTROL BUG
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered Volvo to recall about 360,000 cars because of a problem with vehicle speed controls that can cause engines to lose power without warning. Volvo, which as you know is now a unit of Ford Motor Co., says a defect in the electronic throttle module in cars built between 1999 and 2002 could cause the vehicle to shift into a “limp home” mode in which the maximum speed is about 15 miles per hour. The “limp home” setting is a safety feature in Volvo cars intended to prevent unintended acceleration in case of a throttle malfunction.
The recall applies to Volvo C70 and V70 models built between 1999 and 2002, S60 models built between 2001 and 2002, and S70 and V70X models built between 1999 and 2000. The automaker says it has fixed the speed control problem on about 165,000 vehicles of the recall total after sending out notices to owners in March. California’s Air Resource Board had first flagged the throttle control problem. NHTSA informed Volvo that it was making the recall mandatory. Volvo owners who bring their cars to dealerships will have new software reinstalled for the throttle control unit.
CHRYSLER RECALL OF SUVS
DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group is recalling about 128,000 Pacifica sport utility vehicles because of a problem with the software governing the fuel pump and power train control. According to NHTSA, the defect could cause the engine to stall in some cases. The recall applies to Pacifica models built between 2005 and 2006. Chrysler dealers will reprogram the power train controls and replace the fuel pump on certain cars as part of the recall.
TOYOTA RECALLS SCION OVER AIR BAG ISSUES
Since airbags came to the forefront in 1990, they have helped save thousands of lives. Unfortunately, defectively designed airbags have been found to cause a number of serious injuries. Those include: brain injuries, spinal injuries, blindness, facial fractures, upper body injuries and disfigurement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recalled 29,542 Scion TC Toyotas for the 2005 and 2006 model years. The side and curtain airbags on these vehicles may deploy if the car door is closed too hard, according to NHTSA. In fact, the airbags are so sensitive that NHTSA has advised owners to use “minimal force to close the driver and passenger doors.”
PERRIGO RECALLS ACETAMINOPHEN
A major manufacturer of store-brand acetaminophen has recalled 11 million bottles of the pain-relieving pills. The recall came after discovering some were contaminated with metal fragments. There have been no reports of injuries or illness at press time. Perrigo Co., believed to be the world’s largest manufacturer of store-brand nonprescription drugs, said it discovered the metal bits during quality-control checks. The recall affects bottles containing various amounts of 500-milligram caplets. In the recall, the Allegan, Michigan, company did not disclose the chains for which it manufactures the store-brand acetaminophen. However, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Corp., Walgreen Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. are among the companies it supplies with health care products, according to company Securities and Exchange Commission filings. It’s reasonable to assume that these companies would be affected by the recall.
CONNECTICUT BEEF RECALLED FOR POSSIBLE E. COLI CONTAMINATION
A Connecticut company recalled about 1,680 pounds of ground beef products recently because the products could be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli. No illnesses have been reported from consumption of the beef subject to the recall. Omaha Beef Co. Inc., located in Danbury, Connecticut, produced the hamburger patties and bags of hamburger in October and sent the products to restaurants in Connecticut and southern New York State. The effected beef was packaged in 10-pound boxes of “HAMBURGER PATTIES, OMAHA BEEF CO., INC.” Customers who bought the products affected by the voluntary recall should return them to the place of purchase, the service said.
The most dangerous strain of E. coli has been found in cattle and other animals, such as deer, goats, and sheep. It can be spread to humans in a variety of ways, including through consuming undercooked meat and eating vegetables and fruits that were exposed to manure. E. coli is believed responsible for about 60 deaths and 73,000 infections a year in the United States. The potentially deadly strain can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, the old and people with compromised immune systems are the most at risk. Hopefully, this was an isolated incident which fortunately didn’t result in any serious health problems. From all reports, it appears the distribution of the meat was limited. This occurrence does, however, point out a most serious problem with the potential to do great harm.
MATTEL RECALLS 4.4 MILLION MAGNETIC PLAY SETS
With the holiday gift-buying season in full swing, Mattel Inc. has recalled 4.4 million Polly Pocket magnetic play sets. The recall came after three children were hospitalized with serious injuries from swallowing tiny magnets that fell off the toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging shoppers to avoid buying toy sets with small magnets for children under six years of age. Gift buyers also should check the toy labels, select age-appropriate toys and avoid gifts with sharp edges and small parts. The Commission has received 170 reports of the small magnets falling out from the dolls and accessories in the Polly Pocket sets. Each of the three injured children swallowed more than one magnet and suffered intestinal perforation that required surgery.
The Polly Pocket play sets contain plastic dolls and accessories featuring small magnets measuring 1/8 inch in diameter. The magnets are embedded in the hands and feet of the dolls, plastic clothing, hair pieces and other accessories that attach to the dolls. The tiny magnets can fall out and be swallowed or inhaled by children. If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attach to each other and cause intestinal perforation, infection or blockage, which can be fatal. The recall applies to about 2.4 million sets that were manufactured before April 1, 2005, and sold at department stores and toy stores in the United States from May 2003 through September 2006. It also affects another 2 million Polly Pocket play sets were sold worldwide.
Last March, another toy company, Mega Brands Inc., recalled 3.8 million Magnetix magnetic building sets after one child died and four others were seriously injured after swallowing tiny magnets in them. In 2005, there were 20 toy-related deaths and 152,400 toy-related injuries involving children under age 15. The majority of injuries were sustained from riding toys.
Apparently, this recall does not include sets currently on store shelves. The recalled Polly Pocket brand sets include: Polly Place Hangin’ Out House, Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse, Spa Day, Quik-Clik Boutique, Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset, Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset and Totally Zen Playset. Polly Totally brand Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner sets are also being recalled. Consumers should take the toys away from children and contact Mattel to arrange for the return of the toy and to receive a voucher for a replacement toy. For more information about the recall, you can contact Mattel at 888-597-6597 or visit http://www.service.mattel.com/ or http://www.cpsc.gov/.
TWO WAL-MART RECALLS
Wal-Mart seems to stay in the news these days for a number of reasons – some good and some bad. The following recalls, made in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, involved Wal-Mart products.
Wal-Mart is recalling the “Home Trends” wood footstools sold in its stores. Due to improper construction, the stool can break and collapse, posing a fall hazard to consumers. Wal-Mart has received nine reports of the footstools breaking. There have been seven reports of injuries, including a broken toe, neck and shoulder soreness, cuts, bruises, swelling, a slight concussion, and soft tissue injury. The footstool is a natural-colored wood footstool. The standing surface is 11 1/2-inches by 11 1/2-inches with a 4-inch-long oval opening in the center. The stool is 11 1/2-inches tall. The recalled footstool can be identified by a white sticker underneath the step that contains the UPC number 87065900001.
The stools were sold at Wal-Mart stores exclusively nationwide from December 2005 through September 2006 for about $10. Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to Wal-Mart for a full refund.
Wal-Mart is also recalling Minnie Mouse Cardigan Sets sold in its stores. If the cardigan is buttoned, the ribbon woven around the neckline poses a strangulation hazard for children. The pink cardigan is sold as part of a three-piece set which also includes a light pink turtleneck and denim pants. The cardigan has a pink ribbon woven around the neckline. Minnie Mouse is embroidered on the lower left front of the cardigan. The cardigan was sold in sizes 12M, 18M, 24M, 3T, 4T, and 5T.
The sets were sold at Wal-Mart stores nationwide from July 2006 through August 2006 for about $15. Consumers should take the recalled cardigan away from children immediately and return the entire three-piece set to Wal-Mart for a full refund.
Consumers can contact Wal-Mart at (800) 925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST Monday through Friday, or visit the store’s Web site at www.walmartstores.com.
COMPANY RECALLS 23,200 POUNDS OF BEEF JERKY
Mirab USA Inc., which is A Michigan company, has recalled about 23,200 pounds of beef jerky sold across the country because it may contain the animal drug Doramectin. The products were sold in several southeastern states. For more information, you can call the company at 313-292-4100 or visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
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