Once again, there have been a large number of product recalls over the past weeks. Unfortunately, as we have pointed out, serious safety-related recalls have become rather commonplace. The following are some of the more significant recalls since those reported in the January issue. Readers are encouraged to contact our firm if more information is needed on any of the recalls. We would also like to know if we have missed any safety recalls that should be included in this issue.
Ford Recalls 15,000 Trucks And Crossovers
Ford is recalling nearly 15,000 trucks and crossovers due to problems with electrical systems that can short and create a fire. The recall includes some 2011 model year F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles. A Ford supplier of a control module produced the faulty product over a six-day period. F-Series trucks are built at the Claycomo plant. Owners may call Ford at 1-866-436-7332 to see if their vehicle is included in the recall.
Ford Recalls Windstar Minivans Over Steering
Ford Motor Co. has recalled more than 400,000 Windstar minivans in cold-weather states to fix brackets and mounts which could separate from the vehicle’s subframe and cause a driver to lose control. The recall, the latest quality issue to afflict older Windstars, covered 425,288 minivans from the 1999-2003 model years sold or registered in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Ford said there had been seven crashes and five minor injuries connected to the recall.
Ford has recalled more than 600,000 of the minivans in the U.S. and Canada since August to address rear axles that can corrode and break. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has been investigating corrosion problems in the minivans from the 1999-2003 model years. The minivans are still under review by the agency.
The recall affects brackets and mounts connected to the front subframe, which carries the engine, transaxle, steering rack and front suspension. According to NHTSA, if the mounts separate from the frame, a driver may experience reduced steering control. The recall is limited to states where road salt is used during the winter. They include: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Ford is notifying owners this month and dealers will inspect the vehicles and install reinforcement brackets as parts become available. If a vehicle does not pass inspection before parts are available, Ford will provide a rental vehicle. If a dealer determines that the front subframe cannot be repaired, the company said it will offer to buy back the minivan. Owners can contact Ford at (866) 436-7332.
Chrysler Recalls Thousands Of Trucks And SUVs
Chrysler is recalling nearly 150,000 trucks and SUVs to address several problems, including steering, air bag issues and the potential for trucks to stall. Chrysler is conducting three separate recalls to fix the problems. The first recall covers about 22,000 Dodge Ram trucks from the 2008-2011 model years to address steering problems. The second involves about 65,000 2009 model year Dodge Journey SUVs to fix side air bags that might not deploy. The last includes about 57,000 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks from the 2011 model year to fix components in rear axles that could cause the trucks to stall. Chrysler says owners can call (800) 853-1403 for more information.
Chrysler And Dodge Vans Recalled
2008 Chrysler Town and Country Vans and 2008 Dodge Caravans have been recalled. The vans may experience a water leak at the heating and air conditioner drain grommet, which could lead to illumination of the air-bag warning light and an inadvertent air-bag deployment. Dealers will replace the HVAC drain grommet free of charge. Consumers can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403.
GM Recalls Almost 100,000 Vehicles
General Motors Co. is recalling almost 100,000 vehicles to fix two problems that could cause the rear axle cross pin to shift out of place and the passenger-side air bag not to work. GM said that the air bag recall affects almost 96,000 2005 to 2007 model-year versions of the Cadillac CTS. The automaker said that repeated flexing of the sensing mat in the passenger seat can cause the mat to bend or fold so much that the sensor may not detect a passenger in the seat. As a result, the sensor will not activate the air bag in the event of a crash. The axle recall affects almost 1,300 2011 model-year versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 and Silverado 1500, as well as the GMC Sierra 1500.
Saab Recalls Cars For Faulty Fuel Pumps
Saab is recalling 4,400 passenger cars to fix fuel pumps that can seize and cause the engines to stall. Saab said the recall affects certain 2010 and 2011 model year 9-3 sedans built from June through October 2010. Dealers will replace the defective fuel pumps at no cost to owners, who will be notified. The recall is expected to begin around Feb. 18. Owners can contact Saab at 800-955-9007.
Safety Vacuum Release System Recalled By Vacless Systems Inc.
Vacless Systems Inc., of Sylmar, California, has recalled its Pool Safety Vacuum Release System. Improper plastic material found inside the recalled product has been attributed to vacuum release failures which create an entrapment hazard to swimmers and bathers. Vacless Systems Inc. has received no reports of incidents or injuries. The recalled product is a black plastic device that screws into the drain hole of a swimming pool or spa circulation pump. As part of the circulation systems, the device is designed to release the vacuum in a drain line whenever a submerged drain cover of a swimming pool or spa is completely covered.
The recalled product has model number SVRS10ADJ. The systems were sold by independent distributors or retailers for professional pool and spa products between July 2010 and September 2010 between $480 and $719. Consumers should immediately stop using their pool or spa. Distributors and dealers are directly notifying consumers of the recall and the Vacless SVRS repair program. Pool owners/operators who have not been directly notified should immediately contact Vacless Systems Inc. to implement the Vacless SVRS repair and testing procedure and to receive a replacement unit for installation. The instructions for the repair are also available at www.vacless.com. For additional information, contact Vacless Systems Inc. directly at (818) 899-1755, e-mail the firm at email@example.com or visit the firm’s website at www.vacless.com
GE And Professional Series Brand Dehumidifiers Recalled
Nearly 200,000 GE and Professional Series brand dehumidifiers have been recalled because of a fire hazard. Although no injuries have been reported, GE and GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment, the China-based manufacturer, have received 14 incident reports, six of which involved property damage beyond the units.
Between February 2007 and June 2009, the dehumidifiers were sold at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Menards and other retail stores throughout the country for between $140 and $180 per unit. The model number for GE dehumidifiers begin with AHK30LK, AHW30LK, AHM30LK, AHK40LK, AHH40LK, and AHM40LK while the Professional Series model number begins with PS78303. Consumers whose dehumidifiers are determined to be among those recalled will be able to return them to authorized service centers for a free repair.
21,000 Sump Pumps Recalled Due To Electrocution Risk
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of ITT sump pumps and effluent pumps last month due to a risk of electrocution. About 21,000 sump pumps and effluent pumps were sold by ITT Water Technology Inc. of Seneca Falls, New York, and sold nationwide through Goulds, Red Jacket and Bell & Gossett Pumps between December 2009 and July 2010 for between $280 and $700.
Pumps installed without a ground fault circuit interrupter present risk of electrocution or shock. The CPSC warned consumers not to touch the pumps or come in contact with water that may be around the location of a pump. To verify if a pump is involved in the recall, consumers were advised to contact ITT Water Technology to have a technician inspect the pump. Anybody who purchased a sump pump between December 2009 and July 2010 that is sky blue or red may have a recalled pump, according to the CPSC. Consumers can call 866-325-4204 for more information.
Christmas Tree Shops Inc. Recalls Oven Rack Guard Due To Fire Hazard
About 430 Oven Rack Guards have been recalled by Christmas Tree Shops Inc., of Union, New Jersey. The guards were manufactured by Gong Ming Xia Cun Plastic Mfy, Bao An, China. The product cannot withstand the high temperatures stated on the packaging and can overheat posing a fire hazard. The firm has received nine reports of the product causing smoke or catching fire. Of those eight reports, three consumers reported property damage and five reported injuries, such as headache, sore throat, nausea and eye irritation from smoke. The recalled Oven Rack Guard is intended to be placed on an oven rack to prevent burns on the arms or wrist when placing items in or removing them from an oven.
The Oven Rack Guard is off white in color, 18 inches long and contains five metal snaps that secure the Oven Rack Guard to the oven rack. The SKU number is 66262 and the UPC number is 15697769. Both numbers are located on the package. The guards were sold by Christmas Tree Shops primarily in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions in October 2010 for about $3. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and return it to any Christmas Tree Shops location for a full refund.
For additional information, contact Christmas Tree Shops toll-free at (888) 287-3232 with calls accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, or visit its website at www.christmastreeshops.com. CPSC is interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. You can report to the agency by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.
Home Heating And Cooling Thermostats Recalled Due To Fire Hazard
White-Rodgers of St. Louis, Mo. has recalled programmable thermostats. This includes about 180,000 in the United States and 8,300 in Canada. The programmable thermostats constantly charge the backup AA batteries used to power the thermostat’s clock. This can cause the batteries to leak, resulting in a fire hazard. The company says it’s aware of three incidents involving minor property damage and that no injuries have been reported, according to the company.
This recall involves all White-Rodgers programmable thermostats with model numbers 1F88-XXX and 1F85RF-275 and date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039. The model number is printed on the thermostat’s front pull-down panel door. The date code is located inside the removable front cover. White-Rodgers and/or the utility company’s name and logo are printed on the front of the thermostat. These thermostats were sold to consumers who participated in energy conservation programs nationwide by more than 40 utility companies and by various HVAC wholesalers for about $150.
Consumers should immediately remove the two AA batteries from the thermostat and contact White-Rodgers for a free repair kit. If battery removal causes changes in furnace operation, contact White-Rodgers. For additional information, contact White-Rodgers toll-free at (888) 624-1901 or visit its website at www.regcen.com/Thermostat.
Xantrex GT Series Grid Tie Solar Inverters Recalled
About 25,000 Xantrex Grid Tie Solar Inverters have been recalled by Xantrex Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, of Livermore, Calif. A component of the inverter can degrade, causing out gassing within the wiring compartment of the inverter. When arcing occurs, gasses could build and force the compartment cover to be blown off. If the cover is blown off with sufficient force it can injure the user or person, or cause damage to property in close proximity to the inverter. Schneider Electric has received five reports of wiring compartment covers being blown off. No injuries or property damage have been reported.
The recalled inverter converts solar photovoltaic voltages into utility grid voltages, allowing the owner to feed power into the electrical grid. The recalled units were manufactured between September 2005 and August 2010. These products were sold under the Xantrex, Sunpower, and General Electric brands. The brand name is printed on the front of the unit. The inverters were sold through solar distributors and system integrators nationwide and in Canada from September 2005 through January 2011 for between about $2,500 and $4,000. Consumers should immediately contact their authorized dealer to set up an appointment to get a free repair of the inverter. For more information, contact Xantrex Technology at (800) 714-7176.
Johnson & Johnson Recalls More Products
Johnson & Johnson has recalled about 43 million packages of Tylenol, Benadryl, Sudafed and Sinutab products from wholesalers because of past manufacturing practices like insufficient equipment cleaning systems. McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the consumer products unit of the company, is also recalling about four million packages of Rolaids Multi-Symptom Berry tablets because of incomplete labels. The company said it was recalling the products as a precautionary measure and not because of any reports of health problems.
McNeil has been plagued by manufacturing and quality-control problems, leading to recalls last year of about 225 million bottles of over-the-counter drugs, according to company estimates. And the total number of McNeil products recalled last year is even higher when other kinds of packages are included. According to the Food and Drug Administration, McNeil recalled “approximately 288 million drug product units” in 2010 — including bottles, blister packs, vials, boxes and other objects.
This latest recall involves lots of Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol upper respiratory products, Benadryl, Sudafed PE and Sinutab, as well as the mislabeled Rolaids. McNeil said that it is very unlikely that past production processes has impacted the quality of these products.
Asthma Medication Recalled For Mislabeled Dosage Bottles
Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation solution in 0.083%, 3 milliliter unit dose vials has been recalled by Ritedose, the manufacturer, because of mislabeled dosage information. Incorrect asthma dosage could be fatal. Albuterol inhalation solution is inhaled through a nebulizer or inhaler to control asthma, prevent asthma attacks and restore normal breathing in time of asthma attack. The 2.5mg per 3 ml bottles have been incorrectly labeled on the embossed label as containing .05 mg/ 3 ml. Most of the other packaging labels are printed correctly, including overwrap pouches and shelf cartons. But the incorrect label information could cause parents and adult users to miscalculate the dosage.
The concern is that folks will think that the bottle contains a much lower strength, when the actual dose is five times stronger. Med Watch and the Food and Drug Administration are further concerned that hospital, med-center and emergency patients may be given the higher dose, as correctly labeled outer packaging is generally discarded. Health care providers seeing only the mislabeled bottle would be very likely to give the wrong dose, especially since the two solution strengths are distilled in equal sized bottles. The .05 mg/3 ml bottles look just like the 2.5 mg./ 3 ml bottles. Only the strength differs. Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation is sold in single use dosage bottles, in 25, 30 and 60 count unit dose packages. Recalled Albuterol was sold nationwide in the United States and in Puerto Rico. Symptoms of over-dosing with Albuterol, known as albuterol toxicity, include headaches, nervousness, dizziness, seizures, high blood pressure, low potassium, angina and increased heart rates to 200 beats per minute.
Forever-Glo Cylinder Nite Lights have been recalled. They were sold at hardware stores, lighting showrooms and home centers nationwide from May 2009 through September 2010 for about $5. An electrical short-circuit in the night-light can cause it to overheat and smolder or melt, which can burn consumers or result in a fire. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled night-lights and contact AmerTac for a full refund. For more information, call AmerTac at 800-420-7511, or visit amertac.com.
Strollers Recalled Due To Amputation And Laceration Hazards
Jogging strollers sold by phil&teds USA Inc., of Fort Collins, Colorado, have been recalled. When folding and unfolding the stroller, a consumer’s finger can become caught in the hinge mechanism, posing amputation and laceration hazards. The company says it has received three reports of incidents resulting in injuries to the adult users including a finger tip amputation and two reports of lacerations. This recall involves sport v2 and classic v1 model single-seat Jogging Strollers. The three-wheel strollers have a metal frame, cloth seat and a canopy. The sport v2 model stroller was sold in red, orange, green, black, charcoal, navy and in graffiti print. Sport v2 serial numbers included in the recall are 0308/0001 to 0510/0840. The classic v1 model strollers were only sold in red. Serial numbers for the classic v1 are 0308/0001 to 0510/0906.
The first four digits of the serial number is a month/year date code and the last four digits are for the individual stroller. Serial numbers are printed on the inside of the folding hinge. The phil&teds logo is located on the crotch piece of the harness on both models. The strollers were sold in specialty juvenile stores nationwide from May 2008 through July 2010 for between $350 and $450. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact phil&teds USA to arrange for the shipping of a free hinge-cover kit and repair instructions. For additional information, contact phil&teds USA at (877) 432-1642 or visit the company’s website at www.philandteds.com/support.
Step Ladders Recalled
The CPSC has reported that Frontgate Closet Ladders can break unexpectedly, causing a fall. The ladders have been recalled. About 860 breakings and 28 minor injuries have been reported. California-based Cinmar LLC sold the two- and three-step ladders in Frontgate stores in Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio, as well as in Frontgate and Sky Mall catalogs and on the same websites from December 2005 until July 2010. Those who purchased the ladders should stop using them and contact Frontgate for instructions on receiving a merchandise credit, the CPSC said.
Toy Mobile Phones Recalled By Discovery Toys
Discovery Toys LLC, of Livermore, California, has recalled Toddler Talk Toy Mobile Phones. This includes about 2,900 toy phones in the United States and 700 in Canada. The clear plastic antenna can break off, posing a choking hazard to young children. Discovery Toys says it has received reports of three incidents in which the toy telephone’s antenna broke off. A child was found mouthing the toy phone’s antennae but it was removed by his mother. This recall involves a red and blue plastic battery-operated toy mobile phone with a small, clear antennae, buttons numbered “1, 2, 3, 4 and Play,” a screen with a boy’s face and the words “hello! hola! bonjour!” Only model number 1231 is involved in this recall. The model number is printed on the toy’s packaging. “Discovery Toys” is stamped into the red plastic on the back of the toy. Discovery Toys sold the phones nationwide from September 2010 through November 2010 for about $18.
Consumers should immediately take the recalled toy mobile phones away from young children and contact Discovery Toys for instructions on how to return them for a replacement toy. For additional information, contact Discovery Toys at (800) 426-4777 anytime, or visit its website at www.discoverytoysinc.com.
More Drop-Side Cribs Recalled
About 300 Rosebud drop-side cribs have been recalled by Status Furniture, of Quebec, Canada (out of business) and the distributor/retailer The Land of Nod, of Northbrook, Ill. The drop-side rail hardware on the cribs can break or fail, allowing the drop side to detach from the crib. This recall includes “Rosebud” cribs manufactured by Status Furniture. The cribs are white or antique white and have plastic drop-side hardware. “Status Furniture” appears on crib labeling on the lower portion of the headboard. Model number “910” appears on the assembly instructions. The cribs were sold at The Land of Nod retail stores and online at www.landofnod.com from January 2003 through September 2004 for about $600.
Consumers should stop using these cribs immediately and contact The Land of Nod to receive instructions on how to receive a merchandise credit for the full purchase price of the crib. The Land of Nod is undertaking this recall for its customers because Status Furniture is out of business. In the meantime, parents are urged to find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their child. For additional information, contact The Land of Nod at (800) 933-9904 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit its website at www.landofnod.com.
If you need more information on any of the recalls listed above, or would like information on a recall not listed, please visit our firm’s web site at www.BeasleyAllen.com/recalls. We would also like to know if we have missed any significant recall that involves a safety issue this month. If so, please let us know. You may also contact Shanna Malone at Shanna.Malone@beasleyallen.com for more recall information.
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