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News & Commentary

Kolcraft child play sets pose serious threat

One of the largest scale and most
widely publicized recalls of children’s products was a play yard distributed by
Kolcraft under these brand names: 
Carter’s, Sesame Street, Jeep, Contours, Care Bear and Eric Carle. On
July 8, 2009, the CPSC announced that one million of these play sets were being
recalled. The defect that led to the recall was the play yard’s side rail that,
in a large number of instances, failed to latch properly, allowing children to
open the rail and fall when they pushed against it. There were 347 incidents
and 21 injuries reported to the CPSC in connection with this defect. Owners
were sent a repair kit for the latch.

A significant sub-set of the Kolcraft
play yards recalled in July, 2009 were also involved in a 2007 recall due to a
looped strap on the changing table portion of the play yard that could get
wrapped around the neck of a child playing in the lower area of the play yard. In
2007, Kolcraft recalled 425,000 of the play yards after receiving a report of a
10-month old child who was strangled by the looped strap. In addition to the
problem of the looped strap on the changing table, one of the play yards (the
Contour 3-in-1) was also recalled for a raised rocker in the play yard that a
child could roll behind, become trapped and suffocate. The CPSC received 45
reports of children being trapped behind the raised rocker in the play set. There
were no reports of injuries as a result of the raised rocker.

Recalls in child sportswear caused by dangerous drawstrings

The consumer product accounting for the largest number of different individual brands recalled was children’s apparel with drawstrings at the waist or around the hood. In 1996, the CPSC adopted guidelines for children’s apparel with drawstrings. The guidelines recommend that drawstrings around the waist of garments sized 2T to 16 extend no further than 3 inches outside the garment and no drawstrings at all around the hood of garments sized 2T to 12.

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Children’s toys continue to pose lead paint threat

Despite the media hype over the past few years about toys and other children’s products with excessive levels of lead paint, large numbers of toys and children’s clothing with excessive levels of lead continued to be sold in 2009. A number of these products were recalled in 2009 after testing revealed lead in excess of federal standards. The media devoted a great deal attention to recalls of toys, largely due to the controversy around Chinese manufacturers exporting large numbers of products into the United States that exceeded federal standards for lead.

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Hydroxycut products recalled due to liver damage

On May 1, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut products by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario. This recall was precipitated by 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes (an indicator of potential liver injury), to liver damage requiring liver transplant. The FDA has been notified of one death due to liver failure in an individual taking Hydroxycut.

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Kumho Tires recalling Mohave tires over swaying concerns

In July, 2009, Kumho Tire USA began recalling 36,292 Kumho Mohave A/T light truck all terrain tires in the following sizes: LT225/75R16, LT245/75R16, and LT265/75R16. Kumho states that the reason for the recall is that these tires cause difficulties with the vehicle’s handling performance when operated under loaded conditions or when changing lanes. This condition could result in the vehicle swaying and could possibly result in a crash. Kumho will replace the tires free of charge.

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Bridgestone/Firestone recalling tires with insufficient base gauge

Bridgestone/Firestone is back in the news with another tire recall that began June 29, 2009. The recall will include 127,183 FR380 size P235/75R15 tires that were manufactured without sufficient tread base gauge. According to the recall announcement, continued use of the recalled tires could lead to vibration and groove cracking, and extended use could result in tread distortion or tread separation and loss of vehicle control. Bridgestone/Firestone has agreed to replace the affected tires free of charge, as well as to mount and balance the replacement tires at no expense to the owner.

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Toyota, Lexus recall models for unintended acceleration

On September 29, 2009, Toyota announced the recall of several models of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in connection with 2000 documented incidents of unintended acceleration that resulted in as many as 19 deaths. Models covered by the recall include 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camrys, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalons, 2005-2010 Tacomas, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundras, 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350s 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250s and 2006-2010 IS 350s.

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Ford recalls Windstar for faulty cruise control switches

On October 26, 2009 Ford Motor Company recalled 4.5 million vehicles to repair cruise control deactivation switches. A cruise control deactivation switch is designed to turn off the cruise control in response to the driver applying pressure to the brakes. The switch, which is designed to remain powered regardless of whether the vehicle ignition is on or off, is located in close proximity to the brake fluid reservoir. There is a very thin membrane that separates the flammable brake fluid from the electrical components inside the switch.

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LG Sourcing, Lowe’s announce recall of gas grills

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that a series of gas grills sold exclusively at Lowe’s store have been recalled due to dangerous burn and fire hazards caused by faulty burners in a variety of unit models. The voluntary recall is for more than 663,000 units of the Perfect Flame SLG Series Gas Grills in stores located in the U.S., as well as 1,700 units in Lowe’s stores located in Canada. The SLG gas grills were sold in the U.S. between September 2005 and May 2009 and varied in price from $200 to $550

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Grand World recalls Bobby Chupete baby pacifiers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of Grand World Incorporated’s line of baby pacifiers known as Bobby Chupete. More than 640,000 of the pacifiers were voluntarily recalled and the CPSC urges any consumers who have purchased the products to cease using them immediately for potential choking hazards.

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