Dehumidifier Recall: Fire and Burn Hazards
About the Recall
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke, and catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.
CPSC recommends that consumers turn off and unplug the dehumidifiers and contact Gree to receive a refund.
Description of the Dehumidifiers
This recall involves 20, 25, 30, 40, 45, 50, 65 and 70-pint dehumidifiers with brand names Danby, De’Longhi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire,GE,Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir, and SuperClima.
The dehumidifiers come in white, beige, gray, or black plastic and measure between 19 and 24 inches tall, 13 and 15 inches wide, and 9 and 11 inches deep. The model number and date code are printed on a sticker on the back, side, or front of the dehumidifier.
The dehumidifiers were sold nationwide at AAFES, HH Gregg, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe’s, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, Sam’s Club, Sears, Wal-Mart and other in Canada, and online at Amazon.com and Ebay.com, from January 2005 through August 2013 for between $110 and $400.
Models Included in the Recall
The following model numbers are involved in the recall:
- Danby or Premiere
- De’Longhi or SuperClima
Almost 120 People in Texas Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana
More about the Synthetic Marijuana Overdoses
Over a span of five days, nearly 120 people have been treated in Dallas and Austin for overdoses of a synthetic marijuana called K2. Although the effects of K2 are supposed to mimic that of marijuana, possible side-effects of the drug can be wide-ranging and are not fully understood. Patients treated for overdoses were described as “so sick they had to be sedated.”
Police have confirmed that the cases in Austin and Dallas are connected and believe the drug originated with the same Dallas supplier. Regulation of K2 and other synthetic marijuana blends, often referred to as “spice,” is difficult because manufacturers constantly change the ingredients to stay one step ahead of regulation. In Texas, individual compounds have been banned, but there is no current law which regulates synthetic marijuana outright.
Facts about Synthetic Marijuana
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the term “spice” or synthetic marijuana refers to “a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis).” Other names for spice include K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks and others. Furthermore:
- Although synthetic marijuana is labeled “not for human consumption” and sold as “incense,” users primarily smoke the product or infuse it for drinking.
- Spice products often claim to be “natural,” but chemical analysis show that in addition to dried plant material, the product contains synthetic cannabinoid compounds as their active ingredient.
- One study estimates that 11.3% of high school seniors have used synthetic marijuana within the past year. These products are popular among teens because of their ease of access and because they are less likely to show up on a standard drug test.
GM SUV Recall – Inaccurate Fuel Gauge
In the latest string of vehicle recalls, General Motors announced on Thursday it was recalling 51,640 SUVs due to faulty software that may cause the fuel gauge to read inaccurately.
Details of the GM SUV Recall
According to Reuters, GM is recalling approximately 51,640 SUVs to correct a computer programming error that may cause fuel gauges to read inaccurately. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), GM said the error could cause fuel gauges to be off by as much as one-quarter of a tank. The problem can lead to vehicles running out of fuel without warning resulting in the engine stalling and increase the risk of crashing.
Dealers will reprogram the vehicles’ engine control modules at no cost to owners.
Vehicles Affected by the Recall
The following vehicles are affected by the latest recall.
- 2014 Buick Enclave
- 2014 Chevrolet Traverse
- 2014 GMC Acadia
7 Million GM Vehicles Recalled
Already this year GM has recalled about 7 million vehicles for various safety issues, including 2.6 million older vehicles with defective ignition switches. Older compact cars – mostly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions – can be moved out of position while running and lead to lost power, steering defects and brake failure.
GM has been the subject of several federal investigations, inquiries and numerous lawsuits stemming from the ignition switch recall. The company has acknowledged 13 deaths and 31 crashes linked to the defect, but some estimates suggest the number is much higher.
On Friday, GM attorney Ken Feinberg met with a group of lawyers led by Thomas J. Henry to discuss a GM compensation fund for victims and their families of the ignition switch recall. Although specific details are still in the works, the meeting is good news for victims.
Horizon Hobby Recalls Blade 700 X Pro Series Helicopters
Horizon Hobby has issued a recall on about 600 units of their Blade 700 X Pro Series Helicopter, due to potential defects with the main rotor washer. These issues can cause the blades to come off of the helicopter during use, posing an injury hazard to the operator and bystanders.
Following information provided by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- This recall pertains to the Blade 700 X Pro Series Kit, Pro Series Combo, and the replacement spindle set. The kits and combos come with parts to assemble a radio-controlled helicopter that is about 53 inches long, 15.5 inches tall, and weighs about 12 pounds.
- When assembled, the helicopter is blue, yellow, black, and silver with the 700 X logo on each side. The skids are white, and the tail is black with ‘Blade’ written on each side. The rotor blades are black and gray with the word Revolution on each. The defective washer is flat, silver and about one half-inch in diameter. It is intended to hold the two main rotor blade grips in place on the helicopter.
- The recalled Pro Series Kit is model number BLH5725, the Pro Series Combo is model number BLH5725C, and the recalled spindle set is model number BLH5703.
- The defective kit was sold July 2013 through August 2013 at various hobby stores nationwide, as well as on horizonhobby.com. The Pro Series Kit sold for between $800 and $1,250, while the Pro Series Combo sold for between $1,350 and $2,320. The replacement spindle set sold for about $13.
CPSC Recommended Course of Action
Although the CPSC has not yet received any reports of injuries related to the Blade 700 X Pro Series Kits, it is advised that consumers discontinue use of these products. Consumers should contact Horizon Hobby for replacement washers.
Riding Mowers Recalled-Injury Hazard
Hustler and BigDog dealers have recently recalled 3,700 mowers to due a safety hazard.
About the Riding Mower Recall
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the mower can continue to operate due to the failure of the seat switch, which detects that the rider has left the seat. This can pose a risk of injury.
Description of Recalled Mowers
- The recalled mowers include the BigDog and Hustler brand riding mowers.
- The BigDog mower is red with a grey seat, black roll bar, and has BigDog Diablo printed on the front of the seat and on the sides of the mower.
- The Hustler mowers are yellow with grey seats and have “Hustler” printed on the footrest with FastTrak, FastTrakSD or RaptorSD in red on the yellow bar behind the seat. All mowers have right and left steering handles.
- The recalled mowers have serial numbers between 13082168 and 14012774 for FastTrakSD and between 13081376 and 14013882 for Hustler Raptor Sd.
- The serial number is on a tag located on the left side of the seat platform in front of the fender.
143 Deaths Linked to Chevy Impala Defect
In a letter sent to U.S. regulators on Monday, the Center for Auto Safety claimed to have linked 143 fatalities to airbag failures in 2003-2010 model year Chevy Impalas.
About the Chevy Impala Airbag Failures
“This is a design defect in every GM vehicle with the flawed algorithm.” – Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety as published by Bloomberg News
According to the Bloomberg News, the Center for Auto Safety reviewed crash data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) fatal-crash database and was able to link 143 deaths to frontal collisions in which an Impala’s airbags failed to deploy.
Further, the Washington-based watchdog group was able to determine that 98 of the fatalities involved occupants who were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.
The Center for Auto Safety also cited a government petition by a former GM researcher who claims to have found a software fault that can misread a passenger’s weight and disable frontal airbags.
In his petition, Donald Friedman calls on the NHTSA to open an investigation into whether GM’s electronic algorithms can interfere with or inhibit airbag deployment. Additionally, he is asking the federal regulator to investigate whether incorrect data can be produced if a passenger is bumped out of their seat.
Lawsuit Filed by Texas Family
Friedman has since been hired by the family of a man killed in 2011 after an Impala’s passenger-side airbag failed to deploy during a collision with a road barrier.
During the April accident, Aurora Martinez was driving a 2008 Impala along a Texas highway in Mission Hidalgo County when she was struck by another driver. Her sedan went over a road barrier and struck another barrier head-on.
The passenger-side airbag failed to deploy during the collision, allegedly resulting in the death of her husband, Robert Martinez.
Information from the car’s data recorded revealed that the passenger-side airbag did not deploy because it had registered Roberto Martinez as a small adult – he weighed 170 pounds.
GM Engineer Lied about GM Ignition Switches
During a Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance hearing held on Wednesday, subcommittee Chairwoman Claire McCaskill called a 2006 ignition switch redesign done by General Motors a cover-up.
GM Engineer Lied Under Oath
“We don’t know how many people crashed because of this cover-up. We do know that many died.” – Chairwoman Claire McCaskill as published by Detroit News
During Wednesday’s hearing, Chairwoman McCaskill referenced documents showing that GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio had signed off on a design change in April 2006; however, in a deposition in a case involving a Chevy Cobalt crash, DeGiorgio claimed that he knew nothing about the 2006 redesign.
In 2006, General Motors redesigned a defective ignition switch but did not change the switches model number. Members of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance speculated that this was done to avoid the switches being publicly linked to a number of fatal accidents.
In a briefing presented before members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Delphi Automotive, the company responsible for manufacturing the switches, revealed that both the original 2002 ignition switch and the redesigned 2006 ignition switch failed to meet GM’s company specifications but were approved nonetheless.
According to USA Today, Chairwoman McCaskill commented that a culture of cover up created by GM allowed DeGiorgio to lie under oath.
Possible Criminal Consequences
“This is criminal deception. I don’t see this as anything but criminal.” – Senator Kelly Ayotte as published by Detroit News
Many of the Senate Sub-Committee members suggested that criminal charges could be filed against anyone who intentionally concealed safety information from NHTSA or the public.
Senator Barbara Boxer expressed suspicion towards suggestions that none of the high-level executives were informed of the potential links between the faulty ignition switches and fatal accidents, especially as the company faced multiple lawsuits making such claims.
In the least, DeGiorgio will likely be reprimanded for lying under oath; however, as of yet, the GM engineer has not been terminated and continues to work in his current position.
So far the defective ignition switches have resulted in at least 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions.
2015 GMC Yukon Catches Fire During Test Drive
Over the weekend, a new 2015 GMC Yukon burst into flames while being taken for a test drive by a potential customer in Anaheim, CA.
Details of the Yukon Fire
According to a report on GM Authority, the blaze started during a test drive of a brand new 2015 GMC Yukon. Occupants of the vehicle say the cabin quickly filled with smoke, and the driver lost partial control of the vehicle before pulling over. The Anaheim Fire Department responded to the accident and extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported.
General Motors has responded to the incident, saying they are “working urgently” and have sent a team of investigators to look into possible causes of the fire. One speculation is an oil leak.
More Bad News for GM
Sunday’s GMC Yukon fire is just one more incident in a string of bad press for the automaker. In February, GM announced a 1.6 million vehicle recall due to defective ignition switches. Conservative estimates suggest at least 13 deaths and over 30 crashes were caused by the faulty ignition switches.
The GM recall has spurred several federal investigations into whether or not the manufacturer delayed reporting the problem. Documents show that GM was aware of the problem as far back as 2001. GM is also facing a multitude of lawsuits in the wake of the recall.
Vitaccino “Slimming” Coffee Contains Dangerous Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers that Vitaccino, a product marketed as a 100% herbal dietary aid, contains the dangerous drug sibutramine, previously sold under the trade name Meridia.
Sibutramine a Growing Problem in Dietary Supplements
According to the Plain Dealer, the FDA has discovered sibutramine n more than 30 weight loss products since January, 2013. The products included a variety of capsules, powders and other slimming coffee drinks.
Sibutramine was pulled from the market in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. During one clinical trial, called SCOUT, researchers determined that patients treated with Meridia were 16 percent more likely to suffer from non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, resuscitation after cardiac arrest and cardiovascular death than patients treated with a placebo.
Vitaccino was sold through a number of online retailers, including Amazon.
The FDA has acknowledged that incidents of illegal or unapproved ingredients being used in dietary supplements like Vitaccino are a growing problem as the products are loosely regulated and do not require FDA approval before being entered into the market.
Side Effects of Sibutramine
The following side effects have been linked to sibutramine (Meridia):
- Blood pressure increase
- Cardiac Failure
- Psychotic disorder
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Renal failure
- Heart attack
Duraflame Space Heaters Recalled – Fire Hazard
Twin-Star has recently recalled approximately 31,000 Duraflame-branded electric space heaters due to a fire and burn hazard. There have been 32 reports of the heaters burning or melting. This includes eight reports of the heaters catching fire.
About the Space Heater Recall
According the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the space heater can overheat, potentially causing the units to melt, catch fire and ignite nearby items and may pose a fire and burn hazard to consumers.
The CPSC recommends that consumers immediately turn off and unplug the space heater and contact Twin-Star for a full refund.
Description of the Recalled Space Heaters
- The recalled electric space heaters are Duraflame-branded, model DFS-220, and are available in three colors: black, red and white.
- The flame effect on the heaters resembles a fireplace and works with or without heat.
- The heaters measure approximately 14.5-inches high, 13-inches wide and 8-inches deep.
- Located on the upper left back side of the unit is the on/off switch and high/low heat settings.
- There is a Duraflame logo on the front of the product, and the model number can be found on the white label located on the heater’s back panel.
- The products were sold at Farmer’s Furniture, Meijer, QVC, R.C. Willey, Ross and other retailers nationwide and online at Maxtool.com from August 2013 through January 2014 for about $60.