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20th Death Linked to Defective Takata Airbags

Damaged car with passenger door open and view of deployed airbags

A report released Wednesday revealed that the traffic death of a 60-year-old man in Baton Rouge was caused by an exploding Takata airbag inside the man’s 2004 Honda Civic. This marks the 20th death to be linked to the defective airbags worldwide and the second to occur in Louisiana.

Details of the Fatal Takata Airbag Explosion

According to WAFB, George Robertson Sharp, Jr., 60, was fatally injured in July when he was involved in a crash along Jefferson Highway near Drusilla.

Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) completed a joint inspection of the vehicle with Honda on Tuesday. The inspection confirmed that Sharp’s air bag inflator had blown apart sending metal shrapnel throughout the cabin. The airbag explosion was deemed the cause of Sharp’s death.

The investigators noted that the 2004 Civic was equipped with an airbag unit that had been salvaged from a 2002 Civic

The Larger Issue of the Takata Airbag Recalls

As deaths continue to be linked to the defective Takata airbags, with fatal collisions occurring even after recalls were issued and, in some instances, re-issued, the larger issue remains that the faulty airbag inflators are not being repaired.

Currently, recalls have been issued for more than 42 million vehicles across several brands in the U.S. alone. Despite initial recalls being issued more than four years ago, the fact remains that, to date, only 65 percent of affected Hondas have been repaired while repair rates for other automakers fall between 2 percent and 50 percent.

Inflators from 2002 Civics are considered to be among the most dangers with tests showing that inflators from 2001-2003 Civics have shown that they 50 percent chance to explode in the event  of a collision.

Workplace Safety Failures at Goodyear Plants Contribute to Worker and Driver Deaths

Emergency stop button in industrial setting.

An investigation conducted by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that a “lax approach to safety” at several Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company manufacturing plants has not only lead to several on-the-job deaths but also fatalities on the roadways linked to their defective tires.

The six-month investigation included interviews with current employees and past workers at the company and an analysis of state and federal agency records, especially in regards to health and workplace safety. Two tire manufacturing plants in particular fell within the crosshairs of the investigation, including the Fayetteville, North Carolina, plant and the Danville, Virginia, plant.

Tires produced at these two plants have been linked to many accidents. At the Fayetteville and Danville Goodyear facilities, insufficient safety protocols have put both plant workers and drivers at risk of injury and death. At a facility where workers claimed that the motto was “Round and black and out the back,” pressure to produce the maximum amount of tires has eclipsed the importance of maintaining a safe work environment.

In addition to mentioning the presence of production quotas at Goodyear, other former employees pointed at the presence of leaks in the facility’s roof during rainstorms as a cause for the production of weak, defective tires. According to Reveal, when moisture is introduced during the production of tires, tires may be prone to tread separation and blowouts. When a motorist suffers a tire blowout, no matter the speed, the results are oftentimes severe and result in serious or fatal injuries.

History of Unsafe Work Environments

Like many industrial work environments, the tire producing process is inherently dangerous to begin with. Many workers handle heavy machinery or are required to work in dark, tight quarters to perform maintenance on equipment.

According to the findings of the investigation, Goodyear has been hit with nearly 200 health and workplace safety violations over the past decade, which is more than the company’s four competitors combined. Reveal discovered that Goodyear managers often clashed with investigators and regulators, and have admitted in the past to ignoring workplace safety concerns, such as failing to address an area covered in spilled oil.

In 2016, a maintenance mechanic at Goodyear’s Danville plant suffered a fatal injury in the course of his job after falling through a hole in a machine pit. The hole was present for months after a pump was removed from the pit, and it was never addressed. In addition, two other similar holes in the machine pit were found nearby by investigators. The area in the pit where the worker fell was covered in oil, grease, and water.

The mechanic’s death marked the third of four deaths that occurred over a one-year period at the Danville Goodyear plant.

David Michaels, the former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said, “A firm in which five workers are killed over 18 months is clearly a firm in which the management is not adequately focused on worker safety.” Michaels went on to state that fatalities and serious injuries do not occur when the production processes at a company are tightly controlled.

Defective Tires Linked to Catastrophic and Fatal Injuries

In 2012, Goodyear issued a voluntary recall on more than 40,000 Wrangler Silent Armor tires due to a potential defect and possibility of tread separation when used in severe conditions. In 2011, police cited these tires as a cause of an accident that claimed the lives of a college-bound man and woman in West Texas. The tire recall came seven months after the fatal crash, but Goodyear had monitored issues with the tires at least 15 months prior to the wreck.

In 2015, a jury awarded a man $16 million in a lawsuit against Goodyear, which claimed that the 58-year-old was left paralyzed as a result of an accident caused by a defective tire. According to Tire Business, the plaintiff maintained that the Goodyear tire that blew was inherently defective, despite the company claiming a hazard in the road caused the blowout.

The defective tires in both of these tragic accidents were of the many produced at the problematic Fayetteville manufacturing plant.

Have you been injured? Call Thomas J. Henry

In the case of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., unsafe workplace environments have not only put workers at risk of injury but also motorists driving on their tires. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job due to an unsafe work environment, our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. Hurt in a car crash caused by a defective tire? Contact Thomas J. Henry immediately and receive a free legal consultation. Thomas J. Henry handles all types of personal injury cases, from product liability cases to auto and trucking accidents.

Our firm has law offices in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

John Deere Recalls Compact Tractors for Rollover Hazard, Injury Risk

John Deere is recalling 3,300 Compact Utility Tractors after determining the rollover protective structure (ROPS) at the back of the tractor can loosen and fail to protect drivers during a rollover accident, resulting in an increased risk of injury.

About the John Deere Tractor Recall

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), John Deere has issued a recall for their 1023E and 1025R compact utility tractors due to a lack of rollover protection provided by the vehicles’ rollover protective structure (ROPS).

The recall affects units sold nationwide from March 2017 through October 2017 for between $12,000 and $13,900.

Consumers are urged to stop using the recalled compact utility tractors and contact an authorized John Deere dealer for a free repair.

 

Dream On Me Recalls Crib and Toddler Mattresses, Fire Hazard

Dream On Me has issued a recall for nearly 25,000 crib and toddler mattresses due to the mattresses failing to meet the mandatory federal flammability standard for mattresses, creating a fire hazard.

About the Dream On Me Mattress Recall

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recall involves Dream On Me spring and foam mattresses for cribs and toddler beds sold between January and December of 2016.

Individual mattresses came in a variety of colors and patterns, and were sold at Amazon.com, Kohls.com, ToysRUs.com, Walmert.com, and Wayfair.com for $40 to $90.

Consumers should stop using the recalled mattresses immediately and contact Dream On Me for a mattress cover that will bring the mattresses up to code.

Dream On Me Mattresses Affected by the Recall

MattressColor/PrintModelDate of Manufacture Range
Évolur Sleep Ultra Crib and Toddler Bed Mattresswhite849between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

 

 

Évolur Sleep Deluxe Crib and Toddler Bed Mattresswhite850between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016.

 

Sweet Dreams 6” 88 Coil Spring Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress in Bluewhite with blue clouds87between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

 

 

88 Coil Inner Spring Standard Crib & Toddler Mattress

 

white88between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

 

 

Visco Pedic Innerspring Standard Mattress in Blue star

 

blue star150V_1between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

 

Convoluted Orthopedic Inner Spring Standard Crib & Toddler Mattresswhite print150Cbetween January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

 

Firm Foam Crib and Toddler bed mattresswhite print6E6WLbetween January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

 

5″ Foam Crib & Toddler Bed Quilted Standard Mattressquilted bear print5B5between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016.

 

5” Round Foam Crib Mattresswhite42Rbetween January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016.

 

5″ Thick Round Crib Mattresswhite40R1between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

More than 400,000 Commercial Trucks Recalled for Brake Light Defect

More than 400,000 Freightliner and Western Star trucks have been recalled due to a defect that can result in brake lights not working.

About the Commercial Truck Recall

According to reports, Daimler Trucks North America has notified National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that, following hard brake applications, the brake pressure switch may not activate brake lights during light braking.

Brake light failures can result in an increase risk of collision which can be even more dangerous provided the size and weight of the commercial trucks.

Daimler plans to begin notifying affected truck owners January 25. Repairs will be conducted free of charge.

Vehicles Affected by the Daimler Trucks Recall

Daimler Trucks has included the following models in its recall:

  • 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia
  • 2008-2018 Western Star 4700
  • 2008-2018 Western Star 4900
  • 2008-2018 Western Star 5700
  • 2008-2018 Western Star 6900

Ravin Crossbows Recalls Arrow Nocks, Serious Injuries Reported

Ravin Crossbows has announced that it will recall 220,000 of its plastic molded clip-on arrow nocks following six reports of serious injuries.

About the Ravin Crossbows Arrow Nock Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that the defective nocks may not fully engage with the bowstring causing the crossbow to fail to discharge when the trigger is pulled and can cause the crossbow to discharge while re-nocking.

Prior to the recall, Ravin Crossbows received 44 reports of the arrow nock malfunctioning resulting in 23 injuries, six of which were serious.

Consumers are urged to stop using the recalled arrow nocks immediately and contact Ravin Crossbows for a free replacement.

Description of the Recalled Arrow Nocks

The following information was provided by the CPSC:

  • The recalled nocks are made of all white plastic and are used in arrows for Ravin brand cross bows.
  • Tge units were sold as original equipment with Ravin crossbows and Ravin arrows as well as in separate packages of 12.
  • Each white nock measures about .9 inches long.
  • The recalled notches were sold seperatley at Brass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dicks Sporting Goods, and other outdoors stores nationwide between October 2016 and November 2017 for $7 to $15.

Woman Suffers Eye Damage Due to Defective Solar Eclipse Glasses

A New York woman suffered a crescent-shaped burn to her retina accompanied by vision loss after viewing the recent solar eclipse through what turned out to be a defective pair of solar glasses.

About the Woman’s Injuries

According to People, the woman is described as being in her twenties and is now part of a case study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, says the woman observed the sun for about 15 to 20 seconds through the glasses. Four hours later, she began experiencing color and vision distortions in addition to blurry vision. Affects were most notable in her left eye.

The woman also reported seeing a “central black spot” with her left eye.

Upon traveling to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, doctors used adaptive optics to see detailed images of the cells that make up the photoreceptor layer of the retina. This layer is responsible for converting light to electrical energy which the brain then interprets.

The doctors found that the eclipse had burned a crescent shape into the woman’s retina. Six weeks after the eclipse, her symptoms continued to persist.

Dr. Deobhakta says that this case is evidence that more need to be done to warn consumers about the dangers of defective solar glasses.

Finding the Right Solar Eclipse Glasses

The AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force has created a list of reputable glasses vendors as to make sure that people stay safe and don’t damage their eyesight while viewing a solar eclipse.

Viewers are always advised to check their glasses before looking at an eclipse to make sure that there aren’t any scratches or other defects. Doing so ensures that no harmful rays penetrate your eyes and cause vision issues.

 

Ford Recalls 177,000 F-150 and Explorers for Faulty Seats

Ford has issued a recall for more than 177,000 2016 F-150 pickups and Explorers because a bolt in the powered front seats can fail and fall out, leaving the seats inadequately secured and creating a significant safety hazard.

About the Ford Seat Recall

According to Consumer Reports, the recall states that the missing bolt can allow the powered seats to shift more than they normally would in the event of a crash.

Ford says any increased seat movement in a crash increases the risk of injury and potentially death.

Dealers will inspect the bolt to see whether it meets torque requirements. If the requirements are met, the bolt will be removed and cleaned and a new threadlock will be added before the bolt is reinstalled. If the toque inspection is failed, additional repairs will be needed.

Vehicles Affected by the Ford Seat Recall

The following vehicles are included in Ford’s powered seat recall:

  • 2016 Ford F-150 vehicles built at the Dearborn (Mich.) Assembly Plant or the Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant from Jan. 22, 2016, to April 19, 2016
  • 2016 Ford Explorer vehicles built at the Chicago Assembly Plant from Jan. 22, 2016, to April 19, 2016

FDA Recalls Kroger Baby Water for Mold, Potential Asthma Attacks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered a major recall of Kroger’s Comforts For Baby purified water with added fluoride due to presence of Talaromyces penicillium, a mold that can result in significant adverse reactions and health consequences.

About the Kroger Baby Water Recall

According to Fortune, allergic reactions to Talaromyces penicillium mold and mold spores are similar to hay fever. Symptoms may include sneezing, red eyes, skin rashes, and throat irritation, even in children who are not allergic.

Children who are allergic, however, may also suffer asthma attacks while infants with weakened immune symptoms could develop “serious health consequences.”

The FDA warns that the mold is not visible the naked eye, so contaminated bottles of the baby water may still appear clear and clean. As such, the FDA urges all consumers who have purchased recalled bottles of water to return the product to its place of purchase for a refund.

Details of the Recalled Kroger Baby Water

Fortune reports that the recall affects gallon bottles of Comforts For Baby purified water with sell-by dates between April 26, 2018 and October 10, 2018.

Kroger store brands include:

  • Food 4 Less
  • Jay C
  • Jay C Food Plus
  • Kroger
  • Kroger Marketplace
  • Owen’s
  • Payless Super Market
  • Ruler

BMW Issues Stop-Sale Order, Recall on All I3 EVs in U.S.

BMW has announced a stop-sale order and recall for all i3 electric vehicle sold in the United States after the vehicles failed a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rigid-barrier crash test.

Details of the Crash Test Failure and Resulting Recall

According to Car and Driver, the i3 failed to pass a NHTSA rigid-barrier crash test for 5th percentile women who are in the driver’s seat and not wearing seatbelts. 5th percentile women are considered those weighing between 100 and 110 pounds and standing roughly five feet tall.

The crash test is conducted at 20 to 25 mph and involves crashing a vehicle head-on into a flat, solid wall. NHTSA noted that the driver seat occupant would sustain loads marginally above the required limit and that the results were inconsistent with BMW’s testing.

Full crash test ratings for the BMW i3 have not yet been released

BMW Working on Resolution

BMW has announced that a remedy is forthcoming, but has not commented on what that fix may be.

BMW i3 owners can expect to be notified of the recall beginning in December and the stop-ale order was issued last week.

BMW advises consumers that it is safe to drive the i3s as long as a seatbelt is used.

 

 

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