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Top 3 Home Product Recalls of the New Year

It is less than a week into the New Year and federal agencies have already announced multiple recalls for dangerous foods, toys, electronics, medical devices, and automobiles. These are the Top 3 New Year recalls dealing with items you may find in your home.

Bean Bag Chair Covers

Comfort Research has recalled roughly 1,200 Ultra Lounge bean bag chair covers after determining the products may resulted in a suffocation hazard to children. While no injuries or deaths have been reported, bean bag chair covers with similar design flaws have been associated with child deaths in the past.

Comfort Research says the zippers on the bean bag chair covers can be opened by children who can in turn crawl into the bean bags, become entrapped and suffocate or choke on the bean bag chair’s foam beads.

The recalled covers can be identified by three sewn-in tags. One tag reads “id COLORS” on the front and “RN48711” on the back. The second tag has the UPC label code “PO#12991” or “PO#13539” on the front. And, the third tag has the care and use instructions printed on one side and the warning notice on the other.

Lawn Mower Components

This recall covers SureFit riding lawn mower blade spindle shafts and assemblies that pose a laceration and impact hazard to bystanders. The defective blade spindle shaft can break during use and pieces of the blade can become projectiles.

Federal regulators have received one report of a blade spindle shaft breaking.

The recall covers about 900 units sold in the U.S. Products were sold separately replacement assemblies for John Deere riding lawn mowers.

HP Batteries

HP has issued a recall for lithium-ion batteries equipped in HP Notebook computers and mobile workstations.

The batteries were shipped with or sold as accessories for HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series), HPx360 310 G2, HP Envy m6, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11, HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) Mobile Workstations. The batteries were also sold as accessories or replacement batteries for the HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation or for any of the aforementioned products.

The recalled batteries were sold at Best Buy and other retailers nationwide as well as online through Amazon.com and HP.com.

The batteries were sold from December 2015 to December 2017.

Ford to Fix 200,000 Vehicles Recalled for Fire Hazard

Ford has announced plans to fix 200,000 vehicles recalled due to an increased risk of fire caused by coolant leaks.

About the Ford Coolant Leak Defect

According to USA Today, certain vehicles equipped with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines can overheat when coolant levels get low. The excess heat can cause cylinder heads to crack and spew oil, creating a fire hazard.

So far, Ford has received 29 reports of engine fires in connection with the defect.

In a letter sent to dealers last month, Ford urged mechanics to check cars for coolant leaks. If leaks were present, it was recommended that they make repairs which include hose replacements, a new valve, and other parts.

Vehicles Affected by the Ford Coolant Defect

In North America, the recall covers the following vehicles:

  • 2014 Ford Escape
  • 2014-2015 Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2013-2014 Ford Fusion
  • 2013-2015 Ford Transit Connect

Ford Considers Adding 1.2 Million Vehicles to Transmission Recall

Ford is looking at expanding a previous recall of vehicles prone to unexpected down shifting to include another 1,200,000 cars, trucks, and SUVs.

About the Ford Transmission Recall

According to Autoweek, the initial recall was issued in 2016 affecting more than 153,000. Reports indicate that the vehicles’ automatic transmissions may slip into first gear unexpectedly, causing the vehicles to slow suddenly and without warning.

Such a sudden decrease in speed can result in an increased risk of a rear-end crash. However, regulators also note that the down rear tires may lock up following the downshift, causing them to skid. At least two crashes have been reported.

So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received 123 complaints of Ford vehicles with automatic transmissions slipping into first gear. Several complaints alleged that their vehicles were not included in initial recalls.

Vehicles Affected by the Ford Transmission Recall

The following vehicles are covered by the expanded recall:

  • 2011-2013 Ford F-150
  • 2011-2013 Ford Expedition
  • 2011-2013 Ford Mustang
  • 2011-2013 Lincoln Navigator

Regulators Investigate Deaths, Injuries Linked to Goodyear Motorhome Tires

Federal safety regulators have launched a probe into older Goodyear motorhome tires that may fail, causing crashes and possibly deaths.

About the Goodyear Tire Investigation

According to reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began the probe after a court ordered Goodyear to release data from previous lawsuits, which had been sealed under court orders and confidential settlement agreements.

Data obtained revealed that a number of G159 tires manufactured by the company failed while in use, resulting in deaths and injuries. NHTSA says the number of claims suggest the recurring failures could be a sign of a larger defect in the tires.

Currently, the investigation covers roughly 40,000 tires manufactured between 1996 and 2003.

The agency has also received 10 complaints of tire failure, including two that resulted in crashes. Documents cite reports to Goodyear, including one death and 13 injuries.

Risk of Damaged and Defective Tires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that defective tires are responsible for nearly 8,000 motor vehicle accidents every year. Additionally, according to a report by Michelin, approximately 535 deaths and 23,000 collisions result from tire blowouts annually.

Common causes of tire failure include:

  • Poor or defective design
  • Inadequate curing process
  • Inadequate skim stock
  • Improper belt wiping
  • Improper belt placement
  • Lack of nylon overlays
  • Faulty split rim wheel assemblies

 

 

Toys ‘R’ Us Recalls 6,000 Clay Craft Kits for Mold Risk

Toys ‘R’ Us has issued a recall of 6,000 “totally me!” clay craft kits due to mold contamination.

About the Toys ‘R’ Us Clay Craft Kit Recalls

According to CNN, Toys ‘R’ Us has received three reports of mold being found in clay. The type of mold found in the clay poses respiratory risks and infections to the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised or weakened immune systems, lung damage, or a mold allergy.

Consumers are urged to stop using the clay craft kits immediately and return them to any Toys ‘R’ Us or Babies ‘R’ Us for a refund or store credit.

The “totally me!” kits were sold by Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores and online throughout the U.S. from January to October for around $10.

Affected products will have a model number AD11244 printed on the bottom of the box.

Description of the Recalled Units

The recall affects about 6,000 “totally me!” clay craft kits.

The clay craft kits contain:

  • two bricks of air dry acrylic paints
  • paint brush
  • three sculpting tools
  • plastic rolling pin
  • sponge
  • 5” x 15.25” instructional work mat
  • two texture rollers
  • plastic clay cutting tool
  • 12” ribbon

Claire’s Makeup Recalled for Asbestos Concerns

Claire’s, a popular brand of accessories and cosmetics targeting young girls and teenagers, has recalled some makeup products due to fears they may contain cancer-causing asbestos.

About the Claire’s Makeup Recall

According to Time, the recall was announced a few days after Christmas after a concerned Rhode Island parent sent a sample of the glitter makeup she had bought for her 6-year-old daughter out for independent testing.

The samples tested positive for tremolite asbestos, a silicate material associated with mesothelioma and several other types of cancer. The woman and the law firm she works for then purchased products from nine different states in a follow-up action, each of which tested positive for tremolite asbestos.

The immediate media attention that followed prompted Claire’s to launch a safety investigation and recall multiple products, including various types of glitter makeup sets, eye shadow, and lip gloss.

Claire’s will issue refunds for products returned while it conducts its safety investigation.

Claire’s Products Included in the Asbestos Recall

The following Claire’s makeup products are covered by the asbestos recall:

  • Ultimate Mega Make Up Set
  • Metallic Hot Pink Glitter 48 Piece Makeup Set
  • Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Copact
  • Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Star Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup Set
  • Mint Glitter Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle make Up Set
  • Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss

Symptoms and Health Problems Associated with Asbestos Exposure

Symptoms of asbestos exposure usually don’t start until 10 to 40 years after exposure. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged fingertips
  • Nail deformities

Exposure to asbestos may result in:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Scarring on the lungs
  • Loss of lung function
  • Disability
  • Death

 

 

HEB Recalls Almost 5,000 Pounds of Beef Product

HEB has issued a recall for roughly 5,000 pounds of beef stew product due to possible foreign matter contamination.

About the HEB Beef Recall

According to KWTX, the recall deals specifically with possible plastic and metal contamination.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says the recalled beef stew items were produced on December 13, 2017.

FSIS cited cases containing six, 5-pound cryovac plastic bags containing fresh beef stew meat with the case code 6904 as being affected. The meat was then re-packaged into various weight beef stew meat trays that also contain separately wrapped vegetables.

The beef items were shipped to HEB stores throughout Texas.

Specific Products Affected by the Recall

Consumers should be on the lookout for the following HEB brand products:

  • Beef Stew Meat Tenderized RP
  • Beef Stew Meat RP
  • Beef Stew Meat VP
  • Beef Stew Meat-CR VP
  • Beef Stew Meat Tenderized VP
  • Beef Stew Meat CP
  • Beef Stew Kit

Recalled products will have establishment “EST. 3D” next to the USDA mark of inspection or Est. 7231 on the side of the tray.

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.8 Million Pickups for Crash Hazard

Fiat Chrysler has announced a recall for 1.8 million Ram pickups that can inadvertently shift out of park. The automaker says it has identified seven injuries and multiple crashes in connection with the defect.

About the Ram Pickup Recall

According to USA Today, the recall covers a wide spectrum of Ram heavy-duty pickups dating back to the 2009 model year and also includes some light-duty Ram pickups.

Fiat Chrysler says that the issue involves shifters mounted to steering columns. The issue arises when the brake pedal is pressed for a long stretch of time while the driver is idling in park. The brake-transmission shift interlock can disable, allowing the shifter to move out of park mode.

Roughly 1.5 million of the recalled pickups were sold in the U.S. with 300,000 being sold elsewhere.

Fiat Chrysler will repair the defect for free. In the meantime, owners are urged to use the parking brake at all times when parking.

Pickups Included in the Fiat Chrysler Recall

The recall affects certain vehicles from the following model-years:

  • 2010-2017 Ram 2500
  • 2010-2017 Ram 3500
  • 2011-2017 Ram 3500
  • 2011-2017 Ram 4500
  • 2011-2017 Ram 5500
  • 2016-2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of fewer than 10,000 pounds
  • 2009-2017 Ram 1500

 

Wohali Outdoors Recalls Children’s Sleepwear

Toddler smiling and teething on a toy

Wohali Outdoors has issued a nationwide recall for 26,800 children’s pajama sets which fail to meet federal flammability standards.

About the Recalled Wohali Children’s Sleepwear Recall

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recalled pajama sets were sold exclusively through Bass Pro Shops between October 2016 and August 2017.

The recalled pajama sets consist of three pieces, including a printed long-sleeve shirt, pants, and a coordinating solid color robe that has matching printed lapse and cuffs. All sets are 100 percent polyester.

The sets have a printed label with “BASS PRO SHOPS” on the back of the neck of the long-sleeve shirt and robe and on the back of the pants.

All units were sold for about $25.

Details of the Recalled Pajama Sets

Only sleepwear in the style numbers below and with a label identifying PO# 3515 or 3516 are included in the recall.

Style NumberStyle Description
6904536Deer Camo – pink print top and bottom; solid pink robe with pink print lapel and cuffs
6904537Pretty Pony – pink print top and bottom; solid purple robe with pink print lapel and cuffs
6904538Woodland Critters – white print top and bottom; solid pink (coral) robe with white print lapel and cuffs
6904539Holiday Critters – cream print top and bottom; solid red robe with cream print lapel and cuffs
6904540Deer Camo – tan print top and bottom; solid brown robe with tan print lapel and cuffs
6904541Holiday Moose – gray print top and bottom; solid dark gray robe with gray print lapel and cuffs
6904542Wolf – green print top and bottom; solid green robe with green print lapel and cuffs
6904543Bear – gray print top and bottom; solid gray robe with gray print lapel and cuffs

 

Ford, Mazda Issue Second Recalls for 380,000 Pickups Equipped with Takata Airbags

Ford and Mazda are recalling 380,000 small pickups for a second time in order to replace Takata airbags that can explode upon deployment.

Details of the Ford and Mazda Recalls

According to the report, the recalls include driver and passenger airbag inflators in certain 2004 to 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks.

The trucks were initially recalled in 2015 and 2016 to replace old inflators with new ones; however, this was only a temporary fix. With the new recalls, the inflators will be swapped for ones that do not use ammonium nitrate as a propellant.

Studies have found that the ammonium nitrate propellant used by Takata can deteriorate over time and burn too fast when ignited. As a result, the inflators can explode, sending metal shrapnel through vehicle cabins.

Takata Recalls Linked to 20 Deaths

So far, defective Takata airbags have been linked to 20 deaths with the most recent occurring in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this past July.

So far, 42 million vehicles across several brands have been recalled in the United States. To date, only about half of the recalls have been repaired with some automakers reporting a repair rate as low as two percent.

The Center for Auto Safety previously accused Honda of downplaying the seriousness of the recalls and underreporting the number of injuries and deaths linked to the defect. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a nationwide investigation into the matter.

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