Toyota Motor Corp. this week announced a voluntary recall of 6.5 million vehicles worldwide, including upward of 2.7 million in North America, over a driver’s side window switch defect that poses a fire risk.
At issue is grease that was improperly or insufficiently applied during the manufacturing of electrical contact modules. If moisture or debris enters those modules, it can short circuit, which in turn could cause the switch assembly to overheat and melt. A melting switch can produce smoke and potentially lead to a fire.
Thus far, Toyota officials have received 11 reports (including seven in North America) of the defect causing fire damage to a vehicle’s door. Another incident here in the US caused a burn injury on a passenger’s hand.
Models affected in the recall include:
- 2007 and 2009 Camry and Camry Hybrid
- 2009-2011 Corolla
- 2008-2011 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid
- 2009-2011 Matrix
- 2006-2011 RAV4
- 2009-2011 Sequoia
- 2009-2011 Tundra
- 2006-2010 Yaris
- 2009-2011 Scion xB
- 2009-2010 Scion xD
If you are the registered owner of an affected vehicle, look for notification via first class mail. If you haven’t suffered an injury or loss caused by the defect, take your vehicle to your nearest Toyota dealership, where technicians will inspect and repair the switch free of charge. However, if you have suffered an injury or loss that you believe is a result of the issue, call 800-251-1111 to speak with a product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell who can help you secure fair compensation.
If you have track lighting in your home or business, you may be using a popular halogen bulb that’s currently under recall. Netherlands-based Philips (formally known as Royal Philips) recently recalled its 60W PAR 16 120V halogen bulbs after receiving 13 separate reports of the bulb’s lenses shattering, posing laceration and burn risks. Of those reports, two involved laceration injuries and five involved property damage.
The recall affects upward of 370,000 lightbulbs made between November 2013 and March 2015. Look for date codes representing the month and year of production, along with “PHILIPS Halogen PAR 16,” “China” and “60W/120/V” painted or printed on the bulb glass. Date codes to look for are:
- 2013: 3L and 3M
- 2014: 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F, 4G, 4H, 4J, 4K, 4L and 4M
- 2015: 5A, 5B and 5C
If you find that you own one of the recalled bulbs and have not suffered an injury or property damage, Philips officials and those with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission urge you to safely remove the bulb from its fixture and contact Philips. The company will send specialized packaging materials and instructions for returning the bulbs, as well as free replacement bulbs. If you have been hurt or your property damaged, however, keep the bulb intact and call Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111 to speak with an experienced product liability attorney.
America’s DIY enthusiasts love their power tools, and among the most popular among them is a table saw. Unfortunately, table saws also are among the most dangerous, sending some 40,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms each year. Of these, upward of 4,000 table saw injuries result in amputations, leaving scores of victims disfigured and unable to work.
Now, an admitted defect in one popular table saw brand has prompted a recall of nearly 1,200 units. Made by Bellingham, Washington’s Grizzly Industrial, Inc., the Grizzly 10-inch hybrid table saw features a motor pulley that can come loose and hit the saw blade, causing the blade teeth to break into dozens of flying metal fragments, posing a risk of laceration or impact injury to users. Thus far, the company has received two reports of malfunction incidents, including one in which a 46 year-old man suffered a broken nose and multiple cuts.
Affected units are marked with the model number G0771 and serial numbers between TS2014060001 and TS2014111244 or a date code between 06/2014 and 11/2014 and were sold in the company’s store showrooms, online at www.grizzly.com, in catalogs and in woodworking trade magazines from January 2015 through May 2015 for about $625. Look for the Grizzly logo, “G0771,” the serial number and the date code printed on the side of the table saw’s enclosed white metal base.
If you own one of the recalled table saws and have not suffered an injury, return your saw to Grizzly for a full refund, a free repair or a free motor pulley kit that you can install yourself. However if you have suffered a table saw-related injury caused by the recalled product or any other brand, get medical treatment and contact Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111 to speak with an experienced product liability attorney today.
They’re stylish, convenient and increasingly popular. Unfortunately, they’re also a burn hazard. Cupertino, CA-based Apple, Inc. has issued a recall of all Beats Pill XL portable wireless speakers, numbering some 222,000 sold in the United States and another 11,000 sold in Canada.
“Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” Apple officials wrote in a prepared statement. “Because customer safety is the company’s top priority, Apple is asking customers to stop using their Beats Pill XL speakers.”
Apple officials thus far have received eight reports of incidents of the popular speakers overheating, including one that resulted in a burn injury to a consumer’s finger and another that damaged a consumer’s desk. The recalled products are plastic, capsule-shaped speakers that measure about four inches tall and deep by 13 inches wide. They feature a plastic mesh grille marked with the lowercase “b” Beats logo on the front and a built-in carrying handle with the mark “beatspillXL” on the back. The speakers come in black, white, pink, metallic sky and titanium.
Recalled units were sold nationwide at Apple retail stores plus other major retail stores and online at Apple.com and Beatsbydre.com from January 2014 through June 2015 for about $300. If you own one and have had no problems, stop using the speaker immediately and contact Apple online for a $325 Apple Store credit or electronic payment. However, if you have suffered an injury or property damage caused by a recalled or faulty speaker, keep the product intact as it may be needed as evidence in a legal case. Get medical treatment immediately and contact an experienced product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.
It’s been a tough few weeks for Ford Motor Co. Safety issues have forced multiple recalls covering a grand total of more than 943,000 vehicles.
The first affects some 390,000 Ford Fiesta and Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models sold throughout North America. These vehicles may have a door latch malfunction that can cause the door to become unlatched or even swing open while a vehicle is in motion. Thus far, Ford has received reports of two incidents involving latch malfunctions, one that involved a door bouncing back and striking the driver, and another in which a door swung open and struck another vehicle. While no major injuries have been reported in connection with the malfunction, it’s critical that car owners are aware of the risk of serious harm.
Just days after the announcement of the door latch issue, Ford recalled another 487,301 Fusions and Lincoln MKZs from model years 2013-2015 and 2015 Edge vehicles. Bolts on the steering gear motors installed in these vehicles can rust out, crack and disable the power assist. Vehicles most at risk are those driven primarily in the northern “salt bet” states, where large quantities of salt are applied to roads during the winter season to control show and ice and lower the risk of automobile accidents. However, here in Northeast Florida, vehicles frequently driven or parked long-term on near the beaches also are at risk because of the salty sea water and air.
Another recall affects 2014 Focus, Edge, Escape, Transit Connect models and 2014-2015 Fiesta models. Fuel pumps with nickel plating can loosen and plug the impeller (the rotor that spins and drives the fuel into the line), potentially blocking the flow of gasoline. These cars may not start or, far worse, may stall while driving, increasing the risk of a collision. The issue is known to have caused at least one crash and may also affect several Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen/Audi models, as well.
Though smaller in reach, the fourth recall is a critical one, too. It covers 73 2015 F-150 trucks manufactured over a two-day span at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan plant. Workers neglected to install heat shields or fasteners, which poses a fire risk when trucks are idling over grass or other easily ignitable surfaces.
Finally, owners of 2015 MKZ sedans are urged to request a software update that will lower the brightness of headlamps. The lamps are too bright under federal regulations in 21,435 cars.
If you believe your vehicle may be affected by the recall and no injuries have occurred as a result of the defects, take your vehicle to your nearest Ford dealer for free-of-charge fixes. However, if you or your family have suffered an injury that you believe may have been caused by one of these issues, get medical treatment and contact an experienced product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.
On the heels of a 30,000-case recall of multiple Sabra hummus products over a possible Listeria contamination, another highly popular snack product line is off the shelves entirely. Brenham, TX-based Blue Bell Creameries this week voluntarily recalled all products made at all of its facilities including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks
The move comes after an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell revealed that its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17 and March 27, made at different plants and sold in different places, contained the bacteria. Thus far, three people in Kansas have died in the past year and 10 people in four states (Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas) have fallen ill after eating Blue Bell products.
The Listeria bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Plus, a Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the issue may go back as far as 2010.
The agency connected patients from 2010-2015 to the current outbreak through comparisons to a database of bacteria DNA.
Though the origin of the strain remains unknown, “the fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases.
If you have any Blue Bell products in your home and have not been sickened, return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. However, if you or your dependents have suffered symptoms of a Listeria infection that you believe may have been caused by a recalled snack, contact a product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.
It’s a delicious and healthy snack. If your hummus of choice is the Sabra brand, take note. White Plains, NY-based Sabra Dipping co. this week issued a recall of 30,000 cases of hummus, warning consumers of a possible Listeria contamination.
The contamination potential was discovered when a routine, random sample collected at a Michigan store on March 30 tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Named for Joseph Lister, the English pioneer of sterile surgery, Lysteria is a form of bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of a Listeria-caused illness can include high fever, severe headache, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Pregnant women and their babies are at particular risk, as Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.
Affected units include:
- Sabra Classic Hummus, 10-oz packages with use-by dates of May 11 and May 15
- Sabra Classic Hummus, 30-oz packages with a use-by date of May 11
- Sabra Classic Hummus without Garnish, 32-oz packages with a use-by date of May 11
- Sabra Classic Hummus, 17-oz Six Pack with a use-by date of May 11
- Hummus Dual Pack Classic/Garlic, 23.5-oz with a use-by date of May 11
Thus far, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled hummus products, but officials with the company and the US Food and Drug Administration are urging those who have recently purchased Sabra products to heed warnings.
If you recently bought a recalled package and have not yet eaten from it, return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. However, if you have eaten from a package that you believe may be contaminated, see your doctor for treatment of any symptoms, keep the product and package intact and call 800-251-1111 to speak with product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.
Back in October, Trader Joe’s opened a Jacksonville Beach location to much fanfare. It’s the popular grocery chain’s first venture into our area. But if you recently shopped there, take note. The supermarket chain has issued a recall of its raw walnuts after FDA-confirmed reports of Salmonella contamination in certain packages.
Meanwhile, Iowa-based Frontier Co-op also announced this week that it is voluntarily recalling dozens of products manufactured with organic garlic powder sold under its Frontier and Simply Organic brands, plus another product sold under the Whole Foods Market brand, also due to potential Salmonella contamination. Affected products include the garlic powder itself, plus seasonings, broths, sauces and dips that contain it.
Salmonella is an intestinal bacterium that can lead to serious infections and illnesses, particularly in at-risk groups such as like young children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps that typically show up 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Most victims recover in four to seven days without treatment. However, those experiencing severe symptoms may need to be hospitalized and treated with antibiotics. If a Salmonella infection spreads from the intestines into the blood stream, it can prove fatal. In rare cases, infection also can lead to more severe health conditions including infected aneurysms, endocarditis (an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart) and arthritis.
To determine whether you’ve purchased any of the recalled products, check label and lot information found on the Frontier Co-op website and the FDA website. All can be returned to the store for full refunds. However, if you or your family suffered an illness after eating or handling one of the recalled products, keep the product and packaging intact and get medical treatment immediately. Then, call 800-251-1111 to speak with a product liability or personal injury attorney who can help you secure fair compensation for losses including medical treatment and lost wages resulting from your illness.
Mebane, North Carolina-based Kidde has issued a voluntary recall of 4.8 million fire extinguishers, warning that they could fail just when needed most. The massive recall affects 31 different models of disposable fire extinguishers (designed not to be refilled) with plastic valves.
It’s that Zytel (a DuPont trademark) plastic valve that company officials and safety experts with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission say can fail when repeatedly pressed and released. The move comes after receiving 11 reports of the Mexican-made fire extinguishers failing to properly work.
“Kidde has made this issue a high priority, with a number of teams assigned to investigate, resolve and communicate the issue,” Kidde officials said in a released statement. “In a small number of instances, Kidde found that a supplier built a component that is out of specification. Follow-up field testing found a low risk of the potential extinguishers not working as designed. However, there is no way to identify which units may fail to discharge as designed. Out of an abundance of caution, we have stopped shipment of affected extinguishers, are working cooperatively with the CPSC to recall any units on store shelves, and are working to replace affected units in homes.”
Most of the affected units were sold between August 2013 and November 2014 for $18 to $65 at major chain stores like Home Depot and Walmart throughout the US and Mexico. However, one model, the XL 5MR, sold for $200. They are red, white or silver in color and are either ABC or BC rated.
To determine whether you have one of the defective fire extinguishers, first check the nameplate affixed to the front of the fire extinguisher for one of the following model numbers:
- 1A 10BC
- 1A 10BCW
- FH/ RESSP
- KFH Twin
- M110 Twin
- M5 Twin
- Mariner 10
- Mariner 110
- Mariner 5
- Mariner 5 G
- XL 5MR
Then, check the date of manufacture, marked with a 10-digit date code on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Affected units were made between July 23, 2013 and October 15, 2014. To understand the date code, know that digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. For instance, a unit made on July 23 (the 204th day of the year) in 2013 will have the date code XXXX 20413 X. Date codes for recalled units manufactured in 2013 are XXXX 20413 X through XXXX 36513 X and 2014 are XXXX 00114 X through XXXX 28814 X. A full list of recalled models can be found on the CPSC website.
If you have suffered personal or property damage that you believe was caused by the failure of a recalled Kidde fire extinguisher, keep the unit intact and call 800-251-1111 to speak with a personal injury or product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. If no injuries or damage have occurred, call 855-283-7991 or visit the Kidde website to request a replacement.
The heartbreaking death of a child has prompted Fiat Chrysler (formerly the Chrysler Group) to recall approximately 67,000 pickup trucks with manual transmissions, citing a problem with the clutch.
In May, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into a fatal incident in which a child inadvertently started a 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck without using the clutch. The truck moved forward, striking and killing another child.
NHTSA investigators found that a spring wire in the clutch ignition interlock switch can break in trucks with manual transmissions. This can result in a vehicle not starting or cause it to move unintentionally once the ignition key is turned. Models affected in the recall all are manual transmission pickup trucks from the 2006 and 2007 model years and were manufactured between July 1, 2005 and July 31, 2006. They include:
- Dodge Ram 1500 trucks
- Dodge Ram 2500 trucks
- Dodge Ram 3500 trucks
- Dodge Dakota trucks
- Mitsubishi Raider trucks
Fiat Chrysler will begin notifying registered owners of vehicles affected in the recall in February. Until then, the company stresses that drivers should follow recommended procedures for starting their vehicles.
“These procedures include activating the vehicle’s parking brake, placing its shift lever in the neutral position and pressing the clutch pedal before turning the ignition key,” the company advised in a media release.
If you own or drive one of the recalled trucks and have suffered an injury or loss that you believe was caused by the defective clutch wire, get medical treatment and call a product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111. If you’ve suffered no injuries and will continue to drive your truck, take extra caution and be sure to stop by your nearest Fiat Chrysler dealership for a free-of-charge repair.