Spiders & Statistics – Scary Stuff this Halloween, say Auto Accident, Product Liability Attorneys in Jacksonville
Oct 29, 2013
It’s been a bad month for automotive airbags. Earlier in October, Hondo Motor Co. announced the voluntary recall of 374,000 vehicles, citing an electrical issue that can cause airbag systems to malfunction and deploy prematurely. Now, Toyota has issued a massive recall of 870,000 2012 and 2013 Camry, Venza and Avalon cars – and they’re blaming it on, of all things, spiders.
Just in time for Halloween, Toyota announced the recall “due to a problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing.” A media release explained that water from the water from the air conditioning condenser unit housing could leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit. In most cases, the result is the airbag warning light illuminating. But in several others, airbags have deployed unexpectedly. The company added that in limited instances, communication lines in the airbag control modules can be damaged, rendering the power steering assist function inoperable.
What Toyota officials skipped in that media release, but confirmed in conversations with reporters, is that in every instance of these water leaks, there were spider webs found inside the AC condenser units. While they still won’t say for sure that the webs caused those leaks, it stands to reason considering that webs are amazingly water resistant. With webs blocking the condenser units’ drainage systems, the water instead drips into the airbag modules.
If your car is affected by the recall and you’ve suffered no injuries as a result of the airbag issue, take it to your nearest Toyota dealer for a free-of-charge repair. If you or your dependents have been injured however, get medical attention and contact an experienced product liability attorney.
Speaking of cars and Halloween, remember that kids will be out in full force trick-or-treating this Thursday. Statistics show that children are four times more likely to be injured in pedestrian-involved car accidents on Halloween night than on any other night of the year, auto accident attorneys warn. Protect your kids by walking with them while trick-or-treating and keeping an eye on neighborhood traffic. Have your children hold flashlights or glow sticks, and place reflective tape on their costumes, props, shoes and candy bags to make them more visible to oncoming drivers.
From all of us here at Harrell and Harrell, have a safe and happy Halloween.
Honda Recalls 374,000 Minivans, SUVs over Faulty Airbag Issue
Oct 22, 2013
Honda Motor Co. recently announced the voluntary recall of 374,000 vehicles, citing an electrical issue that can cause airbag systems to malfunction and deploy prematurely, say auto accident lawyers and product liability attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.
The recall affects nearly 318,000 2003 and 2004 Honda Odyssey minivans and 56,000 2003 Acura MDX sport utility vehicles. The Japanese carmaker says electrical interference can cause the vehicles’ supplemental restraint systems (commonly referred to as SRS) to inflate the airbags in minor accidents or for no apparent reason at all. That’s worrisome because airbags can deploy at speeds of 200 mph and a force equal to about 2,000 pounds instantaneously exploding toward a driver or passenger.
Honda’s recall underscores an already troubling issue. Though airbags are designed to save lives by instantaneously placing physical buffers between a motorist’s body and a vehicle’s frame in the event of a collision, a record number of airbag-related recalls were reported last year. Unfortunately, we’re on track for another record breaker this year, too.
Other problems common to faulty or aging airbags include failure to deploy when a collision happens, ruptured airbag housing units and airbags with degraded or broken-off parts that can become shrapnel when a bag deploys. Resulting injuries can include skin abrasions and lacerations; hearing or eye damage; broken noses, fingers, hands or arms; and head or neck injuries.
If you own a vehicle included in the recall and have not been injured as a result of the airbag issue, take your minivan or SUV by any licensed Honda dealer and request a free-of-charge repair. However, if you or your dependents are injured as a result of the faulty airbag, get medical treatment immediately and contact an experienced auto accident or product liability lawyer. Jacksonville attorneys stress that you hold off on repairs and keep your vehicle and the airbag intact after an accident, as they can be used as evidence in your case. Harrell and Harrell can be reached at 800-251-1111.
Fires Prompt Recall of 15 Million Schneider Electric Surge Protectors, say Product Liability Attorneys in Jacksonville
Sep 30, 2013
Schneider Electric IT Corp., a Rhode Island-based multinational corporation that manufactures uninterruptible power supplies, electronics peripherals and data center products, is recalling 15 million surge protectors, citing fire hazards. Effected units are APC 7 and 8 series SurgeArrest surge protectors made before 2003.
The company, a division of the French multinational group Schneider Electric, says the products are prone to overheating and may cause fires. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 700 reports of the surge protectors overheating and melting, and 55 reports of property damage from smoke and fire. Those reports include one fire that caused $916,000 in damage to a home, and other that caused $750,000 in damage to a medical facility.
The agency also received 13 reports of injuries to people, including smoke inhalation and burns from touching the surge protectors.
Affected units were made in China and the Philippines before 2003 and were sold at Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA and other department and electronics stores from January 1993 to December 2002. Most cost between $13 and $50.
If you own an APC SurgeArrest and have not been injured or suffered a loss as a result of the surge protector overheating or catching fire, unplug it immediately and contact Schneider Electric at 888-437-4007 for a free replacement. If you or your dependents have suffered an injury or loss, place your damaged surge protector in a bag or box and contact a product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.
Explosion Hazard Forces Recall of Crossman Air Pistols, say Product Liability, Personal Injury Attorneys in Jacksonville
Sep 16, 2013
Bloomfield, NY-based Crosman Corp. is recalling two popular air guns, citing an explosion risk. The company recently announced a voluntary recall of its Crosman C31 and C21 air pistols, affecting about 16,000 units.
Says the company on its website: “We believe the plastic frame of some of the air pistols may fracture, propelling pieces of plastic through the air, when the pistol is exposed to extreme heat with a live and pierced CO2 cartridge in the pistol. If that were to occur, there could be a risk of serious personal injury, particularly to the eye.”
The recall involves Crosman semi-automatic style air pistols with model numbers C21, C31 and 9-C31BRM with serial numbers beginning with 12J, 12K, 12L, 12M, 13A, 13B or 13C. You’ll find the model and serial numbers located on side of the air pistol near the end of the barrel. The air pistols are black, measure 8 ½ inches long and weigh 1 ½ lbs, and Crosman’s name and partial address are printed in the “Warning” information on the left side of each pistol.
Affected units use a CO2 cartridge to propel plastic BBs and are used for recreational shooting. Such pistols also are used by military and law enforcement agencies for safe and non-lethal simulation for tactical training, and on film and stage theatre sets. Recalled air pistols were sold at various sporting goods stores, mass merchandisers and other stores nationwide from November 2012 through June 2013 for between $45 and $60.
If you believe you have recalled Crosman air pistol and neither you nor your dependent has been injured by one, remove the CO2 cartridge and visit the recall section on the company’s website to either choose a new product or request a refund.
If you or a loved one are injured by a recalled pistol, place it in a bag or box for safekeeping and contact a product liability or personal injury attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. We’ll help you build a solid, effective case to ensure you secure fair compensation for your injuries. Call 800-251-1111 and speak with an attorney today.
GM Recalls Nearly 300,000 Chevrolet Cruze Cars with Braking Issues
Aug 14, 2013
Every now and then, even the most careful drivers are forced to slam on the brakes in order to avoid a serious car crash. If you happen to be driving a Chevrolet Cruze, that could pose a real danger, say company executives and personal injury attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.
General Motors, which owns Chevrolet, recently announced a voluntary recall of nearly 300,000 Chevy Cruze cars from model years 2011 and 2012, citing multiple reports of a problem with the cars’ brake assist systems.
In Cruzes with six-speed automatic transmissions and 1.4-liter turbo engines, there exists a potential for “intermittent loss of brake assist,” said GM Spokesman Alan Adler. As a result, drivers are forced to apply extra pressure on their cars’ brake pedals in order to bring the vehicle to a sudden, full stop.
Says Adler, “GM is aware of 27 alleged low-speed crashes but no injuries related to brake performance, which could include this issue.”
However, even in low-speed crashes, the potential for car accident-related injuries always exists. In fact, rear-end impacts of as little as five miles per hour can cause significant symptoms. Research shows that low-speed impacts (one to 25 mph) and moderate-speed impacts (25 to 40 mph) cause maximum hyperextension of the cervical spine, better known as whiplash. By comparison, high-speed collisions often break the back of a car’s seat, which can minimize the force of hyperextension. Whiplash symptoms can include pain and aching in the neck, back and shoulders; sensory disturbance (that pins-and-needles sensation) in the arms and legs; and headaches.
GM will soon begin contacting registered owners of vehicles affected by the recall via mailed postcards or letters. If you drive a 2011 or 2012 model Chevrolet Cruze and have not been injured or in an accident as a result of the problem with the brake assist system, you can take your car to the nearest Chevrolet dealership, where technicians will replace a microswitch in the power brake vacuum pipe assembly to address the problem free of charge.
However, if you believe that you or your dependents have been injured as a result of the problem, whether it was your vehicle or one owned by someone else, get medical treatment immediately. Then, contact an experienced personal injury and product liability attorney. Jacksonville-based Harrell and Harrell has offices located throughout Northeast Florida and Orlando, serving clients throughout Florida and South Georgia. Call 800-251-1111 to schedule a consultation with attorney at the office nearest you
Toyota recalls 342,000 Tacoma Trucks over Seatbelt Issue
Aug 07, 2013
Toyota Tacoma truck drivers, take note. Toyota Motor North America, based in Torrance, CA recently announced a voluntary recall of 342,000 Tacoma trucks with faulty seatbelts. Affected units are Toyota Tacoma Access Cab vehicles made between 2004 and 2011 and sold at Toyota dealerships across the United States.
Recalled trucks have screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor within the seat belt assembly for the driver and front passenger. Over extended periods of repeated and forceful closing of the access door, these particular screws can become loose. If the screws loosen completely, the seat belt pre-tensioner and the retractor spring cover could detach from the seat belt retractor, which can affect retractor and pre-tensioner performance. This can make the seatbelts less effective or even render them potentially dangerous.
Toyota is attempting to notify all registered owners of recalled Toyota Tacoma vehicles via letters or postcards sent by first class mail. However, you also can click here and enter the VIN number of your vehicle to find out if it’s among the recalled units. Your truck’s VIN number is a unique series of 17 numbers and letters located in one or more of several spots. These may include:
- The lower-left corner of the dashboard, in front of the steering wheel
- At the front of the engine block, easily spotted by lifting the hood and looking at the front of the engine;
- At the front of the car frame, near the windshield washer fluid container;
- At a rear wheel well, directly above the tire;
- Inside the driver-side doorjamb, underneath where the side-view mirror would be located if the door was shut;
- At the driver-side doorpost, near the spot where the door latches, not too far from the seatbelt return;
- Underneath the spare tire.
If your Toyota Tacoma truck is one of the 342,000 recalled and neither you nor your dependents have been injured as a result of the faulty seatbelt, take your vehicle to any Toyota dealership for a free repair. However, if you believe an injury was caused by the seatbelt issue, consider talking with an experienced product liability attorney. Jacksonville-based Harrell and Harrell has offices located throughout Northeast Florida, in Orlando and in Brunswick, GA. Call 800-251-1111 to schedule a consultation with attorney at the office nearest you.
Hollis Digital Dive Computers Recalled for Drowning Hazard
Jul 20, 2013
Coastal Florida is a favorite destination for diving enthusiasts. So, personal injury and water accident attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell want to make sure you know about an important diving product recall.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and San Leandro, CA-based Hollis, a major manufacturer and distributor of diving equipment, recently recalled about 1,000 Hollis DG03 Dive Computers designed to allow scuba divers to measure the time and depth of a dive.
The voluntary move was prompted by two reports of dive computers malfunctioning. Though no injuries have been reported, the problem does pose a drowning risk, water accident lawyers say. When used with an optional integrated transmitter, the dive computer can display an incorrect tank pressure reading to the diver. As a result, a diver could unknowingly deplete his or her air supply based on the reading.
If you have a Hollis brand DG03 dive computer, look for serial numbers 100 through 1142 printed on the back. The round black 2-1/2 inch diameter computer has a digital screen and is worn on the diver’s wrist like a watch. “Hollis DG03” is printed on the front. Only units with software labeled “Revision 1A”, viewed on the computer’s display are included in the recall. Affected units were sold nationwide from July 2011 through May 2013 for about $500.
If you have a recalled dive computer and have not been injured, stop it until the unit’s operating system is upgraded to Revision 1B. You can download the upgrade from the Hollis website or contact an authorized Hollis dealer for assistance.
If you believe you or your dependent have been injured as a result of using the product, keep it as is and contact a water accident lawyer with Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111 to schedule a consultation.
Nap Nanny Recalled – Linked to at Least Five Infant Deaths, Product Liability Attorneys Say
Jun 20, 2013
The Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners have become quite popular among new moms. Unfortunately, they’ve also been proven dangerous, say officials with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and product liability attorneys in Jacksonville and nationwide.
As part of a settlement with the CPSC, children’s product manufacturer Baby Matters LLC this month announced a recall of the Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Nap Nanny Chill, affecting more than 165,000 items. The move comes after more than 90 complaints filed with the commission since 2009. Reports included babies falling out of or hanging over the side of the recliners. Four infants died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and another died using the Nap Nanny Chill model.
Reports of trouble emerged as early as 2009, but the Pennsylvania-based manufacturer refused an initial request by the CPSC to recall the Nap Nanny products. In 2010, the CPSC and Baby Matters jointly announced a recall offering coupons to owners of Generation One models good for a discount toward the purchase of a newer Generation Two or Nap Nanny Chill model. At that time, one death and 22 reports of problems were known. Despite warnings and clear instructions included with all recliners, the CPSC received another 70 reports of problems and more deaths.
Last year, four major retailers agreed to recall the items. Still, the manufacturer refused to comply, even after the CPSC filed a formal administrative complaint, maintaining that all Nap Nanny models were safe when used as directed. The legal wrangling eventually caused the company to go out of business, and this week, officials finally complied with recall requests as part of a settlement.
If your child uses a Nap Nanny, discontinue use immediately and contact an experienced product liability attorney if you suspect the product caused an injury. Reach Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.
Airbag Recalls Double in Six Months – Set for Record-Breaking 2013
May 17, 2013
Automobile airbags are designed to save lives, placing an instantaneous, physical buffer between a motorist’s body and a vehicle’s frame. But the sheer force with which airbags are deployed and common changes that can happen over time potentially can cause more harm than help, say auto accident attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.
In 2012, automakers hit a dubious record with 23 airbag-related recalls, according to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In just the past six months alone, there have been 23 recalls, 15 of them happening in 2013. At this rate, 2013 could be another record-breaking year for recalls.
Among the problems that lead to recalls are airbags that fail to deploy when a collision happens, airbags that deploy prematurely, and problems that arise as vehicles age, including ruptured airbag housing units and airbags with degraded or broken-off parts that can become shrapnel when a bag deploys. Potential consequences can include skin abrasions and lacerations; hearing or eye damage; broken noses, fingers, hands or arms; and head or neck injuries. The root cause of many airbag-related injuries is the force necessary for quick deployment. And studies show that in the United States, airbags typically are more forceful than those in other countries.
Though airbags are credited with saving upwards of 3,000 lives a year, the dangers they pose are real, potentially life-altering and all too common. If you or your dependents have been injured by an airbag’s faulty deployment or its failure to deploy, get medical treatment immediately. Then, call 800-251-1111 and schedule a consultation with an auto accident lawyer with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.
Ford, Chrysler, Nissan and Triumph Issue Recalls
Apr 09, 2013
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and its Office of Defects Investigation issued recalls of multiple consumer vehicles earlier this month. Each has a defect deemed potentially dangerous to drivers, passengers and others sharing the roadways.
Ford is recalling certain model year 2012 Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and model year 2013 Explorer vehicles manufactured July 19, 2011, through March 15, 2012. The fuel tanks may have a marginally sealed seam in the side of the tank, which can cause the fuel tanks to leak or to fail in the event of an impact, potentially causing a fire.
Triumph Motorcycles is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Daytona 675, Street Triple, Speed Triple, and Tiger 800 motorcycles. Due to a manufacturing error, the turn signal stems on the front and rear of the motorcycle may crack or break. This means turn signals may not be visible to other drivers on the road, which can boost the risk of a crash.
Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2013 Dodge Challenger vehicles manufactured from December 3, 2012, through January 24, 2013 and equipped with a V6 engine. The battery positive cable at the starter motor may experience an electrical short circuit to ground, which can cause the vehicle to catch fire.
Nissan is recalling certain model year 2013 Titan trucks manufactured from January 22, 2013, through February 20, 2013; and model year 2013 NV vehicles manufactured from December 17, 2012, through February 20, 2013 and equipped with steering column-mounted transmission shift levers. Chemicals used in the manufacturing of the shift lever assembly may cause a malfunction of the brake shift interlock allowing the transmission shift lever to be shifted out of park even without the brake pedal being pressed. The vehicle then could roll away, placing drivers and passengers of other vehicles, as well as pedestrians in danger.
If you own one of these recalled vehicles and have not been injured as a result, head to your local dealer to find out what can be done to repair your vehicle and make it safe. You also can contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
If you or a dependent are injured by one of these recalled vehicles, seek medical attention immediately, then contact an experienced personal injury or product liability attorney with Jacksonville-based Harrell and Harrell. We have offices throughout Northeast Florida and in Orlando, and serve Brunswick and other areas of Southeast Georgia. Reach any of our offices at 800-251-1111.