Articles Posted in Product Recalls

If you follow the news at all, you’ve likely heard about Samsung’s troubles. First, it was the cellphones; consumers reported experienced alarming trouble with their smartphones, some overheating, smoking, catching fire and even exploding. Things got so bad that the phones were banned entirely from commercial airplanes. It now looks like things are only going to get worse for the Korean technology company after it announced this week that it will recall nearly 3 million washing machines. What’s the trouble? Concerns about exploding washers.

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Samsung’s troubles began months ago when reports started trickling in that the new Galaxy Note 7 was overheating. Since the first reports of problems, dozens of people have come forward saying the lithium-ion batteries in their phones can overheat, leading to fires and explosions. The crisis is bad enough that Samsung recalled millions of the phones and, after several scary incidents, airlines banned passengers from bringing them onboard.

The issue with the washing machines impacts a wide range of products across 34 models of top-loading washers. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the concern is that the top of the washing machine can unexpectedly detach from the base, posing a risk to consumers of injury from impact.

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Sources close to the Volkswagen negotiations with U.S. government officials say the company is getting close to announcing a deal that would finally answer questions about how it intended to deal with the hundreds of thousands of recalled vehicles. Sources say the automaker will offer to buy back nearly half a million impacted vehicles, an attempt to turn the page on a disastrous period for the car company.

The company said that it will agree to buy back up to 500,000 of the older 2.0-liter diesel engine vehicles sold in the U.S., which contain flawed software designed to cheat U.S. emissions tests. This means that the Jettas, Golfs and Audi A3s sold since 2009 would be included. However, another 100,000 vehicles with larger 3.0-liter diesel engines, mainly Audi and Porsche models, will not be part of the buyback offer.
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For months now, Volkswagen has been embroiled in disputes with American regulators, safety experts, European officials and, more recently, consumers. The company has been fighting a multi-front battle, trying to keep itself afloat while refusing to take the kinds of responsibility critics have urged executives to consider. Unfortunately for VW, they now appear to have yet another unhappy group to contend with: dealerships.

Earlier this month a group of three family-owned and operated dealerships based in Illinois and Florida filed suit against Volkswagen. The dealer is claiming that the company intentionally defrauded them (not to mention consumers) when it installed the software on its diesel engines designed to trick government emissions tests.

Specifically, the lawsuit, which is structured as a possible class-action claim, alleges that VW and its executive leadership misled dealers into investing millions of dollars building fancy showrooms designed to market supposedly environmentally friendly vehicles all the while the company was working hard to cheat emissions tests. The lawsuit claims that the eco-conscious reputation of the company was a veneer and that this ended up costing dealers across the country a lot of money.
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A woman’s home in Washington State recently burnt to the ground after a fun toy she got for Christmas burst into flames. Thankfully, watchful neighbors spotted smoke and called 911, allowing emergency responders enough time to put out the blaze before the house was destroyed.

What toy was the source of so much damage? A hoverboard. The electronic gadgets were the most popular item this holiday season and have caused mounting problems for owners, leading not only to damaging falls, but also malfunctioning and, on occasion, spontaneous fires. In fact, a local news station in Arlington, Washington noted that this was the third time a hoverboard has ignited in the town in only the past three months.
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VW announced, to much fanfare, last month that it would begin repairs on vehicles in Germany with the rigged diesel engines. The company said that it was finally taking steps to address its mistakes, causing consumers to breathe a bit easier, believing that the faulty emissions software might actually be repaired. Though VW has indeed started, the repair process remains in very early stages and, at the current rate, may take decades to fully resolve.

Since beginning its repairs, Volkswagen has said that it fixed 4,300 vehicles. This may sound like a reasonably large number; it’s not. The problem is it pales in comparison to the number of affected vehicles. There are 2.4 million impacted vehicles in Germany. VW’s current repair rate is 1,400 vehicles per week. If the current rate continues, experts say the company won’t be finished repairing the faulty engines until 2048.

Though the company hopes to increase its speed, the magnitude of the problem should give anyone pause. Currently, VW is repairing 1,400 vehicles per week. To be able to process all the impacted cars within a year (not a short amount of time) would require the company to up the rate to 46,000 vehicles per week, a tremendous increase. Whether that kind of improvement is even possible, no one knows.
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VW found itself in the news yet again this week after several unflattering stories were released. Since U.S. regulators revealed the car company’s software cheats last year that were designed to mask emissions problems with its diesel engines, the automaker has had a run of bad press.

On a serious note, the New York Times recently launched an investigation into the company and what executives knew of the emission problem. A devastating article appeared earlier this week that showed executives, including the former CEO of VW, knew about the trouble, including the emissions-cheating software, months before they’ve previously claimed.
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Though Volkswagen has managed to steal the spotlight for the past several months after news of its emissions-cheating software was revealed, it may have to share the stage as a recent class action suit levels similar charges against another automaker. Now it’s Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz, that will need to address allegations that it too created software to cheat emissions test and allow its vehicles to pollute at unacceptably high rates.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Daimler this past week arguing that Daimler’s U.S. Mercedes-Benz unit produced engines that contain devices aimed at bypassing emissions regulations. Specifically, the software is installed in diesel engines, the same as those at issue in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal.

The lawsuit here began with a car owner from Illinois who believes that his Mercedes uses a device that allows it to emit more pollutants than is legally allowed. The cheat is alleged to work only in certain cases, for example, by allowing pollutants to be emitted at higher levels when the temperature outside is colder.

The lawsuit bases its claims on two things: one is an article by a major German publication, Der Spiegel, which mentioned similar allegations of emissions cheating. The other was a study conducted by an independent research organization, which allegedly identified the offending software. The class action demands that the court either order a recall to repair the offending devices or offer free replacement cars, a seriously expensive proposition.

Source: http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/class-action-lawsuit-mercedes-benz-alleged-defeat-devices/
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A tragic story by NBC News discussed the death of one young woman, from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and her mother’s fear that the death may have been linked to the popular artificial turf used at schools and gymnasiums across the country. Though scientists say there is no conclusive proof linking the artificial turf to cancer in children, parents and others say that more research needs to be done given alarming anecdotal evidence.

NBC News told the story of Austen Everett, a talented soccer player who started playing the game as a little girl. Like most kids, Austin began playing on a grass field, but as she grew older and more experienced, she gravitated towards playing on artificial turf fields. By middle school, she was playing almost exclusively on artificial turf.

Several years later, while attending the University of Miami where she was a promising young athlete, Austin was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Only four years later, Austen had died from the terrible disease.
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The public, both here in the U.S. and around the world, have been waiting for months to hear what Volkswagen intends to do to address the mounting scandal associated with the software it designed to cheat emissions tests. Engineers with the automaker have been busy testing and re-testing various approaches to solve the problem, including physical repairs and software patches. The problem is that the suggested fixes keep getting rejected by American regulators, forcing the company to continually go back to the drawing board.

As a bit of background, the current emissions scandal relates to a few different engines, including a 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel. The latest fix tested by VW engineers would cost the company more than $2,000 per car, something that does not make economic sense for some of the older, first generation 2.0 liter models. The engines in these vehicles date as far back as 2009 and the company appears to have decided that spending $2,000 per vehicle would not make sense given the age and likely diminished value of the cars.

As a result, the company intends to start the process of buying back first generation 2.0 liter diesel models. Before consumers rejoice, we should explain that the buy back will currently only apply to certified pre-owned models that are owned by dealerships. VW has taken this step because the dealers are stuck with cars they are legally prevented from selling, with a stop-sale order issued by U.S. regulators that shows no sign of being lifted. In an attempt to help out the beleaguered dealers (and save the company money on costly repairs), VW will take this group of impacted vehicles off their hands.
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Post #3 image 12-11-15.jpgThough most people don’t often think about it, the reality is we interact with hundreds if not thousands of different products each and every day. Clothing, household items, electronics, vehicles, even food, they’re all products and they all come with the potential for risk. Nothing is perfect 100% of the time and when something goes wrong with a product, whether an item of food, a big machine or a prescription medication, it can cause serious harm to the unsuspecting consumers on the other end. So what do you if you’ve been injured by a defective or faulty product? Keep reading to find out more about Mississippi product liability cases.

What is products liability?

Products liability cases are those where a manufacturer or vendor is required to compensate consumers for harm caused by a product sold or manufactured by the company. The law says companies are required to ensure their products are as safe as is practically possible and must go even further to warn consumers of potential harms that could result from using or even misusing the product. Companies must do their part to make products as safe as possible and consumers are required to use the products in the way that a reasonable consumer would, not creating additional or unnecessary risks.