Articles Posted in Product Recalls

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Every week it seems there’s another new development regarding VW and its recall trouble. Most all of these developments, whether about additional software issues or expansion of the models effected, have been bad news for the company. The latest update appears to represent a change from that pattern, good news VW, though how this could impact consumers remains to be determined.

The latest news concerns the costs of the emissions recall. Previously, experts said that the recall would cost untold billions and prove destructive to the company’s bottom line. Though the total will still be in the billions, the executives can breathe a little easier as estimates are the repairs will prove less expensive than expected. In particular, an estimate was done concerning the cost of recalls in Germany. VW is said to now save close to $3 billion thanks to a very cheap hardware fix.

The new plan for fixing the 2.4 million impacted diesel vehicles in Germany calls for installing a $10 sensor in the air filter and a relatively simple software update. Analysts say the advent of the cheap sensor is responsible for saving potentially billions of dollars. Whether the same simple fix will be applied to the millions of other vehicles that could be swept up in the recall remains to be seen.

Though the cheap fix is certainly good news for VW, some consumer rights advocates say they worry that a “cheap” fix could make matters worse for consumers. After all, taking the easiest way out often involves cutting corners, exactly the kind of thing that got VW into this mess in the first place. A cheap fix that fails to properly address the issue will leave consumers with dangerously polluting cars. Additionally, a cheap fix may encourage a further drop in resale prices, something that has already hit drivers’ wallets by thousands of dollars per vehicle. Rather than try and find the cheapest way out, VW should be required to take its time and address the problems that it created fully. Consumers deserve to be made whole, regardless of how that may hurt VW’s bottom line.

By way of background, the issue in this case concerns VW’s decision to cut corners when it comes to emissions testing. Engineers at the car company created a bit of software that was able to detect when it was being subjected to emissions testing. When the car was being tested, the software would turn on pollution controls, making the vehicle appear vastly more environmentally friendly than it is. When the car wasn’t being tested these controls turned off, releasing dangerous pollutants into the air.
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Post #1 11-11-15.jpgVW recently grabbed more headlines with its latest attempt to move beyond the current emissions recall scandal. The company revealed that it would begin offering incentive packages to current VW owners in an attempt to make amends. Though the gesture is better than nothing, critics leapt on the news, pointing out how insignificant the gesture is relative to the harm suffered by VW owners.

So what is the offer exactly? VW says that the package being created for owners of impacted Volkswagen 2-liter turbo diesel vehicles will include a $500 gift card, $500 off another VW purchase and three years of roadside assistance. Yep, that’s it. VW evidently believes a few gift cards is enough to compensate owners for intentionally creating and installing software on vehicles designed to cheat emissions tests. The faulty software meant that while drivers and regulators believed the “clean diesel” engine was functioning properly, it was actually spewing up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere.

The incentive package is an attempt for VW to buy time, trying to appease angry VW owners who continue driving their faulty vehicles around waiting on a fix. Experts say that VW engineers are still working on repairs and have not yet found an acceptable alternative that fixes the problem while allowing the engines to pass emissions tests. The incentives are currently only offered to those who own VW vehicles. The company has said it expects to release similar incentive packages for owners of Audis caught up in the same recall.

vw-van-1425819.jpgThe troubles for Volkswagen appear to be compounding every day. The company continues to issue press releases adding more and more vehicles to the recall list, just this week including several Porsche models sold in Europe. The company’s former reputation as a brand known for producing fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles was tarnished if not destroyed after it was revealed that the company used a software trick to cheat emissions tests. Experts in the auto industry say that VW will pay a high cost for its deception, with some estimating that the recall will qualify as the most expensive ever.

The first component of the recall cost will be the expenses associated with repairing millions of vehicles worldwide. It is difficult to understand what this might cost as the list of impacted automobiles continues to expand, but industry experts believe the total will run into the billions. Already, VW has told shareholders that it has put aside $8 billion to cover expenses, though many believe this will be a drop in the overall bucket.

Next up are the fines from environmental regulatory agencies, both in the U.S. and around the world. Estimates are that the EPA could fine VW as much as $37,500 for each impacted vehicle sold in the United States. Globally, the total cost could rise to $34 billion.

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Many diesel cars will begin to be recalled in January of 2016 by Volkswagen. The Volkswagen brands included in this recall are VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT. The initial recall will be on the Volkswagen diesel cars in Germany. The Company has not set a date for repair on vehicles in the U.S. There are as many as 11 million cars worldwide that will have to be recalled.

Volkswagen admitted fault after they were caught cheating on diesel emission tests in the U.S. earlier this year. The affected cars have software that makes their engines produce more toxic emissions on the road than during the official testing. New reports show that once on the road the cars are pumping out close to 40 times the legal level of nitrogen oxide.

Volkswagen is currently trying to develop a fix for these vehicles. The fixes will included changes to the software and hardware depending on the vehicle. As a result of this cheating on the emissions test, Volkswagen had to return two awards they received for Green Car of the Year for two of their diesel cars that are now at the center of the scandal. These two vehicles are the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta and the 2010 Audi TDI.

So far Volkswagen has recalled 2.4 million in Germany and they have ordered to recall close to 500,000 from the U.S. Volkswagen has not yet issued the date the new software will be available in the U.S.

The Volkswagen headquarters in Germany has been searched by authorities to try to find out who is responsible for the cheating on the emissions tests. So far Volkswagen has set aside close to 7 billion to settle issues and claims coming from the scandal. It is being speculated that Volkswagen could face a total cost of $87 billion. This is more than two times the cost of the Deepwater Horizon Spill to BP. Volkswagen does not agree with this estimate. Only time can tell what the true cost will be.
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Post #1 image. 2014-03-26.jpgIn a tragic case that has managed to grab newspaper headlines for weeks, GM’s recent recall which now appears to be headed for an increasingly litigious end. That’s because GM revealed earlier this week that it had hired Kenneth Feinberg, a famous defense attorney who has worked on major disaster payment cases previously.

In fact, Feinberg recently worked on establishing the victims’ fund for those who were harmed by the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Feinberg has been brought on as GM says it is considering its options, including possibly establishing a fund to pay victims of its faulty ignition switch that is responsible for the millions of recalled vehicles.
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Post #6 image. 2013-04-19.jpgA recent press release from the Food and Drug Administration left many consumers worried about the safety of their medications. The FDA revealed that over the course of the last few months, an investigation has uncovered possibly life-threatening safety issues at more than 30 compounding pharmacies across the country. The issues were discovered after the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak prompted closer scrutiny of the nation’s specialized pharmacies.

An especially scary example of the problems present in the nation’s compounding pharmacies was found in Florida where the FDA said it discovered medicine with floating black particles. At a different pharmacy, inspectors with the FDA discovered rust and mold in supposed “clean rooms.” Dozens of facilities had problems with their sterilization procedures, including allowing workers into rooms with medicine despite having tears in their gloves. All these violations are serious and could be responsible for yet another deadly outbreak like the one started in Massachusetts.
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Post #7 image. 2013-03-18.jpgDuring the middle of March 2013 a jury in Los Angeles decided that a former prison guard from Montana, Loren Kransky, was entitled to $8.3 million in damages for harm caused by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy subsidiary’s metal hip implant.

The jury found that the ASR XL implant caused metal poisoning and other health problems for Kransky and were severe enough to cause the man to undergo painful revision surgery to remove the defective device. The jury found that DePuy knowingly marketed a faulty device and owed the injured patient millions as a result. However, the jury did not find that the company had acted with malice. This is important because it prevented Kransky from colleting punitive damages.
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Post #8 image. 2013-03-18.jpgThe first of more than 3,000 cases filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals over it’s once popular diabetes drug, Actos, is now underway. A witness recently testified that the pharmaceutical giant put sales ahead of consumer safety and allowed marketing concerns to trump patient health worries.

The witness, Howard Greenberg, was a clinical pharmacologist who had experience in the industry and based his testimony off emails sent between Takeda executives. The emails discussed the company’s possible response to a warning by regulators across Europe and the U.S. that warning labels might be applied to Actos that described the possible risks associated with the development of bladder cancer.
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Post #2 image. 2012-11-21.jpgAccording to a recent article by the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration has launched an investigation after reports that the 5-Hour Energy product may be linked to some 13 deaths over the past several years.

The FDA confirmed that it has begun an investigation into the 13 deaths which all occurred within the last four years. The investigation is similar to the one involving Monster Energy Drink and the five deaths that were related to its use.

A report by the New York Times revealed that since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been named in some 90 filings with the FDA including 30 that involved life-threatening incidents. These include incidents of heart attack, convulsions and, in one especially tragic case, a spontaneous abortion.
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Post #2 image. 2012-11-14.jpgA company with the same founders as the specialty pharmacy linked to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak is recalling all of its products after federal inspectors said it must improve its sterility testing process.

Officials with the FDA have said that a routine inspection turned up inadequate quality assurance related to Ameridose’s sterile products. The FDA was quick to say that it has not discovered any infections linked to the recalled products from Ameridose. In a statement, Ameridose declared it issued the recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

Ameridose makes several injectable drugs which can be used in anesthesia or to correct acid imbalances in the body during critical care. Ameridose agreed to shut down for inspection in October after contaminated steroids from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) were linked to a growing fungal meningitis outbreak.
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