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defect 202 articles

Emerson Sensi WiFi Thermostats Recalled for Fire Hazard

U.S. and Canadian authorities are urging the public to check their thermostats after learning of a fire risk associated with Emerson-branded Sensi WiFi thermostats. The U.S. Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that approximately 135,000 Emerson thermostats are being recalled in the U.S. because of a defect that could potentially cause a house fire. The Canadian government says an additional 15,546 units of the affected products were sold in Canada. The wires inside the thermostats covered by the safety recall can contact each other, creating an electrical short that could lead to overheating and fire. The thermostats also can be damaged ... Read More

Costco Pays $3.85 Million Penalty For Failing to Report Hazardous Trash Cans

Costco Wholesale Corp. has agreed to pay a $3.85 million civil penalty for its failure to report dangerously defective trash cans that pose a laceration hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in an Oct. 9 announcement that Costco knew its EKO Sensible Eco Living Trash Cans posed an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers but chose not to disclose the problem to the CPSC as federal regulations require, The Issaquah, Washington-based retail giant, famous for its bulk products and wholesale prices, received 92 consumer complaints about the EKO trash cans, including 60 complaints from consumers who were ... Read More

Nissan Recalls Vehicles For Ignition Switch Defect

Nissan is recalling more than 165,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to repair an ignition switch problem that could turn off the engine while the vehicle is in motion, resulting in the risk of a crash and deactivating the airbags. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to announce a recall of the Nissan vehicles, the Japanese automaker confirmed the recall to Consumer Reports. Canada’s transportation regulatory agency, Transport Canada, announced the Nissan recall on Aug. 22, saying that the problem stems from a spring in the ignition assembly that could wear out over time and ... Read More

NHTSA Investigating Ford-150 For Seat Belt Fire Hazard

Federal safety regulators are investigating Ford F-150 Supercrew pickup trucks after receiving driver complaints of a potentially defective seat-belt assembly that starts fires during or immediately after a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) said it received five reports from Ford F-150 owners that the seatbelt pretensioners, which regulate slack in the seatbelt and lock in place during a crash, stated fires in the “B pillar” that houses the belt. Although no injuries or deaths were reported, three of the Ford F-150 trucks were completely incinerated by the seatbelt fire. The other two trucks were extensively damaged. “The ... Read More

Some Hyundai and Kia Drivers Reporting Flames, Explosions

Federal auto safety regulators said they are “reviewing” reports that certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles are catching fire for unknown reasons, sometimes burning into unusable, charred ruins. That’s what happened to a Virginia woman’s 2012 Kia Soul. Michelle Belcher told Richmond’s WTVR Channel 6 that her son Bailey was driving the Kia Soul home from work when he noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and pulled over. Outside the vehicle, he noticed the glow of fire underneath the vehicle and  “the whole car went up in flames, it was crazy,” Bailey Belcher told WVTR. Neither Hyundai, which owns about a ... Read More

Takata Whistleblowers Split $1.7 Million Award

Three whistleblowers who were instrumental in alerting U.S. authorities to the risks of Takata’s deadly airbag inflators will share an award of $1.7 million, a sum that could grow substantially larger once legislators determine the mechanics of a new auto whistleblower law passed in 2015. The whistleblowers were all former employees of Takata Corp., the Japan-based automotive supplier that manufactured tens of millions of airbags with highly unstable inflators. The dangerously defective airbags were installed in cars, trucks, and SUVs made by 19 automakers Lawyers for the three whistleblowers said the men provided extensive assistance and information that prompted the ... Read More

Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Cars For Potential Steering Wheel Detachment

Ford Motor Co. announced a major safety recall involving about 1.4 million cars in North America over concerns that the steering wheel could come off the steering column, causing drivers to lose control. The Ford recall affects certain model-year 2014 through 2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars. Most of the recalled cars – about 1.3 million – are in the U.S. Another 62,000 vehicles in Canada and 14,000 in Mexico are included in the recall. Ford announced the recall after company officials found that the cars have “potentially loose steering wheel bolts that could result in a steering wheel ... Read More

Auto Safety Advocates Seek Release of Goodyear Tire Death Documents

Auto safety advocates are heaping pressure on federal authorities to divulge documents relating to Goodyear’s G159 tire, which has been linked to hundreds of tire-blowout crashes involving motorhomes, causing dozens of injuries and deaths. According to Arizona’s The Republic, the Center for Auto Safety, the nation’s leading auto safety advocacy group, has filed a request to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the Freedom of Information Act seeking death and injury claim information, tire-testing results, and other information concerning the Goodyear tires. Litigation involving Goodyear’s G159 tires has been ongoing for years, but the manufacturer’s lawyers successfully lobbied ... Read More

Soy-based Wiring Turns Subarus Into Rodent Attraction, Lawsuit Contends

A Maui woman is suing the Hawaii distributor for Subaru vehicles claiming that the car manufacturer’s use of soy-based wiring attracts mice, rats and other rodents, leaving owners with damaged, unsafe vehicles and costly repairs. The lawsuit, filed by Joy Diane Shuey in Hawaii’s Second Circuit Court in Maui, seeks class-action status to cover other owners of Subaru vehicles sold or distributed by Servco Subaru Hawaii between Nov. 22, 2013, and the present. Ms. Shuey alleges that Subaru uses wiring coated with a soy-based insulation not just because it is biodegradable and better for the environment, but because it is ... Read More

Tire Blowout Kills Florida Couple in Everglades

Authorities in South Florida say a tire blowout appears to have caused a Ford Expedition SUV to crash Sunday afternoon in Alligator Alley, killing a Tampa couple and their dogs. The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the treads on the left rear tire of the Ford SUV separated, causing Kevin Livingston, 42, to lose control of the vehicle. The Ford veered off Interstate 75 near Mile Marker 32 and plummeted into a canal on the right side of the highway. I-75 runs through the Everglades, connecting Fort Lauderdale with Florida’s southwestern Gulf Coast. Mr. Livingston and his wife Michele Makiyama Livingston, ... Read More