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electronics 11 articles

Passenger’s Headphones Explode On Flight From China To Australia

Australian authorities are investigating an explosion and fire caused by a pair of headphones that injured a female passenger about two hours into a flight from Beijing to Melbourne. The passenger was sleeping while playing music on the headphones when she heard a loud explosion and felt a burning sensation on her face. “I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck,” she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). “I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor.” The passenger said the headphones were sparking and on ... Read More

Power adaptors recalled; pose burn hazard to consumers

Gemini has announced a recall for 31,000 units of its power adapters/chargers due to an increased risk of burn hazard. They have been prone to overheat and therefore pose a threat. These adapters are used to charge cell phones and other electronic devices. Each charger has a USB port so users may charge just about any device. They have the model number ADCP3-1000 printed on the side. The recalled chargers come in five different colors: black, blue, green, red, and white. To date, the company has only received one report of an injury from this product. The person was burned ... Read More

Dangers of button batteries targeted in worldwide awareness campaign

Batteries are something that we use almost constantly. They may seem harmless but some of them are more dangerous than you might think. The coin cell battery – often also called a “button battery” due to its small size – has attracted international attention for its serious health risks if swallowed. The tiny batteries can be found in almost every small electronic that lies around the home, such as television remote controls, bathroom scales and calculators. Children and senior citizens are swallowing the batteries accidentally and severely damaging their esophagus. Fatal esophagus burns can occur in as little as two ... Read More

Number of deaths and injuries from swallowing batteries soars

The more people use gadgets powered by “button batteries,” those silver pill-size batteries that typically power small electronics, the more battery-related injuries and deaths occur, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission warned yesterday. Young children and even some senior citizens often swallow the small batteries, which have found their way into thousands of consumer products throughout the home, powering everything from calculators to flashlights. In fact, the rate of injury and fatality caused from ingesting button batteries has increased by seven times since 1985. And according to the CPSC, the consequences of swallowing a button battery are “immediate and devastating.” ... Read More

Toyota sudden acceleration defect frees woman from criminal charges

LOS ANGELES–Prosecutors have dismissed charges of reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter against a Torrance, California, woman whose Lexus RX330 crashed on a Los Angeles highway, killing her passenger. Unmi Suk Chung, 62, blamed the accident on a mechanical malfunction, saying the vehicle suddenly sped out of control. The 2008 crash occurred on Interstate 10 in West Los Angeles, killing Chung’s sister-in-law Esook Synn, 69, who was riding in the back seat. Another passenger who survived said that Chung had screamed “no brakes” repeatedly as the car sped out of control. Chung could have spent up to six years in state ... Read More

Allstate takes Toyota to court for sudden acceleration claims

Allstate Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. for $3 million in an effort to recover the claims it paid to Toyota and Lexus drivers involved in sudden acceleration incidents. Allstate alleges it paid 270 sudden acceleration-related claims since 2007. Allstate’s lawsuit alleges that “certain of Toyota’s cars and trucks have a defect that causes sudden uncontrolled acceleration to speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or more,” and that the problem was enhanced by “defective electronics and the absence of a fail-safe, such as a brake-to-idle override system.” The insurance company’s spokeswoman Christina Loznicka told ... Read More

150 Toyota drivers continue to report sudden acceleration every week

Toyota says it receives about 150 reports of sudden unintended acceleration every week, with most of the complaints coming through the the company’s customer-service hotline. The good news is that  six months ago, the car manufacturer was receiving more than 5 times that amount. The bad news is that about 600 Toyota drivers a month throughout the U.S. still report instances and events in which their vehicles accelerated unexpectedly. Toyota customers have also filed thousands of complaints with federal regulators, but not nearly as many as they have called in directly to the manufacturer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says ... Read More

Toyota probe turns from sudden acceleration to sudden stalling

Just as the nation’s fixation on Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem started to fade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would intensify its investigations of another safety concern: sudden stalling. Drivers of Toyota Corolla and Matrix cars have filed more than a thousand complaints with NHTSA and Toyota alleging their vehicles suddenly lost power while in motion. The problem has been reported in 2005, 2006, and 2007 model year Corollas and Matrixes. In March, amidst the controversy surrounding Toyota’s widespread sudden acceleration defect, NHTSA received a letter from Toyota’s regulator manager Chris Santucci requesting a meeting with regulators to ... Read More

Toyota blames sudden acceleration incidents on driver confusion

In response to a Toyota Motor Corp’s conclusion that virtually all of crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration were actually the result of driver error, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Joan Claybrook said, “that is totally ludicrous.” Toyota has reviewed about 2,000 reports of sudden acceleration in its cars and trucks, including analyses from event-data recorders (vehicular “black boxes”) from the incidents that resulted in crashes, and says the devices reveal in nearly all cases the accelerator to be at full throttle without the brakes being engaged at the time of the crash. Toyota interprets this to mean that ... Read More

Toyota lashed out at professor for sudden acceleration research

An Associated Press report says that David Gilbert, the Southern Illinois University automotive technology professor who testified against Toyota during a Congressional hearing in February, came under attack by the auto giant for his findings that linked incidents of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles to the cars’ electronic throttle controls. In testimony before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Toyota’s top executives insisted that the problem causing many of its vehicles to speed out of control was a mechanical one, not electronic as Professor Gilbert found. However, the company also promised the ... Read More