Articles Posted in Defective Products

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Single-load laundry detergent pods became available to consumers in 2012, but a news release from Consumer Reports emphasizes that this product can pose serious child injury risks. It’s true that the laundry pods are convenient, but they’re “a serious health hazard for young children,” the magazine explained. Manufacturers have a duty to provide products that aren’t unreasonably safe for use.2075433092_a2dbf94911

While companies who make detergent pods have attempted to make these hazardous products safer for households with young kids, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) continues to receive reports about severe child injuries. As such, Consumer Reports recently decided not to include laundry detergent pods on its list of recommended products, and the magazine even went so far as to “strongly urge households where children younger than 6 are ever present to skip them altogether.”

Dangers of Laundry Detergent Pods

Between January and June of 2015, poison control centers across the country have received thousands of reports about laundry detergent pods. Indeed, more than 6,000 reports in six months alone have described “kids 5 and younger ingesting or inhaling pods, or getting pod contents on their skin or in their eyes.” In 2014, the AAPCC reported a total of 11,714 poisonings connected to laundry detergent pods. If the current rates for 2015 stay on pace, the number of incidents this year will surpass those in 2014. And this wouldn’t be an anomaly—the total number of injuries linked to laundry detergent pods has been on the rise since the product was introduced nearly four years ago.

Popular laundry detergent companies such as Tide and Gain produce these pods, and amidst reports of child injuries a number of manufacturers have taken steps to help make them safer in homes with kids. For instance, companies have switched “from clear to opaque plastic for outer containers and, on some, adding child-resistant latches to make it more difficult to get to the pods.” However, children continue to come into contact with these hazardous products.

Why are laundry detergent pods attractive to young children? A fact sheet presented by the AAPCC explains of these packets that, “because they are colorful and squishy . . . they can look like candy or something fun to play with.” But when children swallow the highly concentrated detergent or get it in their eyes, they can sustain serious injuries. To be sure, many kids “have become very ill and have been hospitalized.”

Unknown Variables Affect Kids’ Treatment After Exposure

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal attempted to explore the reasons why these laundry detergent pods are so dangerous. The question is a significant one, as “children have been sampling regular detergent for years without such harm.” But with the pods, emergency department physicians have seen a wide range of outcomes among kids who ingested or were otherwise exposed to the concentrated detergent in these packets. According to Brandon Wills, a toxicologist, “we don’t know why some children get so sick from laundry pods.” As the article explains, “while the contents of the packets are highly concentrated, and the detergent can shoot out with force when the packets are burst, it isn’t clear what substances in them can cause life-threatening injuries.”

Currently, emergency room doctors simply don’t have enough information to best treat these injuries. Knowing precisely why some kids are gravely affected would help tremendously in healing injuries, but “consumer-product manufacturers have closely guarded the details of how they formulated and what kind of testing they did with laundry packets.” Makers of these pods aren’t required to give a full listing of ingredients, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging companies to adopt voluntary safety standards that would make the pods safer.

Researchers continue to explore some of the variables that they believe can result in laundry detergent pods affecting different children in dissimilar ways. If your child suffered an injury from a laundry detergent pod, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

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Do Product Recalls Prevent Consumer Injury?

Dangerous Airbag Recall Expands

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Dangerous Recalls and Children’s Products

When we hear about a product recall, many of us worry that we may be at risk of a serious personal injury. However, those concerns tend to increase dramatically when we learn that our children have been using defective products. After all, child injuries can be particularly serious and life-threatening. According to a recent article from CBS News, children’s product recalls decreased in 2014, yet many recalled products continue to circulate in the used marketplace.

What should you do if your child suffered serious or fatal injuries from a product defect? It’s important to discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

Recall-254x300Child Safety Product Defect Report

How effective is the recall system in our country when it comes to children’s products? Do recalls actually result in these hazardous items being removed from the shelves? According to a report from the child safety advocate group Kids in Danger, fewer children are “being injured or killed” by defective products. Recalls have also declined. Yet, do these statistics account for used products that continue to make their way to our homes through second-hand stores and garage sales?

Some child advocates urge daycares to step up and to “play a key role to assist parents” when it comes to product recalls. If daycares pay close attention to recalls, then their employees can ensure that none of these products are purchased for or used by the children at the facility.

For instance, last year a napping chair (the “Nap Nanny”) was part of a recall last due to the danger of suffocation it posed. While many parents who owned these products discarded them, many of these chairs ended up in donation piles and ultimately at daycare centers and other places where they can continue to pose a serious risk to the safety of young kids. In situations like these—which arise with more frequency than most of us would like to assume—it’s important simply to know about recalled products and to avoid using them.

More Vigilance Needed for Kids’ Safety

What can we do to ensure that parents, daycare centers, schools, and babysitters know about dangerous product recalls? According to the recent Kids in Danger report, a very important tool that isn’t used as often as it should be is social media.

To be sure, social media platforms can play a very important role in publicizing product defects and recalls, but not all children’s companies use Facebook or Twitter, for example. And, for companies that do have these social media accounts, “less than a quarter of those with Facebook pages and less than a third of those with Twitter accounts posted recall information on those channels.”

As such, consumers should encourage companies to make information about recalls as salient as possible, which likely involves using social media. The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association recently emphasized that companies making kids’ products do post recall notices in many different places (e.g., in-store notices, direct-mail notices). However, making better use of social media channels could make a big impact.

Not only do many young parents check Facebook and Twitter regularly, but daycare centers can also monitor these channels for news about dangerous products and the risk of child injury.

If your child has been injured because of a defective product, your child deserves compensation for his or her injuries. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to speak with an experienced San Diego product defect lawyer.

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Car Recalls: What Should You Know?

Do Product Recalls Prevent Consumer Injury?

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Every year, thousands and thousands of car recalls take place. For many Americans, hearing about a product defect can be very scary. But are all recalls emergency situations? A large number of these recalls aren’t going to have a serious effect on the drivers. According to a recent article from ConsumerReports.org, numerous recalls happen for “less than perilous reasons.”

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For example, “sometimes they’re for something as benign as a mislabeled sticker.” Or, in other cases, “durability tests find a suspension spring could wear out prematurely.” And even if your car is subject to a more serious recall, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll experience that problem. To be sure, “a vast majority of affected cars will never experience the potential problems outlined in a recall notice.”

Yet many of us aren’t always sure how to tell the difference between a relatively benign and a more serious recall. How can you learn specific details about recalls and whether you need to pay particular attention? And in the event that your car is recalled for a significant reason, what should you do?

Recent Recalls and Consumer Injuries

In 2014, a number of automobile recalls shook the news. Nearly 8 million recalls took place for cars that had certain Takata airbags installed. If you’ve been reading about the Takata air bag recall, you know that these automobile parts “are prone to explode in collisions, spraying passengers with shrapnel,” and “sometimes with fatal results.” Some of the automakers that use Takata airbags include GM, Honda, Toyota, and BMW. Honda was just recently fined $70 million for failing to report more than 1,700 injuries and deaths that occurred in its automobiles, according to an article in the Washington Post.

In addition to the Takata recall, GM also recalled about 2.6 million vehicles in 2014 due to a defective ignition switch. In certain cases, these cars could simply turn off during operation, resulting in serious and fatal accidents. And just shortly before news about the GM recall hit the internet, Toyota and Lexus recalled more than 10 million automobiles because of a problem that resulted in “unintended acceleration” and deadly car accidents.

Learning About a Recall

How do most of us find out about recalls? Whether an auto manufacturer issues a recall for a minor or a serious problem, it will contact car owners by snail mail or email, and it will provide instructions for having the defective part repaired or replaced. How long does an automaker have to alert you to the recall? Once it has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the recall, it must let you know within 60 days.

If you find out that your car is part of a recall, you should follow the instructions—which usually involve visiting the nearest dealership—and have the fix or replacement completed. In some cases, the dealership won’t have the parts in stock that are needed for the repair. In such a case, you should find out if the recall “involves a key operating component, such as the acceleration, brake, steering, suspension, or fuel systems.” If it does, and the automaker suggests that you stop driving the vehicle until it can be repaired, it “should tow your car to a dealership and provide a loaner.”

Social Media and Product Recalls

If you want to stay informed about product recalls, social media can provide very useful tools. For example, you can follow your automaker on Twitter or Facebook. After GM instituted its massive recalls, it began using these precise social media platforms to let consumers know that they needed to pay attention.

If you do sustain an injury from a defective car part, you should always report the problem to the NHTSA and contact an experienced San Diego product defect attorney. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries.

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Do Product Recalls Prevent Consumer Injury?

Dangerous Airbag Recall Expands

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It is always scary to learn that we could be driving an automobile that was subject to a product recall. In the past months, millions of vehicles were affected by a Takata airbag recall, and according to a story from PBS Newshour, it looks as if that recall is only continuing to expand.

Were you been seriouAirbagsly injured in a car accident caused by a defective automobile product? It is important to know that you can file a lawsuit to hold the manufacturer liable for your injuries. Contact an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer today to find out more about how we can assist with your case.

Airbags Can Release Metal Shrapnel, Resulting in Fatal Injuries

The defective airbags involved in the urgent recalls involve at least seven different automakers. Indeed, Takata, the Japanese automobile parts manufacturer, provides airbags for many different types of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Back in October, the U.S. government issued “an immediate recall” for nearly 5 million vehicles that were installed with defective airbags. The airbags, in case you have not read about the serious dangers they can pose, “have released metal shrapnel during crashes that has led to the deaths of at least four people.”

Since the federal recall, the consumer website providing information about the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of those cars implicated has not been working properly. As such, it is important to check your VIN directly to see if your automobile’s airbags could be defective. By early November, the numbers for potentially affected vehicles caught up in this recall looked like this:

  •      778,177 Toyota vehicles;
  •      2,803,214 Honda vehicles;
  •      437,712 Nissan vehicles;
  •      18,050 Mazda vehicles;
  •      573,935 BMW vehicles;
  •      133,221 General Motors vehicles.

As you can see, millions of American drivers are at risk of a serious or fatal injury resulting from the defective Takata airbags. And those numbers continue to grow.

Recall Numbers Grow, More Automakers and Models Implicated

By mid-November, the Takata airbag recall expanded to include more Honda vehicles. According to a report in Autoblog, investigators discovered that a pregnant woman in Malaysia suffered fatal injuries in a car accident when the airbag inflator ruptured. This victim’s case was the first to be reported outside the U.S., and it resulted in the additional recall of about 170,000 Honda vehicles in Europe and Asia. With these additional recalls, the total number of potentially affected vehicles grew to more than 14 million.

Meanwhile, vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co. were also added to the list. A report from Automotive News indicated that Ford pickup trucks across the country may have defective Takata Corp. airbags installed in them. The recent death in Malaysia actually alerted the automaker and manufacturer to a previously unknown defect in the airbags. As such, Ford will be adding its 2004 and 2005 model year trucks to the list of Takata recalls, and it will replace both the passenger airbags and the driver’s-side airbags.

If you or a loved one sustained severe or fatal injuries in an accident caused by a defective product, you deserve to be compensated. You may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and should contact a San Diego defective product attorney to discuss your case.

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Consumers May Be ‘Numb’ to Product Recalls, Says Bloomberg

Do product recalls actually affect sales, or have many California residents become “numb” to news about defective products that may cause harm?  According to a recent report from Bloomberg, the recent General Motors (GM) recall hasn’t yet affected sales the way many of us might assume.  Indeed, according to the story, GM’s sales have been completely “unfazed” by the recalls.  So if a recall in and of itself won’t stop consumers from purchasing dangerous products or from patronizing a company that has sold a defective item, how do consumers make decisions to avoid purchases of potentially harmful products?

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According to the article, there are five different factors that influence whether a product recall will affect sales.  These factors can make a difference in how consumers view the recall and when it will affect their buying habits:

  •      1) Awareness of the recall;
  •      2) Severity of the risk that’s posed by the product;
  •      3) Proximity of the risk to the product that’s currently being sold;
  •      4) How the manufacturer or distributor handles the recall; and
  •      5) Reputation of the manufacturer or distributor after the recall.

Have you been injured by a defective product?  It’s very important to speak to an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer.  You may be eligible to seek financial compensation for your injuries.

Weighing the Severity of the Risk

Commentators point out that “as many as 74 deaths may be associated with these recalls” from GM, but the “impact has not yet been fully seen.”  Usually, the severity of the risk—factor #2—will have the greatest impact.  For example, consider the recent Toyota or Tylenol recalls in addition to those at GM.  When a product can put a consumer’s life at risk, the company that’s selling the defective product usually will see a drop in sales.  But the GM recall isn’t producing an immediate effect.

As a quick reminder, the GM recall involves a faulty ignition switch that reportedly has resulted in serious and even fatal injuries.  However, consumers continue to buy GM products.  What’s going on?  With the GM recall, researchers predict that factor #3 is at work.  In other words, the recalled vehicles aren’t on the market, and consumers are buying different GM models.

It takes longer than we might think for a recall to affect the reputation of a product manufacturer.  For example, with the Lululemon recall, the company didn’t experience a drop in sales until 6 to 9 months after it recalled.  While that recall didn’t cause bodily harm to consumers, reporters on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” are comparing the rate at which Lululemon’s reputation sustained damage (and thus the decrease in product sales) to GM’s reputation in connection with dangerous automobile defects.

In short, there’s a delayed “reputation impact” on sales.  And even when GM does begin to see a relationship between customer sales and its recall of the dangerous automobile parts, the company likely will be able to offer incentives, discounts, or rebates to keep customers coming.

Contact a San Diego Product Defect Attorney

Have you been injured by a defective product?  Has a loved one sustained fatal injuries from a dangerous automobile part or a bad drug?  You may be able to file a lawsuit. Contact a California personal injury lawyer at the Walton Law Firm today to discuss your case.

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San Diego Investigation Turns Up Old Tires Being Sold As New

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Earlier this year, General Motors (GM) recalled nearly 3 million automobiles due to a very dangerous defective ignition switch.  The automaker has been in the news since early 2014, as new reports about fatal injuries continue to surface.  According to a recent article from NPR, more product recalls are on the way.  And indeed, based on a related story in Forbes, those recalls may continue through summer 2014.

Key in Ignition

The GM Recall Report

As a brief reminder, the GM recall affected a number of different models, and it concerned a faulty ignition switch.  The models affected include:

  •      Chevrolet: Cobalts from 2005-2010, and HHR models from 2006-2011
  •      Pontiac: G5 models from 2007-2010, and Solstice models from 2006-2010
  •      Saturn: Ion models from 2003-2007, and Sky models from 2007-2010

No current-year models have been affected by the recall, but thousands of the affected vehicles remained on the roads in early 2014.  Because of the defective ignition switch, at least 13 people sustained fatal injuries, and commentators have indicated that “possibly more” victims will be identified in the coming months.

General Motors recently completed a report for federal regulators “outlining the problems that led to its ignition switch recall crisis,” according to Forbes.  With regard to the report, chief executive Mary Barra emphasized that GM’s board members “got no specific information about the defects that have led GM to recall 2.6 million Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn vehicles.”  The report suggests that “lower-ranking employees either made decisions or did nothing without letting the company’s most senior leaders know.”  Specifically, Barra said, “individuals failed to disclose critical pieces of information that could have fundamentally changed the lives of those impacted by a faulty ignition switch.”

New Recalls

Yet just as GM is completing its investigation into the ignition switch issue, the automaker issued additional recalls for more than 100,000 automobiles, according to NPR.  Nearly all of these vehicles were located in the U.S.  This recent news brings GM’s total for 2014 to 34 recalls—a shockingly high number of recalls that have affected approximately 14,000 cars.

Which vehicles are involved in the latest recall?  More than 57,000 heavy-duty Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks have been implicated, along with Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, and GMC Yukon sport utility vehicles.  Unlike the earlier recalls, however, the new ones affect vehicle models from 2014 and 2015.  In other words, automobiles that currently are on the market have been implicated.

What’s the defect with these pickup trucks and SUVs?  According to GM, the truck may be “out of compliance with motor vehicle safety standards covering theft protection, rollaway protection, and occupant crash protection.”  The recall concerns the base radio.  The base radio may have a defect that can result in vehicle occupants failing to receive audible warnings about seat belts and the ignition.

In addition to the pickup trucks and SUVs, the new recall also concerns more than 30,000 Buick Verano, Chevy Camaro, Chevy Cruze, and Chevy Sonic cars.  A defect in these vehicles may prevent the airbags from deploying properly.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective automobile, it’s very important to contact an experienced San Diego product defect lawyer.  At the Walton Law Firm, we have years of experience helping residents of Southern California seek compensation for personal injuries related to dangerous products.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

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Automobile Defect Deaths Linked to Recent General Motors Recall

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defective-tire-lawyerDefective tires are the cause of over 400 deaths annually in this country, and thousands of injuries. A tire defect usually occurs in the manufacturing stage, during a process where fabric, wire, and rubber are molded together to create tires as we know and use them.

Today, San Diego’s 10News concluded an investigation revealing that automobile tires that are being marketed as new, are actually old, raising all kinds of safety concerns. According to the report, there are no federal regulations that require a seller of tires to disclose the actually age of the tire to the consumer. The tire may look new, and be presented as such, but the tire may have been manufactured years earlier.

It is well understood that the structural integrity of rubber will degrade over time, causing the tire to become more susceptible to stress, and more likely to fail in a catastrophic way. The failure of a tire while traveling at a high rate of speed can lead to serious injury or death.

That scenario is precisely what happened to 19-year-old Luis Meraz. The Imperial tire teenager purchased a set of tires he believed was brand new, but in fact were 12 years old. While driving his Mustang, the tread separated on one of the tires, causing a huge crash, and claiming the life of the teenager. His parents successfully sued the tire company.

“If you take an old rubber band that’s been sitting out for a long time, if you start to stretch it you’ll start to see it crack,” said Sean Kane, of the Safety Research and Strategies Inc. in Massachusetts. “And you can’t stretch it very often before it will break.” Over the last 20 years, Kane said his group has documented catastrophic failures in 252 incidents, including 233.

Ultimately, tire manufacturers have a duty to sell products that are safe for their intended uses. When those products fail, they should be held responsible. If you or a loved one believes that a serious injury or death was caused by the failure of a defective tire, and wish to discuss the matter, please call the Walton Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation.

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Is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) responsible for 13 deaths that have now been tied to a General Motors product defect? According to a recent article in the New York Times, over the last 11 years, the NHTSA has received more than 260 complaints about General Motors vehicles, including those “that suddenly turned off while being driven.” However, the NHTSA never investigated this possible automobile defect. And according to a story in USA Today, a former NHTSA administrator has encouraged a probe into the NHTSA’s decision, emphasizing that it “failed to carry out the law when it didn’t force GM to fix the problem.” GM has now recalled the vehicles that may pose a serious safety risk to consumers.

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Have you or a loved one been injured by a defective automobile? Over the last decade, thirteen people may have died as a result of the defective product tied to the GM recall. It’s extremely important to speak to an experienced California product liability attorney. You may be able to file a claim for financial compensation.

History of the Recall and Related Consumer Complaints

A New York Times analysis suggests that, since February 2003, the NHTSA “received an average of two complaints a month about potentially dangerous shutdowns, but it repeatedly responded that there was not enough evidence of a problem to warrant a safety investigation.” The most recent of these complaints occurred earlier this month.

Complaints included “detailed frightening scenes in which moving cars suddenly stalled at high speeds, on highways, in the middle of city traffic, and while crossing railroad tracks.” The complaints emphasized the potentially catastrophic nature of the defect and urged the NHTSA to investigate.

According to the New York Times, the NHTSA responded to some of the complaints with a “polite but formulaic letter” indicating that there was insufficient evidence to launch an investigation. But this isn’t the first time that the NHTSA has failed to take action over a potentially catastrophic automobile product defect. For instance, in the late 1990s it failed “to detect a wave of highway rollovers in Ford Explorers with Firestone tires.” That defect ultimately was tied to 271 fatalities.

In 2000, Congress passed a law, known as the Tread Act, to require automakers like GM “to report to the safety agency any claims they received blaming defects for serious injuries or deaths, so the government would not have to rely only on consumer reports.” Over the last ten years, GM has received complaints linking the now-recalled vehicles to “at least 78 deaths” and more than 1,500 injuries.

GM Models at Risk of Shutdown

Which GM models are affected? According to consumer complaints, six different GM models may pose safety risks. Based on these consumer complaints and ample news media surrounding the deaths of 13 drivers over the past decade, GM has recalled these vehicles “because of defective ignition switches that can shut off engines and power systems and disable airbags.” GM mailed out the first recall notices last week to owners.

The vehicles involved in the recall are models from years 2003 to 2007, including: the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2009 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, 2006-2007 Saturn Sky, and the 2007 Pontiac G5. According to USA Today, the automaker’s recall notice alerts owners to the defect and informs them that the dealer “will replace ignition switches on those models.”

In its recall, GM has indicated that the ignition defect “may have been responsible for 31 accidents and 13 deaths,” according to the New York Times.

Automobile defects can cause serious injuries and often are linked to roadway fatalities. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident that might have been caused by an automobile defect, don’t hesitate to contact a product liability lawyer today.

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When we buy products, we expect that they’ll be safe for use, as long as we use them correctly. This is particularly true when we buy items such as car seats for our children. However, a recent recall suggests that the car seat you’ve been using for your young child might not actually be so safe. Earlier this month, Graco, a manufacturer of products for infants and children, has issued a voluntary recall of 3.7 million child car seats, according to an article in CNN News. The company has also been asked to recall an additional 1.8 million.

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Reasons for the Recall

What’s the problem with these car seats? According to the article, there’s a “buckling issue.” In short, the buckles often don’t readily open. The “red release button in the center of the harness can become difficult to unlatch,” or it “can become stuck,” according to the NHTSA. And this could pose a serious problem for a parent who needs to take her child out of the car seat quickly in case of a serious emergency, such as an accident or a fire.

The problem recently came to the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which began an investigation into complaints about the car seat buckles. Based on the NHTSA’s investigation, Graco has agreed to recall 11 out of 18 seat models. These models include convertible, harnessed booster seats, but they don’t include infant car seats. Specifically, Graco described the recall as affecting “harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013.”
Graco has contested the NHTSA’s request that it recall 1.8 million more seats, which would include infant seat models. In response, the NHTSA has emphasized that its investigation will remain open until it has thoroughly reviewed the safety issues connected to the remaining 7 seat models.

But even at 3.7 million, this recent recall represents the “fourth biggest ever for car seats,” according to the NHTSA. If the remaining 1.8 million are recalled, “it would be the biggest,” the federal agency indicated.

What’s Causing the Buckle Problem?

According to Graco, “food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.” Yet the NHTSA doesn’t think this is a sufficient, since it’s an issue that the product makers should have been able to anticipate.

Graco emphasizes that the buckle problem “does not, in any way, affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain a child.” However, the NHTSA has encouraged all parents and caregivers using these seats to “consider acquiring an alternative car seat for transporting children until their Graco seat is fixed.”

What Should I Do if I Have a Recalled Seat?

First, it’s important to know which models have been recalled. The toddler car seat models involved in the recall include: the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, and Smart Seat. Graco has not yet recalled its potentially affected infant seats, but the NHTSA has intimated that the following models might also be affected by the buckle problem: Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35, and Snugride Click Connect 40.

Graco is offering new harness buckles to customers affected by the toddler seat recall free of charge. If you currently own one of the recalled toddler seats, you can call Graco or visit their website to obtain a replacement. If you’re currently using one of the infant seats that Graco hasn’t yet recalled, you might want to think about an alternative.

When a defective product injures your child, you deserve to seek compensation by filing a product liability claim. Child injuries can be especially traumatic, and the experienced San Diego product liability lawyers at the Walton Law Firm can discuss your case with you today.

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Automobiles and Product Defects

Product liability cases frequently involve faulty automobile parts. Sometimes these flaws result in car accidents, while others cause injuries in different situations. These defective product injuries often vary widely, and defects can occur during the design process (before the part is even made), in the manufacturing stage, or at the marketing level. In fact, the recent Toyota fatal acceleration cases have been making news across the country. Recently, however, an article in Automotive News suggested that automobile dealerships might be liable for injuries sustained in defective passenger vehicles. Reporting on a recent California Court of Appeals case, the article explained that dealerships that “inspect and deliver new vehicles on behalf of manufacturers may be held liable for any defect, even if they didn’t actually sell the vehicles and weren’t negligent themselves.”

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In some product liability claims, injury victims may be able to pursue a legal theory of strict liability. In many of these cases, plaintiffs obtain financial compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured by a defective product in the San Diego area, it’s extremely important to speak to an experienced product liability attorney.

Details of the California Case
The California Court of Appeals case referenced here is one against Todey Motor Co., Inc. out of Oxnard, California. The plaintiff, Fernando Ibarra, suffered severe injuries, including paralysis, in a dangerous rollover accident involving a 2000 Chevrolet C3500 pickup purchased from the dealership.

According to the article in Automotive News, “California law has long held that a selling dealership is in the ‘chain of commerce’ for strict liability purposes.” Strict liability simply means that a defendant can be held liable for injuries even if it didn’t act negligently or with an intent to harm the plaintiff. In other words, simply being involved in the “chain of commerce” process involved in making and selling the vehicle, a selling dealership can be required to compensate injured plaintiffs.

But this case was a bit different, as Todey Motor Company wasn’t the seller of the vehicle—instead, it acted as a sort of weigh station between the manufacturer and the selling dealership. Todey did a “pre-delivery inspection” on the truck that didn’t involve examining the truck for any design or manufacturing defects, and it didn’t make a profit from the sale of the truck. Instead, Todey only earned $74.56 for the pre-delivery inspection.

Todey argued that it shouldn’t be liable for Ibarra’s injuries. Specifically, it asserted that it hadn’t actually been involved in the “chain of commerce” since it didn’t receive a profit from the ultimate sale of the vehicle. According to the Automotive News article, the store claimed that it “had received no direct financial benefit from the pickup’s sale, wasn’t integral to bringing the vehicle safely to market, and had no control or substantial influence over its manufacture or distribution.”

A lower court agreed with Todey, but the California appellate court said that Ibarra could go forward with a strict liability claim against the store. In the unpublished decision, the court explained that “Todey’s inspection and delivery of the truck placed it within the vertical chain of distribution for purposes of imposing strict liability for manufacturing or design defects.” Indeed, the court further emphasized that, “although Todey did not sell the pickup, it was the last link in getting the vehicle from its franchisor to the consumer,” and therefore had a “substantial ongoing relationship” to the manufacturer.

This decision suggests that plaintiffs in California may have more avenues of redress when they’ve been injured by a faulty automobile part. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a product defect, contact the injury lawyers at the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation.

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