Articles Posted in Defective Products

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Tire Tread 1If you have defective tires, are you at risk of sustaining serious injuries in a car accident? According to a recent article in CBS News, a majority of defective tires simply are not being taken off the road. Drivers with defective tires continue to take their vehicles onto neighborhood roads and city highways, putting themselves and others at substantial risk of harm.

How do we know that most of these dangerous automobile products are remaining on the roads? A federal accident investigations board within the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) looked into the removal rate for recalled tires and determined that “only about 1 in 5 defective tires is being removed from the road through the safety recall process.” Given that abysmal number, the NTSB concluded that the “recall system is broken.”

Broken Recall System Failing to Alert Consumers

How is the recall system broken? According to the NTSB, manufacturers simply are not able to contact most defective tire owners. As such, those owners are not taking steps to prevent the continued use of those hazardous products. The NTSB determined that “as many as 80% of recalled tires do not get fixed, leaving danger rolling literally down American roads.” In some cases, car owners will replace their tires for other reasons, including flat tires or normal wear and tear (as many as about one quarter of drivers with defective tires). However, it looks as though part of the problem is one of registration.

Currently, tire dealers do not have to register sold tires with the tire manufacturer. Since this is not a requirement, most tire shops do not provide tire manufacturers with information about which consumers have purchased their products. Without this information, manufacturers are not able to contact many vehicle owners who could be driving around with dangerous tires on their cars. Independent tire dealers (meaning those that are not strictly owned or controlled by tire manufacturers) sell a large majority of consumer tires. CBS News indicated that these independent dealers that are not currently required to provide information about consumers sell more than 90% of consumer tires.

Tire Defects are Not Always Visible

Some people might suggest that consumers can examine their tires themselves to ensure that they do not contain hazards. However, it is important to keep in mind that many tire defects simply are not readily visible. For example, the article cited a car accident involving a 15-passenger van. When the driver felt the vehicle vibrating, he pulled over to check the tires but did not see a problem. Assuming that, because he could not see an issue with the tires, the vehicle was safe to drive, the van got back on the road. However, one of the tires failed, “causing the van with nine passengers to careen off the road and roll over.” The accident resulted in two fatalities and eight passengers with serious injuries. The defect, as it turned out, was on the inside of the tire.

What can consumers do? You can register your tires yourself with the manufacturer. By doing so, the manufacturer will be able to contact you as soon as there is a recall that could affect you. Between 2009 and 2013, 55 tire recall campaigns occurred that resulted in the recall of about 3.2 million tires. Every year, tire-related accidents lead to about 500 fatalities and 19,000 personal injuries.

If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a car accident that resulted from a product defect, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can help.

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IKEA Product Defects and Your Child’s Safety
Child Injury Risks and Laundry Pods

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file0001887367985IKEA is a popular retailer for San Diego residents who are seeking affordable but stylish furniture for their homes. Are IKEA product defects, particularly those implicated in child injuries, a reason to stay away from the store? According to a recent article from Consumerist, IKEA is re-recalling (in other words, recalling for a second time) one of its crib mattresses. What is the problem with the crib mattress? Based on the recall issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recall is due to the alleged flammability of the mattresses. In previous recalls, the same mattresses posed a risk of entrapment to young children. News of this recall comes on the heels of two other serious IKEA recalls, begging the question: Are IKEA products safe for your kids?

Details of the Mattress Recall

What do you need to know about the product defect identified in a specific group of IKEA mattresses? First, the name of the product is the VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattress, and the CPSC identified the following hazard in this consumer item: “The crib mattresses fail to meet the federal open flame standard for mattresses, posing a fire hazard.” The mattresses were sold at IKEA stores throughout the country, including the San Diego area, between October of 2010 and May of 2014.

If you purchased one of these mattresses, you should immediately stop using it and return it to an IKEA store. Consumers were previously urged to return this same model due to the serious child injury risks it posed. Specifically, a recall issued by the CPSC detailed how the crib mattresses were constructed in such a way that they “could create a gap between the mattress and crib ends larger than allowed by federal regulations.” Those federal regulations are in place to prevent infants from getting trapped and suffocating.

Yet the crib mattress is not the only consumer issue that IKEA currently faces. The brand has been linked to other products that could pose unreasonable risks to children.

Child Injuries and Consumer Products

In addition to the crib mattresses identified in the recent recall, Consumer Affairs recently reported on a recall of IKEA nightlights due to the risk of electrical shock to kids. The PATRULL nightlights, which were designed in multiple different colors to be used in children’s rooms, were made with a plastic covering that could easily become detached. Once that cover detaches, the electrical components of the nightlight are exposed. One child already suffered an electrical shock injury. Although no other known incidents were reported, it is extremely important for parents to stop using these nightlights.

Shortly before news of the nightlight recall, headlines reported on the defective IKEA “Malm” dressers, which posed an unacceptable tipping risk. Two children died because of the product defect. In all, IKEA recalled 27 million dressers and chest, according to an article in Huffington Post.

When we buy products for use in our homes, we deserve to expect that they will not cause harm to our children. However, injuries caused by defective products do happen. If your child suffers an injury from a defective product, you should discuss your case with a San Diego product liability lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about our services.

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New Female Libido Drug Approved, But is it Safe?

Child Injury Risks and Laundry Pods

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Each year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sees hundreds of applications for new medications. In many cases, the FDA will reject the drug due to, among other reasons, product safety concerns. According to a recent article in Fierce Biotech, the FDA recently put its seal of approval on flibanserin, “a first-of-its-kind pill designed to boost women’s sexual desire, but not without sticking a black-box safety warning on the twice-rejected drug.” In other words, the FDA previously rejected flibanserin upon two separate applications, and it has now only approved the drug with significant safety warnings attached.6556949031_fc30e025eb

First Drug of Its Kind Comes with Significant Side Effects

The recently approved drug, flibanserin, was manufactured by Sprout Pharmaceuticals and will be sold under the brand name Addyi. It’s designed to “help premenopausal women diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) regain their sex drives by boosting dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain.” When the FDA previously rejected the drug, it emphasized that some serious safety issues existed with the medication. Taking note, Sprout Pharmaceuticals conducted more studies and has now seen the drug approved for consumer use.

Yet the drug does come with some serious side effects, including the risk of “severe low blood pressure and fainting spells.” And drinking alcohol substantially intensifies this problem. Indeed, the FDA has insisted that healthcare professionals who prescribe Addyi should “assess the likelihood of the patient reasonably abstaining from alcohol” before actually prescribing the medication. Physicians who could end up prescribing Addyi will be required to complete a training program, the article reported.

Due to its problematic interaction with alcohol, the FDA has also required the drug’s manufacturer to “conduct three post-marketing studies to shed light on how the drug is interacting with alcohol in real-world settings.” Sprout Pharmaceuticals also has agreed to wait for eighteen months before advertising Addyi.

Controversy Over Addyi’s Approval

The drug actually was invented a number of years ago and received its first rejection from the FDA in 2010. Before its rejection, it had undergone two Phase III trials, and it “did chart a statistically significant improvement in desire as measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).” However, when patients in the study tracked their sexual desire in a daily electronic diary, Addyi failed to “significantly beat out placebo.”

A second rejection followed the first, even after Sprout Pharmaceuticals noted modest effects of the drug. The FDA cited “skepticism about FSFI and a bevy of safety issues” when Addyi received its second rejection. Last year, however, Sprout ran Phase I trials that were “designed to address concerns about Addyi’s interaction with other drugs and its effect on patients’ ability to drive the morning after use.” This time, the FDA voted in favor of approving the drug.

Some commentators argue that the drug’s previous rejections may have had less to do with harmful side effects and more to do with social stigma and issues of gender equality. As one advocacy group pointed out, “the FDA has approved more than 20 drugs for erectile dysfunction but never [before] cleared a treatment for female sexual desire disorder.” Janet Woodcock, the FDA drug approval chief, emphasized that the FDA is thinking deeply about women’s health issues and is “committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.”

Addyi won’t go on the market until October. Will the potentially hazardous side effects of the drug result in patient injuries and a safety recall, or will those possible side effects remain present in only a small percentage of women who take the medication? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, if you or someone you love suffered an injury after taking a medication, you should discuss your case with a dedicated San Diego product liability lawyer.

Photo Credit: The Javorac via Compfight cc

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Car Recalls: What Should You Know?

Dangerous Recalls and Children’s 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.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks via Compfight cc

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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, numerous recalls happen for “less than perilous reasons.”


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.

Photo Credit: Manish Prabhune via Compfight cc

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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.

Image Credit: DodgertonSkillhause via morgueFile

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More GM Recalls Amidst Release of Defect Report

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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?


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.

Photo Credit: Chris Campbell via Compfight cc

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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.