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September 6, 2015

Fiat Chrysler recalls 7,810 Jeep SUVs for software vulnerability

Fiat Chrysler recalls 7,810 Jeep SUVs for software vulnerability

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

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File photo: A Jeep Regenade seen parked in Düsseldorf, Germany. The recall in question affects some 2015 Jeep Regenades.
Image: M 93.

7,810 Jeep SUVs are to be recalled in order to address a software vulnerability in the vehicles’ entertainment systems which allows the vehicles to be “hacked” — allows vehicle software security to be compromised — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (FCA US) said on Friday. This recall affects some 2015 model Jeep Renegades.

FCA US said exploiting the vulnerability would take “unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code.” They said there are no known instances where the software vulnerability has caused injury to anyone.

They said owners of affected cars can fix the software vulnerability by inserting a device containing a software patch into a USB port inside the car.

Another 1.4 million vehicles manufactured by the company have also been recalled last month, when white hat hackers discovered they were able to hack and disable the engines of the affected vehicles remotely.



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April 17, 2010

Toyota to recall Sienna minivan in North America

Toyota to recall Sienna minivan in North America

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

First generation Sienna.
Image: User:IFCAR.

Second generation Sienna
Image: User:IFCAR.

Toyota, the Japanese auto maker, has issued a voluntary recall of 870,000 of its Sienna minivans in North America (600,000 in the United States and 270,000 in Canada).

The models affected are the first and second generation vehicles, which were manufactured between 1998 and 2010. It has been discovered that salt, used to grit roads and melt snow in northern US states and Canada, could potentially cause corrosion in the spare tire carrier cable. In a worse case scenario, this corrosion could lead to the wheel becoming detached and becoming a hazard for following vehicles. The new 2011 version of the Sienna is not affected, nor are all wheel drive versions of the vehicle.

In a statement, Toyota said that “In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle.” In the same statement, Toyota’s Chief Quality Officer in North America, Steve St. Angelo, said that “Toyota is listening to its customers attentively, and we want to make sure their voices are heard…We are also working diligently to develop a remedy as soon as possible.”

The latest blow to Toyota’s reputation for safety and quality comes just days after the company announced the suspension of sales of its luxury Lexus GX 460 SUV over fears that it was susceptible to rollovers.



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“Toyota to suspend sales of Lexus GX 460 over new safety fears” — Wikinews, April 14, 2010

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February 23, 2010

Toyota accused of misleading public over recalls

Filed under: Economy and business,Japan,Product recalls,Toyota,Transport — admin @ 5:00 am

Toyota accused of misleading public over recalls

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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A 2007 Toyta Camry.
Image: OSX.

Toyota has been accused by a U.S. House of Representatives committee with misleading the public and investigators over its recent recalls.

The accusations, in a statement from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, claim that Toyota both relied on a flawed study in its assessment of the issue of sticking accelerator pedals at the heart of the recalls, and then made misleading statements about its response. According to the authors of the letter, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, Toyota dismissed, rather than investigated, the idea that the cars’ computers were at fault. In a statement, James Lentz, the president of Toyota’s American division, claimed that hardware issues were to blame, and that dealers were repairing the faulty part. Toyota also released a study commissioned from the research firm Exponent that said electronic systems were not to blame.

According to the House committee, however, the study involved only six vehicles, none of which had problems with their electrical systems, and was insufficient to produce an accurate result. “Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report and made misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration.”

The company is under a criminal investigation, and has received two subpoenas for documents from two House committees relating to the recalls, although whether they are directly related to the letter is unclear. The documents are related to accelerator issues in several models, as well as brake problems with the Prius hybrid car, and were served earlier in in February by a federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Toyota has released upwards of 75,000 pages of documents under the requests.

In a separate, though related, development, it has emerged that Toyota last year negotiated a limited recall for two models, the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES, that were affected by the accelerator recalls, saving the company an estimated $100 million. A confidential internal presentation in July 2009 made the claim, and a month later, a Lexus ES, one of the models under the limited recall crashed in California, killing four people. The claims apparently referenced a September, 2007 recall of floor mats that could trap gas pedals, the same problem that triggered a full recall of numerous Toyota cars to fix the same problem. In the same presentation, the company claimed to have avoided recalls of another model related to rust, as well as delaying new federal safety regulations.



Related news

  • “Toyota poised to recall 270,000 Prius vehicles” — Wikinews, February 5, 2010
  • “Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles” — Wikinews, January 30, 2010

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April 1, 2009

FDA warning on pistachios after salmonella contamination

FDA warning on pistachios after salmonella contamination

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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Pistachio(Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae or sometimes Pistaciaceae’)
Image: marcodisce.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall on Salmonella contaminated Pistachios for 31 states in the United States.

“Our advice to consumers is that they avoid eating pistachio products, that they hold onto those products, that at this stage they don’t throw them out, they simply hold on to them as we’re learning more about them to determine if they’re part of the recall,” said Dr. David Acheson, associated FDA commissioner for food. However, it is expected that the recalled list may grow as the investigation continues.

Kroger Co. is recalling shelled pistachios called Private Selection Shelled Pistachios in a 10-ounce container with UPC code 111073615 and the sell dates of December 13 or 14 on the packages. Setton Farms based in California, the pistachio supplier, is voluntarily recalling their pistachios.

Products containing pistachios have not yet been recalled, but are under investigation. The salmonella contamination was discovered by Kraft foods during routine testing last Tuesday, before any illness were reported. They notified the FDA and the FDA notified Setton Farms. So far the source of contamination has not been revealed.

The 31 states initially affected are: (in alphabetical order) : Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Signs of salmonella include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Those most vulnerable are the young, the elderly or those with an already compromised health condition.

This recall follows the long list of recalled peanut related products, peanut butter and candy bars which caused a salmonella outbreak at the end of January.



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February 17, 2008

California meat packing firm recalls 143M pounds of beef

California meat packing firm recalls 143M pounds of beef

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cquote1.svg I am dismayed at the in-humane handling of cattle that has resulted in the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company. Cquote2.svg

—U.S. Secretary of Agriculture,
Ed Schafer

In a press release today, California-based Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. indicated that it has voluntarily recalled just over 143 million pounds (65 million kilograms) of raw and frozen beef products, which is considered to be the largest single recall of beef products in U.S. history. The move follows an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) into allegations of animal cruelty and mishandling of cattle destined for the human food chain.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had determined that beef products produced by the Chino, California company were unfit for human consumption as the cattle had not received “complete and proper inspection.”

The recall has been designated as Class II, which the USDA describes as “a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”

On Friday, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer indicated that charges had been laid against employees of the plant alleged to have taken part in the mistreatment of cattle. “Today [Friday], the San Bernardino District Attorney filed felony animal cruelty charges against two employees who were terminated by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company,” said Schafer. “It is regrettable that these animals were mistreated and I am encouraged and supportive of these actions by the San Bernardino District Attorney in response to this mistreatment.”

The USDA learned of the possible inhumane handling of non-ambulatory (disabled) cattle at the packing plant on January 30 and has since suspended activities at the plant. “We continue to conduct a thorough investigation into whether any violations of food safety or additional humane handling regulations have occurred,” said Secretary Schafer in a press release. “On February 8, our Office of the Inspector General took the lead on the investigation. At that time, USDA extended the administrative hold on Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company products for the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations while the investigation continues,” said Schafer.

The FSIS reported that Hallmark/Westland had not contacted the FSIS public health veterinarian, as required, when cattle became ill or disabled after undergoing ante-mortem (slaughter) inspection, putting the company out of compliance with FSIS regulations. “Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” explained Secretary Schafer.

The cruelty charges stem from an undercover video that reportedly showed sick cattle being moved by crews using forklifts.

“Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007,” said Steve Mendell, President, Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing. “We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training.”

The USDA stressed that it is “extremely unlikely” that the cattle involved were at risk for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad-cow disease due to the employment of multiple safeguards. The USDA felt the recall was required, however, as the plant had allegedly violated USDA regulations.

The recall involves raw and frozen beef products produced on various dates from February 1, 2006 to February 2, 2008. For further information about the recall, consumers, media, and distributors are encouraged to contact Hallmark/Westland’s Plant Manager Stan Mendell or Food Safety Consultant Steve Sayer at (909) 590-3340 or the FSIS website, www.fsis.usda.gov.



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November 10, 2007

More US recalls: Fish pool toy rips fingernail off child, numerous toys with excessive lead

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Health,Product recalls — admin @ 5:00 am

More US recalls: Fish pool toy rips fingernail off child, numerous toys with excessive lead

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission has more products over the last few days, though not all because of excessive lead.

While American toy companies have been rocked in the last few months by numerous unsafe Chinese-made products, mostly due to excessive amounts of lead in paint, a few of the latest recalls were actually due to design flaws.

Also recently recalled are sunglasses and toy cars from the Dollar General chain of price-point retailers.

Products affected

“Big Red” Wagons
About 7,200 units have been made by Northern Tool & Equipment Co., of Burnsville, Minnesota. The reason for the recall is “Surface paints on the wagon and handle contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.” The product was sold through the Northern Tool & Equipment catalog, Web site, and retail stores nationwide from July 2007 through September 2007 for about US$60. Customers should immediately take the recalled wagon away from children and return it to any Northern Tool store for a free replacement. For additional information, contact Northern Tool & Equipment Co. at (800) 222-5381 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.northerntool.com
Curious George Plush Dolls
About 175,000 units have been made by Marvel Toys of New York, New York. The reason for the recall is “Surface paint on the toy’s plastic face and construction hat contain excessive levels of lead, which violates the federal lead paint standard.” They were sold at toy and discount department stores nationwide from December 2005 through August 2007 for about $15. Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Marvel Toys to receive a full refund. For additional information, contact Marvel Toys at (800) 352-2064 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.regcen.com/curiousgeorge
Dizzy Ducks Music Box
About 1,300 units have been made by Schylling Associates of Rowley, Massachusetts. The reason for the recall is “Surface paints on the wooden base of the music box contain excessive levels of lead, which violates the federal lead paint standard.” People with the product are to contact Schylling to receive a refund or free replacement toy. Their hotline—(800) 767-8697—is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. There have been no reported injuries as result of this product.
Dragster and Funny Car toy
About 7,500 units have been made by International Sourcing Ltd (ISL), of Springfield, Missouri. The reason for the recall is “Surface paint on the wheels and engine of the toys contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.” The product was sold at National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) events through Schumacher Racing, and by Matco Tools through door to door sales by its representatives from March 2007 through September 2007. Consumers should immediately take the toy away from children, and return it to International Sourcing Ltd. for a full refund or replacement product. For additional information, contact International Sourcing Ltd at (877) 404-1584 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at www.islpromotions.com
Duck Family Collectable Wind-Up Toy
About 3,500 have been made by Schylling Associates of Rowley, Massachusetts. The reason for the recall is “Surface paints on the ducks contain excessive levels of lead, which violates the federal lead paint standard.” People with the product are to contact Schylling to receive a refund or free replacement toy. Their hotline—(800) 767-8697—is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. There have been no reported injuries as result of this product.
“Robot 2000” collectable tin robot
About 2,600 have been made by Schylling Associates of Rowley, Massachusetts. The reason for the recall is “Surface paints on the robot contain excessive levels of lead, which violates the federal lead paint standard.” People with the product are to contact Schylling to receive a refund or free replacement toy. Their hotline—(800) 767-8697—is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. There have been no reported injuries as result of this product.
“Skippy” Pool Toys
About 31,000 have been made by Swimways Corp., of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The reason for the recall is “The elastic tongue of the fish can break and forcefully come out and cut the users’ hands during launching of the toy.” Swimways has received 24 reports of the pool toy breaking during use. There were five reports of injuries to children including one requiring stitches to a child’s hand. Another child’s thumb nail was ripped back from the nail bed. Products were sold at mass merchandisers and independent pool supply stores nationwide from February 2007 through September 2007 for about $10. Consumers should take the toy away from children immediately and contact Swimways for a free replacement toy. For additional information, contact Swimways toll-free at (888) 559-4653 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.swimways.com
Winnie-the-Pooh Spinning Top
About 3,600 have been made by Schylling Associates of Rowley, Massachusetts. The reason for the recall is “Surface paint on the wooden handle of the top contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.” People with the product are to contact Schylling to receive a refund or free replacement toy. Their hotline—(800) 767-8697—is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. The products feature the classic Pooh illustrations, not the Disney characters. There have been no reported injuries as result of this product. This follows a previous recall of circus, Thomas and Friends, and Curious George brand tops back in August, by the same company.



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November 9, 2007

Dollar General chain in US recalls sunglasses, toy cars

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Health,Product recalls — admin @ 5:00 am

Dollar General chain in US recalls sunglasses, toy cars

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Dollar General stores have issued a recall of toys and sunglasses due to lead paint.

Dollar General is the latest American company to unsafe Chinese-made products. All products affected by the recall contain “excessive amounts of lead” in the yellow paint.

The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission has just recalled “pull and release” toy cars, as well as yellow children’s size sunglasses.

Products affected are:

  • a four pack of Super Wheels (UPC #400016576344)
  • a two pack of Super Racer cars (UPC # 883788965002, 380000)
  • “Time to Play Every Day” Fashion Sunglasses (UPC #400007860896, 51,000 units)

The car toys were sold at the chain’s stores from April through October; the glasses were sold from March 25 through to October 2007.

Affected products should be taken from children immediately. Dollar General will provide full refunds on return.

The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based price-point retailer chain had 8205 stores, as of June this year.



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November 7, 2007

Illegal drug found to be used in the manufacture of toys

Illegal drug found to be used in the manufacture of toys

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The banned beads come in sets.

Bindeez beads, a children’s toy from Australia and manufactured by Moose Enterprise in Hong Kong, is being pulled off toy store shelves in the United Kingdom after traces of an illegal drug, which is converted into gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) when ingested, was found inside the toy. At least 20 million toys are affected.

So far at least three children from the U.K. and at least two from Auckland, New Zealand have fallen seriously ill and are currently receiving medical attention. The toy is also sold in the United States as Aqua Dots, with two reports received by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of children needing hospitalization after ingesting the beads.

“We’ve asked all our customers to take them off the shelf while we retest everything to make sure the toys comply with all regulations,” said the company in a statement, although no mandatory recall has been issued for the product. The statement also says that the plant in Hong Kong was not using a chemical mixture approved by the company.

“This substitution was not at any time approved by Moose nor was Moose made aware of any substitution by the supplier,” added the statement.

The toys were supposed to contain a non-toxic chemical known as 1,5-pentanediol, but instead 1,4-butanediol, which is mainly used in creating the illegal drug GHB, was used in the toys. When humans consume 1,4-butanediol, the body converts it into GHB and could make the individual seriously ill, causing headaches, seizures, dizziness and in some cases death. GHB is a natural chemical found in a variety of things such as beef, wine and some varieties of citrus fruits. It is also used as a pharmaceutical which is sold as Xyrem.

Recent animal research indicates that drugs are available for human use which may work as antidotes to the poison, either by hindering its conversion to GHB with 4-methylpyrazole (fomepizole, Antizol) or by blocking GHB’s effectiveness at the receptor (SCH 50911). Rodent testing has found the lethal dose of 1,4-butanediol to range from 1.4 to 2.5 grams per kilogram body weight, but an antidote can increase the lethal dose by a factor of 10.

It is not known how the chemicals got mixed up, but officials for the toy company say that they are continuing the investigation. The toy is currently banned in all of Australia, but the company says all those who bought it will be refunded their money.

“The issue of how a dangerous substance was used in these beads and not the non-toxic substance … that is going to take us a few more days to uncover,” said Australia’s Fair Trade Minister, Linda Burney in a statement to the press.

The toy was recently named Australia’s number one toy for 2007.



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October 6, 2007

Sam\’s Club recalls beef patties nationwide following reported illnesses

Sam’s Club recalls beef patties nationwide following reported illnesses

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

File:Sam’s Club Lerdo.jpg
Sam’s Club Lerdo.

Sam’s Club warehouse stores across the United States are recalling a brand of ground beef patties made by Cargill Inc., following reports that four children who ate the patties became sick with E. coli.

Consumers who bought the patties after August 26, 2007 are asked to either return them to the store they bought them from or destroy them.

The four children who became ill sometime between September 10 and September 20 were reportedly sickened by frozen American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties bought at three different Sam’s Club stores in Minnesota.

Scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli.

Heidi Kassenborg, the director of the dairy and food inspection division of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said, “We can’t be certain that meat from other stores is not involved, since the brand … was likely sold at other Sam’s Club locations.”

Therefore, Sam’s Club has voluntarily issued the recall across stores nationwide.

A statement released by Sam’s Club said that the recalled patties have expiration date of February 12, 2008 listed on the packages, and were coded UPC 0002874907056 Item 700141.

Cargill Inc. is expected to release a statement on Monday.



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September 22, 2007

One million baby cribs recalled due to potentially fatal design flaw

Filed under: Archived,Health,North America,Product recalls,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

One million baby cribs recalled due to potentially fatal design flaw

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Baby crib with mobile.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced yesterday that Simplicity Inc. is recalling nearly one million baby cribs after two infant deaths have been linked to a design failure.

Simplicity Inc. supplies cribs to large American big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Inc., and several other giant retailers including Target Corp. and Big Lots Inc.

A dangerous gap can be created if the drop-side of the crib has been installed upside-down, and thus becomes detached. That space can cause infants to be suffocated.

Parents are being urged by the company to check their Simplicity cribs to make sure the drop-side was installed correctly and is not a safety hazard. The cribs being recalled have these model numbers: 4600, 4605, 4705, 5000, 8000, 8324, 8800, 8740, 8910, 8994, 8050, 8750, 8760 and 8996.

The affected cribs cost between US$100 and $300, and were sold between January of 1998 through May of 2007.

Two separate deaths have been reported because the drop-side was installed upside down. Fifty-five non-fatal entrapment cases have been reported. And, the CPSC is now investigating a third infant death involving a newer-style crib.

Simplicity Inc. says the faulty cribs were made in China. However, according to CPSC, the recall is about the design flaws that the U.S. manufacturers designed into the product, not a made-in-China problem.



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