February 2011 Archives

Government Offers Resources for Crib Safety, Index of Child Product Recalls

February 10, 2011

10302a.jpgThe Consumer Products Safety Commission has established the Crib Information Center in the wake of December's long-overdue ban on drop-side cribs.

The government issued more than two dozen recalls for defective cribs in 2010. And the dangers of drop-side cribs have been well-known for more than two decades. Tragically, government inaction and a reckless disregard for child safety on the part of manufacturers have led to the preventable deaths of dozens of infants. Each year, hundreds of toys and other products marketed for children are recalled. Consulting a child products injury lawyer is the best course of action when dealing with the injury or death of an infant as the result of a defective crib, car seat, stroller, highchair or other dangerous product.

In May 2010, the government reported at least 32 infants died as a result of suffocation or strangulation in a drop-side crib during the past decade. At least 14 others died as a result of becoming entrapped.

New rules issued in December provide mandatory standards for baby cribs. The standards had not been updated in early 30 years. The new requirements call for manufactures to stop making drop-side cribs, to make mattress supports stronger, to make cribs more durable, and to put products through more rigorous safety testing.

Parents are encouraged to use the CPSC site to ensure they are not using a recalled crib. Information on the government's crib safety campaign and other safety tips are also available.

"Nurses will not allow newborn babies to leave the hospital without parents having a safe car seat. I also believe that we need to make sure that new parents provide a safe crib, bassinet or play yard for their babies to sleep in," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "By reaching new parents before they leave the hospital and again when they visit their pediatrician or health clinic, we hope to prevent deaths and ensure that all babies have a safe sleep."

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Government Contends no Electronic Cause of Defective Toyotas

February 3, 2011

267179_right_hand_drive_steering_whee.jpgAfter nearly a year of intense study, a joint investigation by NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no electrical flaws played a role in instances of unintended acceleration in defective Toyotas.

Our Defective vehicles attorneys have a number of issues with the study. The Wall Street Journal reports drivers are now being blamed for most of the instances.

"We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota's electronics systems, and the verdict is in," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas."

Of course it's an absurd assertion -- the NHTSA calls it "pedal misapplication," as if drivers forgot which was the gas and which was the brake. Thousands of drivers. Not Ford or Chevy drivers, however, just Toyotas. But it illustrates the need to consult with an aggressive defective products law firm when dealing with a serious or fatal injury caused by vehicle defects.

The government studied fewer than 100 vehicles. Toyota sold 8.42 million vehicles last year alone.

While finding no evidence of malfunctioning electronics, the NHTSA is considering several advanced safety measures to deal with the issue of unintended acceleration.

-By the end of 2011, a proposal would require brake override systems and require standardization of keyless entry systems.

-Require data recorders for all vehicles.

-Begin broad research on the security and reliability of electronic control systems.

-Research design, placement and driver usage of gas and brake pedals.

"While today marks the end of our study with NASA, our work to protect millions of American drivers continues," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "The record number of voluntary recalls initiated by automakers last year is also very good news, and shows that we can work cooperatively with industry to protect consumers."

Toyota recalled about 8 million vehicles for gas pedal issues during the last two years and paid $48.8 million in civil penalties in connection with the recalls.

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