September 2011 Archives

Dehumidifiers Recalled Due to Short Circuit, House Fire Risk

September 20, 2011


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recently announced a recall of two brands of LG Electronics dehumidifiers that have been known to short circuit and spark home fires. Such fires have already caused more than $1 million in damage.

The Goldstar and Comfort-Aire Dehumidifiers, sold at Home Depot, Walmart and various Hardware stores throughout the nation, have been made with manufacturing defects that have caused people's homes to catch fire, the CPSC reports.

It's been said many times that products made years ago were made to last and were better quality. With constant recalls due to defective products in New York and throughout the country, it's easy to see why.

Companies are constantly cutting corners to maximize profits and push the newest and greatest product into the marketplace. It makes them more money if they get the product out first, even if it has problems later. It's a strange logic, but many times, making sure consumers see who has the ground-breaking product first can give them market dominance.

Product liability attorneys understand the risks. From defective Toyotas to dangerous children's products and electronic appliances that are deemed a fire hazard, companies are too often guilty of rushing products onto store shelves without proper regard for consumer safety.

The CPSC reports that 98,000 of the dehumidifiers have been recalled because the power connector for the compressor has been known to short circuit, posing fire and burn hazards.

This product was first recalled in December 2009 after 11 events, including four fires that did damage. Since then, the company got 16 new reports of smoke and fire associated with its product. While no injuries have been reported, the CPSC reported significant fire damage to these homes:

  • $500,000 in Gibsonia, Pa.

  • $200,000 in New Brighton, Minn.

  • $192,000 in Valparaiso, Ind.

  • $183,000 in Hudson, Mass.

  • $139,000 in Salem, Ohio

  • $129,000 in Brielle, N.J.

  • $95,000 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Only two percent of the 98,000 consumers who bought these dehumidifiers have responded to the recall. Meaning either that the company is not doing a good enough job getting the word out, or consumers aren't taking the recall seriously.

With fall and winter coming, many people may soon be putting away their dehumidifiers until warmer and wetter weather returns next year. But it's also a time when space heaters, holiday lights and a host of other products may present hazards of their own in the home.

Some faulty products can pinch fingers or fall apart, causing amputation injuries. Choking hazards for children is a common recall cause. Electrical equipment that can cause fires is a major issue.

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Honda Recalls 80,000 Vehicles Due to Fire, Transmission Hazards

September 6, 2011


Honda is recalling more than 80,000 2006 CR-V crossover sport utility vehicles because of a potential fire hazard in the vehicle's power windows, The New York Times reports.

The newspaper also says the Japanese automaker is recalling 5,600 CR-Z hybrid vehicles from 2011 because manual transmission models have a flaw in the software that can cause a vehicle to unexpectedly move backward or forward.

Obviously, it is concerning that a vehicle maker would create a vehicle that not only could catch fire, but also move suddenly without the driver's intent. But it's far from uncommon. The Product Liability Attorneys Blog recently reported that Ford recalled more than 1 million trucks because corrosion problems can cause the fuel tanks to catch fire.

Hiring an experienced Florida Automobile Defect Attorney can be prudent if your vehicle caused you to get into an accident unexpectedly and through no fault of your own. Vehicle defects in Washington D.C., New York, Florida or nationwide can be alarming because vehicles are so expensive and we rely on them for safe travels.

When these heavy and dangerous vehicles break down or have major flaws because of manufacturing defects, many people can be affected. People have died or been seriously injured and even criminally charged because of their vehicle's faulty makeup. Yet, it sometimes takes years for a company to notify the public and come clean about their problems.

In Honda's case, the company says the Honda Fit was already recalled because of a power window master switch problem that caused fires. The Fit, along with the two recently recalled vehicles, were part of a 962,000-vehicle recall worldwide. The 2007-2008 Fit models were recalled for a similar problem -- a defect that allowed water to reach the master switch, which could cause short-circuiting and fires.

After the Fit recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated the same issue in the CR-V and CR-Z models, leading to the most recent recall. Honda doesn't know of anyone who has been injured or died as a result of the CR-V issues. One person died in South Africa because of the Fit problem.

Only recently, the company recalled 1.5 million Honda Accords from 2005 to 2010 because of transmission problems.

It's pretty scary to think that someone could be killed in a vehicle because it was created poorly or rushed in order to maximize profits. Vehicles are complex and can be killing machines if not created and used properly.

Consumers pay tens of thousands of dollars for these machines and expect them to work properly, no matter what. It is simply unacceptable to spend that kind of money and not get a quality product out of it.

And if these manufacturing defects cause the vehicles to have problems, it can open the automakers up to liability under the law. When a defect causes a serious or fatal accident, the company can and should be held responsible.

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