Consider your expectations when you spend money on a product. Most of us expect that, if we purchased a mechanical item, the product will work for its lifecycle needing only maintenance and minor repairs. When it comes to food items or medical supplies, the expectation is that they will be safe for ingestion and will not cause sickness – or worse. Consumer confidence took a hit this week with the number of safety recalls that were reported in the news.
Recalls occur when a safety agency discovers hazards associated with a product and takes steps to remove the item from circulation in the marketplace. Last year, 22 million vehicles were recalled. Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda held the top three spots for the highest number of recalls. And, of course, there is General Motors’ ignition switch recall. Recalls aren’t just affecting the automobile industry. Reports from various news agencies this week cemented that fact for us. Here are just a few of the recalls featured this week.
- Chevrolet Camaro – The Detroit Free Press reports that more than 500,000 current-year Camaros are being recalled. During testing it was found the, depending upon how close to the steering column a driver is sitting, their knee may bump the key fob and cause a loss of power. Chevrolet knows of three crashes that may have been attributed to this and says this recall is unrelated to the 2.6 million ignition switch recalls for the 2003 – 2008 model years of smaller Chevrolet vehicles.
- Beef – A Missouri slaughterhouse has recalled greater than 4,000 pounds of quartered carcasses and bone-in rib-eye because of the risk of mad cow disease. Inspectors found that the cattle were not properly treated and may present exposure to the virus. The beef was shipped to a Whole Foods distribution center as well as restaurants in New York and Kansas City.
- Bagged Ice – Wegman’s grocery stores, located primarily in the northeast, are recalling 7 pound and 18 pound bags of ice. The ice is thought to include metal pieces from the ice machine which could pose a choking hazard. The grocery chain estimates that approximately 6,000 bags of ice were potentially affected.
- Dialysis Fluid – NxStage Medical, Inc. is a provider of medical supplies including concentrated dialysis fluid used by at-home dialysis patients to clean toxins from their blood. Increased aluminum levels pose a serious health risk to kidney patients because their kidneys cannot filter out the mineral. DaVita Dialysis Partners and Fresenius Medical, leaders in dialysis provision and monitoring, alerted NxStage to the potential problem when patients under their care showed elevated levels of aluminum in their blood-work. The company reported 140,000 to 150,000 units of fluid have possibly been tainted with aluminum between 2013 and 2014.
- Ottoman – Big Lots stores received 19 complaints of fall hazards associated with the Wilson and Fisher brand ottomans sold nationally through the retail chain. There were approximately 14,000 units sold and the retailer is providing a $50 refund for each unit returned to a local store.
When there are so many recalls, the notices can become mere background noise for consumers. And what happens to background noise? We tune it out. We will ignore the recall notices which can prove to be dangerous. It is important that we, as consumers, filter through the noise and pay attention to the recalls that pertain to us.
If you own a vehicle or another product included in a recall, follow the instructions from the manufacturer to remedy the problem. By doing this, you can avoid accidents, injuries, or worse. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a product, call Steinger, Greene, & Feiner for a review of your situation and to see how we can help you.
Photo Credit: http://www.freep.com/article/20140613/BUSINESS0101/306130103/general-motors-recall-chevrolet-camaro-key