Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Recently in Product Recalls Category

Last Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced a rather serious recall for their Dodge Ram pickup trucks. The problem has been linked to one death and two other injuries. The newest recall comes just one month after a rather minor recall was announced due to incorrect warnings on the sun visors of the 2014-2017 Ram ProMaster vehicles.

The latest recall however is not so minor and can lead to fatal injuries. The problem was discovered after the company was sued as a result of a rollover accident. The software on a computer control module linked to the collision safety system is prone to malfunction. The malfunction can cause air bags to not deploy, and seat belts to not tighten up, during an accident. This is of particular concern because pickup trucks are generally more prone to dangerous rollover accidents.

In yet another undeclared food allergen recall this year, Trader Joe's announced last week that one of their mochi ice cream products may contain undeclared peanuts. The company issued a voluntary recall on the "Chocolate Chocolate Mochi Ice Cream" produced by Mikawaya and sold nationwide in their stores. 

Since the recall, all affected products have been removed from store shelves. Consumers who may have purchased the mochi affected by the recall can return the product to any Trader Joe's store for a refund. However, individuals who do not have allergies to peanuts are free to consume the product as it poses no other health risk (other than being ice cream).

For those that drink Bombay Sapphire gin, whether socially, recreationally, or professionally, a recent recall prompted by the company is bound to raise some flummoxed eyebrows. Apparently, one unhappy customer and gin connoisseur noticed that his bottle of gin did not meet his expectations (which clearly were not to get drunk quickly and cheaply) and he contacted the company to let them know.

What happened next probably isn't going to shock you as you probably could've guessed based on the title: it was discovered that Bombay Sapphire had inadvertently messed up the mixture on a small batch of bottles. Rather than the usual 40 percent alcohol content, the special mis-mixed batch came out at an ultra-flammable 77 percent alcohol, or 154 proof.

Soylent, the food company that makes meal replacement products, announced a voluntary recall of one of their powdered drinkable food products this week. The recall was due to a dairy free variety of the product that accidentally had dairy included in it during the manufacturing process. While this may not sound like a major concern, for those with dairy allergies, dairy contamination is a serious matter.

Believe it or not, yes, there is actually a real food product called Soylent. The company's origin make it relatively clear that the name is actually based on the 1973 movie "Soylent Green," where the world's food source is called Soylent Green and is made out of people. Based on a The New Yorker piece, it's pretty plain to see that the film inspired the name for the founder's early recipes, though to be clear, the real Soylent does not contain people.

Sometimes recalls will involve situations that seem to make no sense. Take for example the recent recall issued by McCain Foods USA, Inc., a maker of frozen hash brown potatoes, due to golf ball contamination. Yes. Golf ball contamination is a thing, and it may or may not be what you expect.

The manufacturer explained that golf balls were inadvertently 'harvested' along with the potatoes that go into their frozen hash browns. And apparently, the food manufacturer failed to spot the golf balls amidst the spuds, and sent the plastic balls to be hashed into the browns, packaged, frozen, and distributed to grocers all over despite containing "extraneous golf ball material." Fortunately no injuries have been reported. However, consumers are being advised to throw away or return Roundy or Harris Teeter southern hash browns.

A recent level 2 voluntary recall has been initiated by GlaxoSmithKline as a result of a defect in the delivery system for nearly 600,000 of the company's popular asthma inhalers. As of yet, the recall is targeted at wholesalers, distributors, and sellers of the inhaler, rather than users directly.

The affected inhaler is the Ventolin HFA 200D. Fortunately, only inhalers with the following lot numbers and expirations are subject to this recall:

  • Lot # 6ZP9848, Exp. 03/18
  • Lot # 6ZP0003, Exp. 4/18
  • Lot # 6ZP9944, Exp. 04/18

The issue with the inhalers involves a failure to deliver an adequate dosage of the medication when activated. Some affected inhalers will have an atypical bump on the side. As such, individuals who use these inhalers may not be getting their prescribed dosages of their medication. A leak in the inhaler is linked to delivering the slightly lower dosages. However, GlaxoSmithKline has indicated that this poses little threat to individuals with asthma, but that if someone's symptoms aren't being relieved, they should seek medical care.

According to a new report issued about product recalls and child safety, 2016 saw the highest numbers of products recalled for dangers to kids since 2004. The product recalls included some rather staggering numbers, with Ikea and McDonalds each accounting for nearly half of all the products recalled. The product categories do not simply include products marketed to or for children, but also include products that pose a danger to children.

The increase in overall recall numbers for products that pose danger to children comes after several years of downward trending numbers, and after a staggering low number of 5.5 million recalled units in 2015. The fact that the number in 2016 jumped to 66.8 million recalled units is shocking.

Ford Motor Co. announced a new recall affecting nearly half a million vehicles. The newest recall involves two different issues and several different Ford models. Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries as a result of these problems.

Consumer safety is among the most important things a manufacturing company needs to be concerned with. The voluntary recalls both involve safety issues. One problems involves the door latches that have plagued Ford in the recent past. However, the other issue is a new one, and involves engines potentially catching fire.

Vulto Creamery, makers of handmade raw milk cheeses, has been named in the wrongful death lawsuit brought on behalf of a Vermont man that died as a result of listeria contamination back in November 2016. The lawsuit, filed by his widow, explains that Richard Friedman consumed the Vulto Creamery's cheese in October, before he fell ill due to the listeria contamination. After over a week in a hospital, Friedman suffered a stroke believed to be related to, or a result of, the listeria poisoning.

At this time, there have been six reported hospitalization, and two deaths, related to the specific strain of listeria that contaminated the Vulto raw milk cheese, all of which were reported between September 1, 2016 and the end of January 2017. The FDA and CDC began investigating the matter at the end of January 2017.

Evanger's Dog and Cat Food issued a voluntary recall last month amid concerns that a common animal euthanasia drug contamination in their products was linked to five pets' illnesses and the death of one pet. Just this month, Evanger's updated their recall to include two additional product lines potentially manufactured with the same drug contaminated beef. The euthanasia drug, pentobarbital, was found by the FDA in two cans produced by Evanger's that were linked to the same batch of meat that caused the illnesses and death.