This week in safety: Buggy recall hits bumps abroad

Consumer Reports News: November 13, 2009 03:40 PM

After recalling one million umbrella strollers in the U.S. earlier this week, Maclaren took a lot of heat for the way it handled the recall overseas where it also sells strollers—or pushchairs as they're called in England.

"The British company founded in 1965 by Owen Finlay Maclaren, the inventor of the “umbrella-fold” buggy, told non-Americans they would be treated differently," reported the Financial Times. "Instead of a formal product recall, it was simply issuing warnings to owners not to let children stick their fingers in the folding mechanism as they opened the pushchairs. Repair kits to cover the hinges would not be automatically dispatched to every Maclaren owner, as in the U.S."

And that was a glaring example of how not to handle a recall, wrote John Gapper on his business blog. Lessons learned in this recall, he wrote, are: Be prepared, empathize, be polite and don't discriminate.

The U.S. recall was made following reports of 12 fingertip amputations here. Since then there have been reports of at least two amputations in England, according to The Independent newspaper.

We will continue to watch and report on the Maclaren recall. Also in the news this week:

Five of the craziest Chinese drywall stories we've heard
Popular Mechanics
Almost a year after news began breaking about bizarre happenings related to Chinese drywall, numerous questions remain unanswered. There is no consensus on a remediation strategy, on who will compensate homeowners for damage or even on the specific chemical culprit causing the problems. Despite the lack of definitive answers, the investigation so far certainly hasn't come up short on strange anecdotes. Read more ...

E. coli outbreak traced to company that halted testing of ground beef
The New York Times
A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers. A facility in Ashville, N.Y., owned by the company, AFA Foods, recalled more than 500,000 pounds of ground beef on Oct. 31 after it was linked to an outbreak that has killed two people and sickened an estimated 500 others. Read more ...

Each year, more than 20,000 children are injured by shopping carts
The Kansan
Falls from shopping carts are among the leading causes of head injuries in young children, with one- and two-year-olds having the highest incidents of shopping cart-related injuries in the U.S. While the shopping cart might seem like the safest place for a child in the store, simple safety precautions are necessary to ensure a quick trip for groceries does not end in injury. Read more ...

Which cities are the safest for pedestrians?
The Christian Science Monitor
Some of the most dangerous places to walk or ride a bicycle in America are in the South—in fast-growing metropolitan areas that have built their streets mainly for automobiles. In fact, four of the five worst metro areas for walking or biking are in Florida: Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville. The other metro area in this group of five is Memphis, Tenn. Read more ...

Beyond Nokia chargers: A brief history of recent technology recalls
Backpack_Blower Network World
While there are plenty of products customers probably wish had been recalled (OK, it's time to stop piling on Windows Vista), Nokia's recall Monday of millions of faulty cell phone chargers got us thinking about other recent technology recalls. Read more ...

Toyota is sued over concerns of sudden acceleration
The Los Angeles Times

A lawsuit filed this week by two Los Angeles County residents claims that the majority of Toyota and Lexus vehicles made since 2001 contain defective components that can cause unintended acceleration. Read more ...

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