Defective Products – Top CPSC Product Recalls for 2018
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) maintains a list of products recalled by manufacturers and government agencies. Some of the top recalls, by volume of affected units and danger to consumers, include:
- Vitamix Blenders: The producer of high powered blending containers announced a recall in August 2018 after receiving reports of laceration injuries. The blades of the containers would become exposed when separated from the base of the blender unit, but the recall only affected certain Vitamix models. Owners were alerted that they should stop using the blenders and contact the manufacturer for a free repair kit.
- Whirlpool Electric Kettles: The CPSC reported this line of products as being unsafe after receiving three reports of burns by users, caused by hot liquid spilling out when the kettle’s handle detached. Whirlpool followed up shortly after the CPSC report, offering to replace affected units.
- Amazon Battery Chargers: Portable battery chargers are handy when your phone, tablet, or other portable device runs low on power, but any product that contains a battery can be dangerous in certain situations. A line of chargers and power banks produced by Amazon was recently recalled when the company received more than 50 reports of the units overheating and bursting into flames. Though more than 260,000 units were affected, there was only one report of injuries. The victim suffered chemical burns when exposed skin came into contact with battery acid. Amazon instructed users to stop using the battery chargers and offered a full refund to individuals who purchased any of the affected units. Fortunately, being an online marketplace, the company was able to directly contact those who bought the units. This is not the case when you buy a product from a brick-and-mortar store, so the burden is on the consumer to keep an eye out for recalled products.
- Mandolin Slicers: With their sharp, knife-like blades, mandolin slicers are inherently dangerous when used improperly. A recent manufacturer’s recall revealed an additional risk with certain units, because the razor-edged blades were separating from their plastic casing. No injuries were reported, but the company requested that consumers return the product for a full refund.
- Kidde Smoke Alarms: Over 450,000 of these units were recalled by the manufacturer when it was discovered that they do not do the number one thing they are designed to do: Detect smoke. A cap that was left on in the manufacturing process covered up one of the sensors inside the alarm, interfering with its ability to detect smoke and issue an alarm. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
- Graco High Chairs: Recalls of children’s products often make headlines because there is an expectation of safety when purchasing items intended to protect young ones. Graco hurried to issue a recall of one model of high chairs after receiving reports of children injured when the product tipped over. Apparently, the legs could easily shift out of position, making the chair unstable and prone to toppling. Luckily for the five victims, the worst of the injuries was bumps and bruises. Graco’s recall included a recommendation for parents to stop using the high chairs entirely until the company could arrange a free repair.