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March 2014 Archives

Toyota fined $1.2 billion in unintended acceleration cases

Toyota has agreed to pay $1.2 billion in fines for its behavior involving the unintended acceleration problem with many of its vehicles. U.S. attorney general Eric Holder Jr., announced the criminal penalty last week, describing the company's attempts to hide the defects from consumers and federal safety officials as "shameful."

Adulterated meat recalled from slaughterhouse

Our industrial factory food production system has made many food items relatively inexpensive, in terms of sticker price. Much of our food is very low-cost, and that is due, in part to the ruthless efficiency of the production. While the food industry likes to rely on images of bucolic family farms to sell their products, the interiors of many of the factories are indistinguishable from factories building all manner of consumer goods.

GM could avoid liability for pre-2009 defective cars

Product recalls are often necessary in a world of complex consumer goods. A company, either voluntarily or involuntarily with help from government regulators, will issue a recall for a product that suffered a type of defect that potentially places consumers at risk. Sometimes a product is designed badly, other times, poor materials or shoddy quality control will lead to failures that cause injury.

Deadly chests still can kill small children

When we think about defective or dangerous product recalls, we think of some recent, headline grabbing news story. We think of recalls of cars suffering from defective parts, electric appliances that catch fire, or contaminated food that causes dangerous illnesses or death. We forget that for many "durable goods" are just that, durable, and even if they have been recalled, there may be many thousands of these dangerous products still in circulation.