I hardly know where to begin, there have been so many recalls in the last two days. It’s overwhelming.
Before I get started, you might want to read this article by David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times about how that city’s toy district is struggling with a huge drop in demand for Chinese-made products. Perhaps reduced business will finally win the attention of manufacturers and retailers.
On the other hand, Lazarus confirms what I feared:
While the nation’s big toy-related firms are retesting their products, the vast majority of unnamed companies are not:
Since the 1970s, the 12-block Toy District has been the city’s central bazaar for imported toy cars, action figures and other knick-knacks. Its wholesale outlets funnel goods to stores near and far.
Yet in a year that has seen millions of toys recalled for lead paint and other potentially dangerous defects, the Toy District highlights the difficulty, if not impossibility, of preventing unsafe goods from reaching kids under our current system of relying on overseas manufacturers to meet U.S. safety standards.
If anything, the Toy District speaks to a need for U.S. authorities to be more aggressive in inspecting the goods arriving on our shores – through increased random checks, if no other way – and for U.S. manufacturers and importers to be held accountable for any safety violations.
And now, the most recent round of recalls.
The death of a 19-month old child triggered the recall of about 138,000 Ameriwood entertainment centers, reports the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The furniture can collapse if a back panel is not secured. Ameriwood Industries reports three other minor injuries related to the entertainment centers. The American-made centers were sold from June 2000 through May 2005 at K-Mart stores nationwide. See the link for information on how to receive a free repair kit.
About 167,000 Starbucks Fusion Coffee Mugs are being recalled because the plastic handles can detach from the container, which can result in burns. Starbucks reports 23 detachments and nine burns. The Chinese-made mugs were sold from February 2007 through November 2007 at Starbucks stores nationwide. Starbucks is offering a replacement mug and a free beverage for caffeine addicts everywhere.
About 160,000 The First Years 3-in-1 Flush and Sounds Potty Seats by RC2 are being recalled because orange paint on a decorative plaque found on the back of the potty seat contains excessive levels of lead. The Chinese-made seats were sold from April 2006 through August 2007 at retailers nationwide. In a new twist: Click on the link for information on how to receive a clear protective cover to put over the contaminated plaque from RC2. I guess these guys didn’t want to replace the entire unit.
About 100,000 The First Years Newborn-to-Toddler Reclining Feeding Seats by RC2 are being recalled because the restraining straps can fail. RC2 reports 12 children falling out of chairs and 38 reports of straps pulling out or nearly pulling out of waist-strap slots. The American-made chairs were sold from November 2006 through October 2007 at retailers nationwide. Seats that have an ® on the back or have strap slots that are 9 inches apart are not subject to the recall. Click on the link for information on how to contact RC2 for free replacement straps.
About 72,000 Boys’ Hooded Sweatshirts are being recalled because the drawstring can pose a strangulation hazard. No injuries have been reported. The sweatshirts, which were made in Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan, were sold from August 2007 through November 2007 at stores nationwide. Consumers can either remove the drawstring or return the sweatshirts for a full refund.
About 64,000 Holiday Figurines are being recalled because surface paint may contain high levels of lead. The Chinese-made figurines were sold from October 2007 through November 2007 at The Home Depot.
About 13,000 Basic Editions-brand girls’ clothing sets are being recalled because the drawstrings at the waist are longer than limits set by the CPSC. No injuries have been reported. The Pakistani-made clothes were sold July 2007 at Kmart stores nationwide. Consumers should remove the drawstrings.
About 6,100 TKS-brand children’s pants are being recalled because the drawstrings at the waist are longer than limits set by the CPSC. No injuries have been reported. The Chinese-made pants were sold July 2007 through August 2007 at Sears stores nationwide. Consumers should remove the belts to eliminate the hazard.
About 5,200 sweaters are being recalled because a the drawstrings can pose a strangulation hazard. No injuries have been reported. The Pakistani-made sweatshirts were sold September 2007 at Sears stores nationwide. Consumers should remove the drawstrings to eliminate the hazard.
About 1,400 Collectible Mini Helmets are being recalled because of high levels of lead. The Chinese-made helmets were sold from March 2007 through November 2007 at home improvement and discount retailers nationwide. Models include: Terry Borcheller helmet, part number 2005740; Kurt Busch helmet, part number 2001368; and Vitor Meira helmet, part number 2001381.
Somehow I missed this one: About 800 Snow and Sand Castle Kits are being recalled because the largest plastic castle block maker could crack during use, posing a laceration hazard. The American-made kits were sold from September 2007 through October 2007 at L.L. Bean retail stores nationwide as well as their catalogs and website.
About 92,000 Built-in Combination Wall and Microwave Ovens are being recalled because they can overheat and pose a fire hazard. General Electric reports 35 incidents of property damage. Only the microwave portion of the ovens pose a hazard. The American-made ovens were sold from January 2000 through December 2003 under GE and Kenmore brand names. Click on the link for more information on the various rebate options and affected model numbers.
About 70,000 Black & Decker® brand Infrawave Toasters are being recalled because they can overheat. No injuries have been reported, but there have been two reports of toasters igniting. CPSC is warning consumers to unplug the toasters immediately. The Chinese-made toasters were sold March 2007 through November 2007 at home improvement and discount retailers nationwide.
About 68,000 Bowflex® Ultimate 2 Home Gyms are being recalled because resistance rods can separate from the frame and strike a user or bystander. Nautilus reports 10 separations and three injuries. The American-made gyms were sold from June 2005 through August 2007 at fitness retailers nationwide and via direct sales. Click on the link for information on how to receive a free repair kit.
About 22,000 Nordic Track and Reebok Inversion Benches are being recalled because an ankle clamp can release and pose a fall hazard. Icon Health reports five injuries, including contusions, lacerations and back pain. The Chinese-made benches were sold September 2006 through January 2007 at sporting goods stores nationwide. Click on the link for information on how to receive a free repair kit.
About 20,000 Oscillating Ceramic Heaters are being recalled because they can overheat and pose a fire hazard to consumers. Collins International Co. reports seven complaints. In four cases there was minor property damage. The Chinese-made heaters were sold September 2006 through March 2007 at Menards’ stores nationwide.
About 330 Model Year 2008 Polaris Ranger RZR 800 EFI Utility Vehicles are being recalled because the fuel tank can leak and pose a burn and fire hazard. Polaris reports four leaking fuel tanks. The American-made vehicles were sold from August 2007 through November 2007 at Polaris dealers nationwide. Go to link for contact information on how to get the fuel tank repaired.
Okay, I’m pooped. Did anyone read all the way to here?