Articles Posted in Consumer Safety Alert

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If you own a Nissan Altima 2013-2016 model, you may have noticed some bad vibrations coming from under the hood. Consumers have complained about problems in the Altima’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), where the car will shudder and jerk, especially at low speeds.  Unlike conventional manual or automatic transmission, CVT does not involving shifting gears when changing speeds.

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CVT vehicles have been touted for improved gas mileage compared to automatic and manual vehicles, as well as its smooth, gearless ride.  But consumers have reported that the car gets loud when reaching highway speeds, and unreliably sputters at low speeds.

Owners have observed that CVT causes jerking in the car, which also causes the car to struggle to reach full speed on highways, and has led to the car stalling.  Consumers have also complained that RPMs will spike while driving at relatively constant speeds. See the screenshots from the video below:

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Does it feel like your Hyundai Elantra engine is a ticking time bomb? If you drive a 2011-2016 Hyundai Elantra you may have noticed that the engine makes a loud ticking noise. Users have observed that the 1.8 L 4-cylinder “Nu” Engine that Hyundai began using in 2011 has regularly failed its owners.

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Vehicle Engine

In addition to the Elantra, the defects plaguing the Hyundai Nu engine affect the following Hyundai and Kia vehicles: 2011–2018 Hyundai Elantra; 2012–2018 Hyundai i30; 2013–2018 Kia Forte; 2014–2018 Hyundai Mistra; 2012–2018 Kia Soul; 2012–2018 Hyundai i40; 2014–2018 Kia Sportage; 2014–2018 Kia Optima; 2015–2018 Hyundai Tucson.

This clicking noise has been observed in some cases as early as when the owner drives the car off the dealer lot.  The clicking noise generally comes from the passenger side of the engine.  The ticking sound in Hyundai and Kia engines gets more prominent as the driver accelerates. One consumer reported that the car “vibrates” so much that a bottle of water will start splashing around in the cup holder, and others have even reported that the steering wheel will vibrate. Consumers have pointed out that the shaking becomes worse when the heater or air conditioning is turned on.  Owners have also noticed hearing clicking sounds after the car is turned off.  Most importantly, Hyundai and Kia owners experiencing engine and transmission issues in Vehicles like the 2013 Elantra have reported the car shutting down when stuck idle in traffic.  Continue reading

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If you own a 2008-2013 Toyota Highlander vehicle, you may have noticed a clunk, pop, or knock-type noise when turning the steering wheel left or right. Don’t worry, it’s not just you! A significant number of consumers have complained that their Highlander vehicles are making these noises—ranging from interior rattles, to a popping noise when turning the steering wheel, to a “distinct clunk” when turning or accelerating the vehicle. As the vehicle gains more miles, consumers have noticed that the “clunk” becomes more and more audible. Below are just a few of the multitude of complaints describing the clunking, popping, and/or rattling noise consumers experience when turning their steering wheel in a Highlander:

 

While turning the steering I feel a klunk this happens always when [I turn] the wheel. Frustrated really need your help.

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This vehicle has a knocking or clunking sound when turning the steering wheel. This is a common complaint on Toyota Highlanders but vehicles when out of warranty. This is a defect in these vehicles and should be fixed by Toyota free of charge.

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The vehicle has around 37K miles and started to get a bump or thud sound when turning to right and turning over all begin to get sluggish. I took it to the [dealership] has in Houston and it was diagnosed with a drive shaft problem and required a expensive repair and front end alignment. I questioned the service rep as it seemed to be very low mileage for a issue researching it seems that this is a Highlander defect and should be covered by a recall. If this car had 80k or more miles I might be of a different opinion but this car is way too new to have an issue like this especially on such an important element like steering. This is an obvious engineering and manufacturing problem and a replacement part that will only have a 1 year warranty is not good enough.

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There is a clunking noise when turning at low speeds. My mechanic says there is a defect in the design of the steering shaft. He said this commonly occurs with this model Highlander, something supported by numerous complaints about the same issue. Toyota denies responsibility and won’t issue a recall, though it is a safety risk. Continue reading

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Do you own a Kenmore oven?  Does your Kenmore oven have a model number stating with 790? If so, you may be at risk of the oven door shattering, as numerous other consumers have found out.  Indeed, the problem has gotten so bad that the Consumer Product Safety Commission, having received so many complaints, issued a statement requesting that the government to act and cause Kenmore to recall the ovens.  Just a few of these complaints include:

Kenmore oven Model 790.9745 – We purchased our house in July 2014 and didn’t notice at the time that the front glass of the oven was missing. We ordered a new glass front, installed it and a few months later, the front glass exploded and went all over the kitchen. Then we realized that must have been why the glass was missing when we bought the house. We replaced the glass again and the other day the same thing happened. Three times in three years. Each time someone was standing near the oven while it was baking at 350 degrees when the glass exploded. We were lucky no one got hurt.

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On opening the Kenmore convection wall oven door, the handle was loose and when I pulled on it, the entire glass door shattered, cutting my hand, ruining food on the counter, spraying glass as far as 12′ from the oven. Using a whisk broom, regular broom and the vacuum, we were able to get most of the glass up and then we washed all of the kitchen rugs. If a small child or one of our pets had been next to me, some serious harm may have resulted. I have read about other customers having this problem and that replacing the door is not a safe option – it can happen again. It’s a serious design flaw.

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This is the 3rd time I had sears out to fix stove. 1st glass blew out (scratched the whole inside 2nd circuit board/ and now again the circuit board. When you use self cleaning more than 3 times blows board. All in all I have been without the use of my stove about eight weeks. When you call for service and you give them error code. They come out (waiting a week or longer) without parts and you have to wait another 2 weeks for them to fix. Just wish they would credit me and let me buy another brand. This stove is only 1 year old. Very unhappy.

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When opening oven door on Kenmore wall oven, handle fell off one side and glass door exploded into me. There were shards of glass everywhere, even countertops, and I had a small cut on my foot. The company is sending a repairman who we have to pay $250, despite all the phone calls and emails to corporate. We feel this was a defective piece of equipment, and seeing several other complaints of similar happenings, I feel we should not have to pay for service call or the repair/replacement. I will never buy Kenmore products again after this incident. And will do my best to spread the word.

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Kenmore Ultra Bake Oven – So apparently this is a thing with Kenmore ovens? I was not in the kitchen when I heard a pop followed by lots of crackling. No one was near the oven, thank god. The oven is 8 years old, but we really don’t use it often and do not treat it roughly. There is no good reason why an oven door should explode. This seems to be a well-known problem and yet there are no consumer warnings on new ovens and no recalls that I can find. These ovens are dangerous and should not be in people’s homes. Kenmore should take responsibility for creating an inferior product instead of blaming this obvious defect on consumer use. Very disappointed.

 

Moreover, people have posted pictures of these incidents:

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Generally, when you buy a car and are promised a feature—like air conditioning, satellite radio, or navigation—you expect that feature to continue to work/exist AFTER you take your car off the lot. Well, this expectation seems not to be shared by the people over at Mazda, as 2016 Mazda vehicle owners recently found out.

When consumers purchased a 2016 Mazda vehicle, real-time navigation software was one of the features of the vehicle they were buying (or at least that’s what they were led to believe). In early 2016, however, that very same software stopped functioning for all Mazda vehicles. Or, to hear 2016 Mazda owners tell it:

Wife and I picked up a 2016 CX-F about a month or so ago, I’ve noticed that the navigation is having a lot of problems keeping a lock on the car. I drove about 10 or 15 miles to my doctors office this morning and the whole time the nav was shoing me either 2 or 3 miles off the interstate or it was thinking I was on a different road completely. It did this the whole way there, even going on a long straight on the interstate it would suddenly jump me off the road and took minutes to lock back on. I checked the GPS information and it was showing 7 or 8 locked sats on me and at high accuracy. Continue reading

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Relaxer products are notorious for containing lye – a caustic ingredient that can burn skin and damage hair.  So hundreds of thousands of consumers took the bait when L’Oréal introduced its “NO-LYE” product known as SoftSheen-Carson Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer.

L’Oréal’s relaxer is prominently labeled “NO-LYE” to target consumers seeking a gentler alternative.  The Amla Legend line is promoted as a collection of nourishing products infused with Amla oil, a luxurious oil “derived from the Indian Amla superfruit known as the Gooseberry, a powerful antioxidant rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals.”  L’Oréal markets the Amla Legend relaxer as a “Rejuvenating Ritual” which will provide “fuller, silkier hair” and “respect for hair fiber integrity.”

Large numbers of women big to differ.  Dissatisfied customers from around the country have posted their grievances online.  For example, when we at the Blog last checked, more than 70% of reviewers at Amazon.com gave L’Oréal’s Amla Legend relaxer the lowest possible rating of one star.  Comments included:   Continue reading

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As we’ve repeatedly covered here on the blog, so called “miracle products” that sound too good to be true—like the X Hose, DeckOver and Grassology—usually promise far more than they actually deliver. Consumers instead tend to wind up with fragile products that break far sooner than expected or simply can’t perform as promised. But miracle products only find their way onto the blog because the target market wants to believe the products work and buys them…… and there is no group that needs and wants miracle products more than new and expecting parents….

Enter the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. The Baby Brezza Formula Pro promises customers hassle-free, warm bottles at any time of day or night. But don’t listen to me, hear it from the makers of the Baby Brezza Formula Pro themselves:

Say goodbye to the time and hassle of manually preparing baby’s bottles. Introducing Formula Pro, the revolutionary new way of preparing your baby’s formula bottles. The Formula Pro uses patented technology to measure, dispense and mix water and powdered formula to the perfect temperature and consistency. With the push of a button, you can prepare a bottle within seconds that has no air bubbles. The water and formula powder are stored right in the machine, so it’s always ready for you when your baby gets hungry. The machine works with all bottle sizes and all formula brands and types. You can also choose the amount of formula you want to make: 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 ounces. The easiest way to prepare baby’s bottles is now right at your fingertips.

To hear Baby Brezza tell it, the Formula Pro will change parents’ lives. “Forget making bottles at midnight, just push a button!”

Unfortunately for new parents everywhere, the Baby Brezza Formula Pro is the newest defective product to find its way onto this blog. The defect seems to lie in the Baby Brezza Formula Pro’s design: the system of tubes that are used to transport and mix water and formula clog during use. Unbeknownst to parents, the clogs may prevent the Baby Brezza Formula Pro from dispensing the right amount of formula, resulting in a watery bottle. And with all that clogging comes mold and mildew, a parent’s worst nightmare. As any parent knows—well, mostly the moms 😉 —watery bottles are no good for baby, and anything that’s not good for baby means more “hassle” for you. From Amazon, to BuyBuy Baby down to Diapers.com, parents everywhere say the Baby Brezza is virtually guaranteed to clog and fail without constant cleaning. Continue reading

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An investigation by the New York Attorney General has revealed that many health conscious consumers have been duped into paying high prices for herbal supplements that are essentially sugar pills.  The office tested several name-brand herbal supplements (Gingko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Valerian Root) from Walgreens, GNC, Target and WalMart to determine if they contained the advertised ingredients.  The study revealed that some of the herbal supplements tested had none of the ingredients advertised.  In some cases, the supplements contained many ingredients not advertised on the label, such as wheat, soy, and beans—known allergens that could pose potentially serious health risks if unknowingly ingested by those with allergies.

The results were so troubling that the New York Attorney General ordered the retailers to cease and desist selling certain products in New York State.  Unfortunately, the power of the New York Attorney General does not extend beyond  New York State, so they may still be available for sale in your state.  Furthermore, the cease and desist letters do not require the retailers to reimburse consumers who purchased these not-as-advertised supplements.

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In the two months since Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP filed a class action on behalf of consumers who own or lease vehicles with the defective and dangerous exploding Takata airbags, several new and troubling developments have emerged.

The Takata Cover-Up

In early November 2014, two former employees of Takata Corp. subsidiary TK Holdings, Inc. publicly announced in a New York Times exposé that TK Holdings, Inc. tested the defective airbags in 2004 after a Takata airbag exploded and shot shrapnel at a driver in Alabama.  According to those former employees, out of concern that the airbags may be defective, Takata, through subsidiary TK Holdings Inc., (collectively, “Takata”) tested 50 airbags over a period of three months at its Auburn Hills, Michigan facility.  During those tests, conducted on airbags retrieved from junk yards, the airbags’ steel inflater canisters cracked in two of the airbags.  According to the employees, one of whom was a senior lab technician at TK Holdings, Inc. at the time, this cracking could lead to rupture.

Per the statements of the former employees, lab technicians conducting the tests were troubled by the results and immediately began investigating a fix in anticipation of a recall of vehicles containing the defective airbags, and presumably, for airbags manufactured in the future.  However, when the testing results were reported to the decision-makers at the Takata subsidiary, the executives discounted the testing results, ordered the testing laboratory employees to delete all results of the testing from their computers and other files, and instructed them to throw away all of the tested airbags in the trash.  Takata, nor its subsidiaries, took any further action at that time.  The former employees tied this investigation and reported defect to the current recall. Continue reading

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On Friday, October 31, 2014, several consumers filed a class action on behalf of a nationwide class of vehicle owners who own or lease certain vehicles containing defective Takata airbags.  The class action seeks to represent the millions of affected vehicle owners throughout the United States.  The action was filed in the federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, where defective airbag manufacturer Takata Corporation’s American subsidiary is headquartered.  These consumers are represented by the experienced class action attorneys at Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP.

This class action seeks relief in the form of damages, injunctive and equitable relief, and any other appropriate relief to be determined by the Court.

For more information on this class action, and to find out if you are part of the class, contact us at (215) 864-2800, by e-mail.