The Whistleblower blog was started in 2008. Look for posts by these contributors: James Eli Shiffer, Jane Friedmann, Brandon Stahl, Eric Roper and Alejandra Matos. | Check out the Whistleblower archive.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter. Find our watchdog and investigative work at The Investigators.

The Star Tribune's journalists need your help blowing the whistle in Minnesota. Contact us here.

Posts about Dangerous products

Plummeting light fixtures recalled

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: June 27, 2013 - 11:18 AM
Three companies within six days have recalled light fixtures after reports of the fixtures breaking away from the ceiling, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced.
 
Genlyte is recalling 15 styles of Capri track lighting used in commercial buildings after 12 reports of the fixtures cracking, including three reports of them falling off the track rail. No injuries have been reported. Call 800-375-6007 or go to www.recall.philips.com for more information. Genlyte Thomas Group LLC is a division of Philips Consumer Luminaires Corporation, of Elgin, Ill.
 
 
Bel Air Lighting is recalling a nine-light chandelier, sold at Lowe’s under the name Portfolio, item no. 256047 and at other stores under the name Transglobe, item no. 2579 EBG. The chandeliers have a two-tone antique bronze-colored metal frame with gold accents and frosted champagne colored shades.
The fixture's lamp holders have a floral pattern.
Bel Air received 18 reports of the chandelier falling from the ceiling due to a mounting loop breaking. Some property damage was reported. Call 888-803-0509 or go to www.regcen.com/belair.
 
 
Kichler Lighting is recalling a Portfolio-brand Aztec nine-light chandelier, item no. 34330, sold at Lowe’s, after getting six reports of the chandeliers falling from the ceiling due to the failure of a ring connecting the fixture to the hanging chain. About $6,000 in property damage was reported.
The chandeliers are metal with an "olde bronze" finish and have etched amber glass shades and a decorative faux marble ball in the center. Call 800-554-6504. 
 
 

Nap Nanny baby recliner recalled after deaths

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: June 18, 2013 - 11:38 AM

Car-seat-like baby "recliners" are being recalled after at least 92 incidents including five infant deaths, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced.

The recall by Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., includes its Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners and covers. About 165,000 were sold nationwide in toy and childrens' stores and online between 2009 and 2012 for about $130.

The CPSC knows of four infants who died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and one in Nap Nanny Chill, the recall states. The commission also received 87 reports of "infants hanging or falling over the side of the products, including some infants who were restrained in the product's harness."

In December 2012, the CPSC filed a lawsuit against Baby Matters, seeking to force a recall of the products that it said contained design defects.

"We took the rare step of a filing an administrative law suit against Baby Matters LLC because prior to the settlement we had reached an impasse with this company. We didn’t believe they were previously taking the right actions to protect the safety of babies," said CPSC director of communications Scott Wolfson.

At that time four retailers, Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com and Toys R Us/Babies R Us announced their own recall, even though Baby Matters would not compensate the retailers for the returned products.

That recall is still in effect and consumers can contact the retailers to return the products.

The recall Friday by Baby Matters, the result of a settlement agreement, is considered a voluntary recall. However, Baby Matters is no longer in business and will not accept returns. Consumers who didn't buy from the four retailers should dispose of the product in such as way as to keep anyone else from using the product, the CPSC said.

A Belgian company with the same name is not associated with the recall.

 

Machete set recalled due to laceration hazard

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: June 12, 2013 - 3:51 PM

The sheath of a 19.5-inch-long machete is being recalled because the blade can cut through the sheath, with unfortunate results, according to a recall by a Portland, Ore., company Gerber Legendary Blades, as announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission last week.

The recall is based on eight reports of cuts to users' hands or fingers. Three injuries required stitches.

 

About 80,000 Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete and stitched-sheath sets are included in the recall. The sheath housing the 13.5-inch-long curved blade has five rivets on the bottom and two rivets near the top strap, measures 16 inches long and 3.5 inches wide and has "GERBER" printed in gray and two Bear Grylls logos in orange.

Two other styles of sheaths for the same machete are not included in the recall.

The machete and sheath were sold through sporting goods stores nationwide and online for about $43 or as part of Gerber's Apocalypse Survival Kit, which cost about $350.

Model numbers, shown on the packaging are 31-000698, 31-001507 and 31-002289. The Apocalypse Survival Kit that contains the recalled sheath has a model number of 30-000601, located on the packaging.

Consumers should contact Gerber to receive a fully-riveted sheath. Call 877-314-9130 or go to www.gerbergear.com and click on "Product Notifications."

"Chicken Dance" chick can cause hearing loss

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: May 31, 2013 - 11:24 AM

 

A nine-inch-tall plush dancing chicken with large orange feet and the ears of a rabbit can cause you to lose your hearing, according to a toy recall announced Thursday.

 

When the left wing of the Chinese-made toy is squeezed the chicken dances and plays music that exceeds federal decibel limits, according to the alert by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

While this recall likely affects no Minnesotans, any friends or relatives in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska who shop at Fred Meyer stores and whose hearing integrity you value might be worth contacting.

The chick's full name is "Dan-Dee 'Chicken Dance" Tap Dance Easter Chick." About 1,000 chicks were sold at select Fed Meyer stores in the four states between February and March 2013 for about $20.

To view the chicken-rabbit's cousins in action, watch this youtube video put together by someone who may need to have his or her hearing checked.

 

Surly Pugsley bicycle forks recalled

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: May 8, 2013 - 1:53 PM

A bicycle manufacturer is recalling certain forks, the components that attach the wheels to the bicycle frame, because the forks could bend above the disk brake mount, causing the rider to fall.

Surly Bikes, of Bloomington, announced the recall on Tuesday, calling for customers who bought certain Surly Pugsley 100mm and 135mm forks to bring them to a Surly dealer for replacement or refund.

The 100mm recalled forks were sold individually, not pre-attached to a bicycle. They are black and have triple water-bottle mounts on each side, rack and fender mounts and have a stamped date code of 2012 03 20.

The 135mm forks were sold individually and as part of some 2013 model bicycles. They came in black, yellow and red and are stamped with date code of 2012 06 19.

The forks, imported from Tiawan, were sold nationwide from May 2012 to February 2013 for about $100 individually.

In that same period, assembled bikes with model number FM3110-3114, FM3175-79, BK 3110-14 or  BK3175-79 contained the affected parts and sold for about $1,750.

For more information, call 877-946-9333 or go online to www.surlybikes.com.

Click here to read the full recall.

 

  

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT