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Child's Death Prompts Recall Magnetic Building Sets

Magnetix Still On Store Shelves Despite Danger to Young Children

Child's Death Prompts Recall Magnetic Building Sets...

March 31, 2006
In a masterpiece of obfuscation, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued what appears to be a recall notice for about 3.8 million "Magnetix" magnetic building sets after the death of a 20-month-old boy who swallowed magnets included with the set and incidents involving at least 34 other children.

The recall notice issued by the CPSC says that parents can return the dangerous toys and exchange them for something safer. It also includes the odd sentence: "The replacement program does not include sets at retail."

What that means is that the toys are still being sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, Fred Meyer, Design Science Toys Ltd., A.C. Moore, and other toy and arts and crafts stores nationwide.

The problem with the popular construction sets is that they contain tiny magnets which, if swallowed by infants or toddlers, can bind together in the intestinal tract, causing fatal blockages and other complications.

That's what happened to 21-month-old Kenneth W. Sweet Jr., of Redmond, Wash. His older brother received a Magnetix set as a birthday present and, although it was kept away from Kenny, he got his hands on it one day. He became ill with flu-like symptoms, was hospitalized and died within hours.

An autopsy revealed that he had swallowed eight magnets which had bonded together in two groups, causing a fatal intestinal blockage.

In addition to Kenny, three children aged from 3 to 8 suffered intestinal perforations that required surgery and hospitalization in intensive care. A 5-year-old child aspirated two magnets that were surgically removed from his lung.

Federal safety officials say they are "aware of" at least 34 incidents involving the magnets.

Officials of Rose Art Industries, Inc., the importer and distributor, say the packaging clearly indicates the toys are not intended for children under 6. The company said it is making "enhancements" to improve safety, The Washington Post reported.

The CPSC said it was "monitoring" the situation.

The "recall" affects all Magnetix magnetic building sets including the X-treme Combo, Micro, and Extreme sets. The sets contain 20 to 200 plastic building pieces and 20 to 100 1/2-inch diameter steel balls. The building pieces are red, yellow, blue and green, and are shaped in 1 1/2-inch squares, 1-inch triangles and cylinder rods. Some plastic building pieces have "Magnetix" imprinted on them.

The sets were sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, Fred Meyer, Design Science Toys Ltd., A.C. Moore, and other toy and arts and crafts stores nationwide. The Magnetix magnetic building sets were sold from September 2003 through March 2006 for between $20 and $60, depending on the size of the set.

Consumers should stop using the magnetic sets and return the sets to Rose Art for a free replacement product suitable for young children under the age of 6. Consumers should be sure to keep all small magnet parts out of the hands of children who mouth objects, especially children under the age of three.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Rose Art at (800) 779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit Rose Art's Web site at www.roseart.com.

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In its advisory, the CPSC included the sentence: "The replacement program does not include sets at retail." No clarification was provided.

 

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Feds Probe Airbag Problems in Chrysler Minivans

Failure of one or both front crash sensors due to corrosion can potentially result in no deployment or late deployment of the front air bags....


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating allegations that front air bag sensors may fail because of corrosion in several DaimlerChrysler minivans, causing the air bags to improperly inflate during a crash or not to deploy at all.

The investigation involves about 805,000 2005 and 2006 DaimlerChrysler Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans.

NHTSA reports it has stepped up a preliminary evaluation of the problem to the status of an "engineering analysis," a move that often precedes a safety recall.

The preliminary evaluation determined that the front air bag sensors might corrode as a result of water seeping in to the sensor assembly.

The Caravan and Grand Caravan minivans have an "advanced frontal air bag system," according to NHTSA with "two front crash sensors mounted on the frame rails behind the front bumper and a main crash sensor inside the air bag control module mounted in the passenger compartment."

DaimlerChrysler reported to NHTSA that the sensors are designed to "optimize detection of frontal offset and angular crashes" and the air bag system offers different levels of inflation based on the input from the various sensors.

"The corroded sensor can set off a fault code, illuminate the air bag warning light and disable the air bag," according to NHTSA.

"The failure of one or both front crash sensors can potentially result in no deployment or late deployment of the front air bags. The failure can cause the non-deployment of the drivers side air bag which produces higher inflation levels," according to the NHTSA Web site.

The NHTSA report states that "it should be noted that occupants of vehicles involved in a crash may not be aware of late or improperly reduced level of air bag inflation" because of the nature of the system in the vehicles.

The agency is also investigating 358,455 Dodge Durango SUVs from 2004 to 2006 model years and 2005-2006 Dodge Dakota pickup trucks after receiving complaints about loose steering wheel and shaft coupling bolts.

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Performance Travel Trac Trainers Recalled

Performance Inc. is recalling about 10,000 of its 2006 Performance Travel Trac Trainers. The base of the trainer has a blocking mechanism that can break....

March 8, 2006
Bike TrainerPerformance Inc. is recalling about 10,000 of its 2006 Performance Travel Trac Trainers. The base of the trainer has a blocking mechanism that can break causing the bicycle to disengage from the stand, posing a fall hazard.

Performance has received two reports of the bike trainers breaking, though no injuries have been reported.

The trainers are folding stands that lift and apply resistance to the rear wheel of a standard bike which converts it to a stationary trainer. The CenturyV trainers are gloss black with red and white decals running vertically along the rear face of the rear support legs. The left leg has an additional vertical red "Travel Trac CenturyV" decal.

The Travel Trac Mag Force+ has gray front legs and red rear legs. The right rear leg has a large vertical decal on its rear face with "Mag Force" in large yellow letters and "Travel Trac" in small white letters. The recalled models' UPC and item numbers are printed on the packaging. The item number is also printed on the bottom of the last page of the owner's manual. The following are the recalled models:

ModelItem #UPC
Travel Trac CenturyV Fluid40-2317400012288654
Travel Trac CenturyV Fluid+40-2318400012289804
Travel Trac CenturyV Mag+40-2319400012289989
Travel Trac Mag Force+40-2323400012290206

The units were sold at performance stores nationwide, as well as Performance's Web site and catalogs, from August 2005 through February 2006 for about $300.

Consumers should immediately stop using these bicycles trainers and contact Performance to obtain a free repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Performance at (800) 553- 8324 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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