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    WRSI recalls kayaking and rafting helmets

    The chinstrap buckle can fail, posing a head injury hazard

    Whitewater Technology Associates, LC, dba Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI), of Park City, UT, is recalling about 2,200 whitewater kayaking and rafting helmets.

    The chinstrap buckle can fail, posing a head injury hazard to users. The company is aware of 10 incidents of chinstrap failures. No injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves WRSI Moment and Trident models whitewater kayaking and rafting helmets. They have a black chinstrap with a black plastic buckle and were sold in sizes S/M and M/L. “WRSI” is printed under or on top of the helmet’s visor. WRSI’s “Wave Logo” is visible on the back of the Moment helmet. “WRSI” is printed vertically on the back of the Trident helmet. The part number is printed on the hang tag of both models. Helmets in the following colors or color combinations and sizes, and with the part numbers listed below, are being recalled:

    ModelColor and SizePart Number
    Moment
    (with and
    without vents)
    Glossy red - S/M852145003633 and 852145003657
    Glossy red - M/L852145003602 and 852145003619
    Matte black - S/M852145003626 and 852145003640
    Matte black - M/L852145003589 and 852145003596
    TridentBlack Rasta - M/L852145003411
    Black with pinstripe - S/M852145003466
    Black with pinstripe - M/L852145003367
    Blue/Carbon - S/M852145003459
    Blue/Carbon - M/L852145003398
    Green/Army green - S/M852145003480
    Green/Army green - M/L852145003381
    Green/Carbon - S/M852145003442
    Green/Carbon - M/L852145003404
    Red/Burnt red - S/M852145003473
    Red/Burnt red - M/L852145003374

    The helmets, manufactured in China, were sold at Northwest River Supplies and sporting goods stores nationwide and online from March 2012, through November 2012 for between $140 and $170.

    Consumers should stop using the helmets immediately and contact WRSI for a free replacement or full refund.

    Consumers may contact WRSI toll-free at (888) 441-1041, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or by email at buckle@whitewaterhelmet.com.

    Whitewater Technology Associates, LC, dba Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI), of Park City, UT, is recalling about 2,200 whitewater kayaking and...
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    Toyota is recalling model year 2007 through 2013 FJ Cruiser passenger vehicles

    Problems with the seat belt retractors could increase the risk of injury

    Toyota is recalling model year 2007 through 2013 FJ Cruiser passenger vehicles.

    The retractors for the front driver and passenger seat belts are mounted in the access door (rear door) panels of the vehicle. Due to insufficient strength of the access door panel, cracks may develop in the panel if the access door is repeatedly and forcefully closed over an extended period of time.

    If cracks occur in the panel around the lower retractor anchor, the seat belt retractor could become detached, which could increase the risk of injury to an occupant in the event of a crash.

    Toyota is currently developing a remedy and has not yet provided a notification schedule.

    Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

    Toyota is recalling model year 2007 through 2013 FJ Cruiser passenger vehicles. The retractors for the front driver and passenger seat belts are mounted ...
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      Ford Motor Company recalls Focus, C-Max and Escape vehicles

      The vehicles' child lock may not engage

      Ford is recalling model year 2013 Focus and C-Max vehicles built from November 16, 2012, through November 21, 2012; and model year 2013 Escape vehicles manufactured from November 14, 2012, through November 21, 2012.

      The left rear door child lock was built incorrectly. As a result, the child lock may not engage when the operator uses normal force to activate the child lock. As a result, the door may be opened from the inside, increasing the risk of injury to an unrestrained child.

      Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the affected rear door latches, and replace them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 25, 2013.

      Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332.

      Ford is recalling model year 2013 Focus and C-Max vehicles built from November 16, 2012, through November 21, 2012; and model year 2013 Escape vehicles man...
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      Do product recalls work?

      We see and hear about them all the time

      If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that product recalls are a mainstay. But, just how effective are they?

      A new study in the the American Marketing Association'sJournal of Marketing suggests that product recall programs are beneficial to society as it often galvanizes action within a company and reduces accidents in the future.

      While product recall programs have existed in the United States since the 1970s, the value of these programs have frequently been questioned. Critics of the product recall program in the automobile industry suggest that recalls actually increase the number of accidents because of the extra driving needed to fix problems.

      A closer look

      A team of researchers from the University of South Carolina and University of North Carolina (Kartik Kalaignanam, Tarun Kushwaha and Meike Eilert) examined the value of product recall programs. The researchers evaluated major product recalls experienced by 27 automobile makers between 1995 and 2011.

      They find that product recalls leads to higher reliability and lower accidents in the future. It turns out that organizations rarely have the motivation to improve reliability beyond a certain threshold. Product recalls serve as the catalyst for changing the organization's practices which may not happen otherwise.

      Furthermore, the researchers find that the learning outcomes are better when the products in the firm's portfolio share manufacturing plants, suppliers and components. One of the criticisms often leveled against auto-makers is that the practice of lean manufacturing is in some way responsible for frequent lapses in product quality. The researchers say that the evidence does not support this speculation. They, in fact, suggest that lean manufacturing enables firms to recover better from product recalls.

      Improved reliability

      Interestingly, the study also finds that brands of lower quality are more likely to improve reliability after a recall. The researchers suggest that brands of higher quality are often in 'denial' about lapses in quality and are less motivated to respond to product recalls.

      Product recalls may be a silver lining for lower quality brands to improve their competitive position in the market. If recalls lead to more reliable products, isn't it better to have more and more recalls? Not really, say the researchers.

      The message is that there is need for careful pre-market screening of products. This is not much of a priority for firms as they have the desire to grow rapidly. Growth and product quality, as we know, are rarely lock-in-step. The value of product recalls lie in curbing a company's desire to grow at the expense of quality.

      If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that product recalls are a mainstay. But, just how effective are they? A new study in the the America...
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      BrightLight blankets recalled

      The batteries in the blanket can overheat, posing a burn hazard

      IdeaVillage Products of Wayne, NJ, is recalling about 5,200 battery-powered BrightLight blankets.

      The batteries in the LED-lit blanket can overheat, posing a burn hazard. The firm has received four reports of batteries overheating, including one report of a minor burn to a finger.

      The recalled BrightLight blankets are 40-inch by 60-inch white, polyester blankets with LED lights that change color. The blanket has a battery compartment in a zippered pouch on the edge of the blanket.

      The blankets, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively online at www.brightlightpillow.com and by phone from July 2012, through August 2012, for about $40.

      Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled blankets and contact IdeaVillage for a free replacement blanket. IdeaVillage is contacting its customers directly.

      Consumers may contact IdeaVillage toll-free at (866) 655-4342, from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT Monday and Tuesday, 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT Thursday and Friday.

      The batteries in the LED-lit blanket can overheat, posing a burn hazard. The firm has received four reports of batteries overheating, including one report ...
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      Nissan recalls 2013 Sentras

      Leaking fuel tanks could pose a fire hazard

      Nissan is recalling model year 2013 Sentra vehicles manufactured from September 11, 2012, through October 4, 2012.

      Some fuel tank assemblies were not properly sealed during the manufacturing process. As a result, a small amount of gasoline may leak from the tank when it is full. A gasoline leak in the presence of an ignition source may lead to a vehicle fire.

      Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel tanks as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 18, 2013.

      Owners may contact Nissan Customer Service at 1-800-647-7261.

      Nissan is recalling model year 2013 Sentra vehicles manufactured from September 11, 2012, through October 4, 2012. Some fuel tank assemblies were not pro...
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