General Motors said last week that it was recalling more than 700,000 vehicles because of a problem with the ignition switch.
GM said six people had been killed in accidents.
But CBS News has learned GM’s recall is coming 10 years after the defect was first discovered and seven years after people began to die.
On Oct. 24, 2006, a compact car went off the road in St. Croix County, Wis.
Two teenage girls were killed when a Chevrolet Cobalt went off the road in Wisconsin
Two teenagers were killed: 18-year-old Natasha Weigel and Margie Beskau’s 15-year-old daughter, Amy. “There’s days that I am fine, days that I can function,” Beskau said. “But there’s just as many bad days where you just want to cry all day.”
There was no drinking involved, no other cars on the road. Weather was determined not to be a factor.
The parents of the two teenagers are still searching for answers
No one was wearing a seat belt, but an investigation found the airbags never deployed, and the ignition switch was found in the accessory position, meaning the car likely did not have power when it crashed. No power steering, no power brakes, no airbags.Natasha’s stepfather, Ken Rimer, has spent the last eight years looking for answers.
“Every day we go: ‘I wonder what happened?'” he said.
No one has ever told him.
The girls were in a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, a vehicle included in that massive recall of more than 700,000 cars just last week, because GM says a heavy key ring or sudden jarring can switch the car off.
More than 700,000 cars are recalled
Now, in a letter sent to the Department of Transportation by the family of another person who died in a Cobalt – a 29-year-old nurse in Georgia named Brooke Melton – lawyers charge GM knew about the ignition defect in 2004.A service bulletin was posted to dealers by GM in 2005 in case customers complained, saying “there is potential for the driver to inadvertently turn off the ignition….the concern is more likely to occur if the driver is short and has a large and or heavy key chain.”
But the cars kept being manufactured, without a fix, and none were called back.
Joan Claybrook is the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“This is an immoral act by General Motors to cover up this defect, not tell people and then the result was inevitable, that people were going to die and be injured and that to me is unconscionable,” she said. “It’s like throwing an airplane passenger out without a parachute.”
CBS News asked GM for a comment on camera. The company declined.
When CBS News asked last week why the recall wasn’t issued a decade ago, the company said: “The incident rate was very low with no growing trend.”
Eighteen-year-old Natasha Weigel was killed when the Chevrolet Cobalt went off the road
It added today: “The safety of our customers is paramount. Given our present understanding of the 2005-2007 cobalt ignition switch torque capabilities, we have announced a recall.”Families who lost loved ones may be getting answers.
Margie Beskau’s 15-year-old daughter, Amy, also died
“It made me angry,” Beskau said. “They knew something was wrong with the car before the accident. I just don’t understand how they can knowingly put these cars out and still let people drive them. This is my child. This is my baby girl.”Natasha and Amy’s deaths are two of six that have been linked to the ignition issue. The company stopped making the Cobalt in 2010, but there are still more than a half a million on the road.
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Feb 15, 2014 12:45 PM EST
Toyota Recalls 295,000 Vehicles Globally
By Matt Mercuro
Toyota Motor is recalling about 295,000 Lexus and Toyota brand vehicles worldwide due to issues with various safety systems like stability control and anti-lock brakes.
The automaker said an electrical component in the brake actuator, which regulates fluid pressure in each wheel cylinder, could “experience increased resistance,” according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This could increase the chance of a crash since a number of features may not work properly.
Of the vehicles recalled, 261,114 were sold in the U.S. The remaining vehicles were exported to other countries, according to the automaker.
Affected vehicles include 57,000 Lexus RX350 crossover vehicles, a 109,000 Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks, both released for the 2012 and 2013 model years.
At least 129,000 2012 Toyota RAV4 SUVs are also included.
Around 54,010 RX350 vehicles, 107,052 RAV4 SUVs, and 100,052 Tacoma trucks are affected in the U.S., according to the NHTSA.
Toyota and Lexus dealers are being instructed to update the software for the skid control electronic unit, free of charge.
Toyota recalled 1.9 million of its 3rd generation Prius vehicles worldwide due to a programming issue earlier this week.
Agila Specialties Private Limited Initiates Voluntary Nationwide Recall of 10 Lots of Etomidate Injection 2 mg/mL – 10 mL and 20 mL due to the Presence of Particulate Matter and/or Illegible and Missing Lot Number and/or Expiry Date
PITTSBURGH, Feb. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Mylan Inc. today announced that its subsidiary Agila Specialties Private Limited is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall to the hospital/user level of 10 lots of Etomidate Injection 2 mg/mL – 10 mL and 20 mL (see lot breakdown below). The 10 lots were manufactured by Agila Specialties Polska sp.zo.o in Warsaw, Poland. All of the products bear a Pfizer label. Agila Specialties Private Limited initiated the recall on Feb. 13, 2014, due to the potential for small black particles, identified as paper shipper labels, to be present in individual vials; the potential for missing lot number and/or expiry date on the outer carton, and the potential for illegible/missing lot number and expiry on individual vials. Intravenous administration of particles may lead to impairment of microcirculation, phlebitis, infection, embolism and subsequent infarction. Mylan and Pfizer have not received any reports of adverse events related to the recalled product to date.
Etomidate is a hypnotic drug without analgesic activity. It is indicated by intravenous injection for the induction of general anesthesia. Etomidate is also indicated for the supplementation of subpotent anesthetic agents. Etomidate 2 mg/mL is packaged in glass vials in 10 mL and 20 mL volumes. Product was distributed Nationwide to distributors, retailers, hospitals, pharmacies, and/or clinics. The affected Etomidate lots include the following:
Mylan notified its customers of the recall by letter on Feb. 13, 2014. Distributors, retailers, hospitals, pharmacies, or clinics that have product which is being recalled should stop use and discontinue distribution.
Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Mylan Customer Service with questions at 800.848.0462 on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.
Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.
This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what’s right, not what’s easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of more than 1,300 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately 40% of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in approximately 140 countries and territories. Our workforce of more than 20,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself. See inside. mylan.com
UPDATED: Feb. 14, 2014, 10:47 a.m.
General Motors is recalling about 619,000 small cars in the United States because either a heavy key ring or a “jarring event” such as running off the road could cause the ignition to shut off and possibly prevent the air bags from deploying in a crash, the automaker said in a report posted today on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. The vehicles affected by the recall are the 2007 Pontiac G5 and the 2005-7 Chevrolet Cobalt.
In addition to the vehicles being recalled in the United States, another 153,000 in Canada and 6,100 in Mexico are being recalled.
In a separate news release, G.M. said it knew of six deaths in five crashes in which the front air bags did not deploy.
“All of these crashes occurred off-road and at high speeds, where the probability of serious or fatal injuries was high regardless of air bag deployment. In addition, failure to wear seat belts and alcohol use were factors in some of these cases,” the statement said.
Alcohol was involved in two of the five crashes, resulting in three of the deaths, Alan Adler, a spokesman for G.M., said in a telephone interview. The statement said G.M. was also aware of 17 other crashes “involving some type of frontal impact and nonfatal injuries where the air bags did not deploy.”
Mr. Adler said it was possible that hitting a deep pothole could turn off the ignition, but that G.M. had received no such reports. A figure for the weight of key rings causing the problems was not available.
The automaker told N.H.T.S.A. that the “ignition switch torque performance may not meet General Motors’ specification” on the vehicles, which were assembled in Lordstown, Ohio.
In 2005 G. M. sent dealers a technical service bulletin about the 2005-6 Cobalt warning about a stalling problem related to heavy key rings. At that time, Mr. Adler explained, “In rare cases when a combination of factors is present, a Chevrolet Cobalt driver can cut power to the engine by inadvertently bumping the ignition key to the accessory or off position while the car is running. Service advisers are telling customers they can virtually eliminate this possibility by taking several steps, including removing nonessential material from their key rings.”
Mr. Adler wrote in an email Friday morning that “the 2005 service bulletin was based on the facts as understood at the time. Safety of our consumers is paramount to G.M.; given our present understanding of the 2005-7 Cobalt ignition switch torque capabilities, we have announced a recall.”
Business Day|Business Briefing
The Food and Drug Administration updated safety requirements for producers of infant formula. The changes require companies to tighten their quality control procedures and reporting requirements. They also require that the companies meet so-called good manufacturing practices, which include testing for contamination from pathogens like salmonella. Most companies already meet those standards, but the rule will give the agency more control over enforcing them. The rule will also ensure that infant formula contains all federally required nutrients. The changes will be open to public comment for 45 days.
ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) is recalling about 5,200 cases of mislabeled Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice Microwaveable Bowl Soup that may pose a health risk to people that are allergic to products containing egg or wheat products, or who are gluten intolerant.
The recall applies only to certain Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice Microwaveable Bowl soups and doesn’t effect the brand’s canned soups or other products.
The recalled products, which were produced Dec. 16, may actually contain Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle Soup. The product was distributed in 23 states, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Individuals who have Celiac disease or who are allergic to wheat or egg products shouldn’t consume the product in question and should contact ConAgra for a replacement.
The issue was discovered through consumer contacts. No illnesses have been reported in relation to the recalled products.
The product is packaged in microwaveable bowls with a net weight of 14 ounces and have a “best by” date of June 9, 2015.
ConAgra is working with retailers to ensure that the recalled items are removed from store shelves.
Breaking news for everyone’s consumption
The recalled products are St. Mary’s River Smokehouses Oven Smoked Salmon Stix, Chili Mango Flavor, in a 4 oz. black Styrofoam tray with an outer sleeve bearing the UPC Code 6 2642510092 9. The recall is specific to products marked with the production code 347 31## on a sticker on the end of the styrofoam tray.
The salmon was distributed in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York through retail stores.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by FDA which revealed that samples of the finished products contained the Listeria. Lochiel Enterprises Limited has voluntarily initiated the recall and is continuing its investigation.
No illnesses have been reported to date.
Consumers who have purchased the product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
© Food Safety News
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Ford have recalled several models for impaired windshield visibility. “The presence of bubbles may hinder driver’s visibility thereby increasing the risk of a crash,” according to the recall notice.
The recall has been issued for certain model year 2011 Ford E-150, E-250, E-350 and E-450 vehicles Ford says were built between May 12, 2011 and May 26, 2011
“Due to improper manufacturing conditions, some of the windshields may form bubbles after an extended time in hot temperatures. As such, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205, ‘Glazing Materials,'” reads the statement.
In a report, Ford says, “On May 23, 2011, at the Ohio Assembly Plant, a vehicle was discovered with a windshield that exhibited bubbles after sitting in the yard for three days. Other vehicles were found exhibiting bubbles in the yard. A stop ship was issued and all vehicles were inspected and repaired. An investigation was conducted and it was determined that some windshields were not manufactured correctly. A review of field data determined that vehicles had been shipped with the condition and were being repaired under Ford’s 3/36 warranty. Ford conducted a review of FMVSS 205 and determined that some windshields may not fully meet the requirement of Section S5.1 .1 that cites ANSI 226.1-1996 section 5.4, Boil Test, which prohibits bubbles in the test area.”
While the initial disclosure of the problem was filed by Ford with NHTSA in September 2011, the recall was not issued until January, in light of a petition from Ford to exempt the company from notification and remedying the situation.
The potential number of units estimated to be affected is 4,532. Of those, Steven Kenner, a representative of Ford, said in a 2011 letter to NHTSA only 100 of those windshields may bubble.
“Certain manufacturing conditions at the supplier may have allowed air particles to be trapped between the layers of glass. When the windshield is exposed to high temperatures, such as when the vehicle is parked in the sun with the windows closed in ambient temperatures greater than 80° Fahrenheit, bubbles may develop. Due to high seasonal temperatures when this concern occurred, it is expected that windshields with the potential for this condition would develop air bubbles at very low time-in-service, typically prior to delivery to the final customers. Out of 41 reports received of the 100 expected vehicles with the condition, only one has occurred subsequent to customer delivery,” Kenner wrote in the letter.
“There are no reports of air bubbles affecting the entire windshield. If bubbles occurred in the driver vision zone, they did not completely obscure it,” he added. “The appearance of the air bubbles is a slow process, most likely occurring when the vehicle is parked in the sun with the windows closed, and would be noticed by the customer who would seek repair under Ford’s normal 3/36 warranty.”
To correct the situation, Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the windshield if bubbles are present, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on, or about, January 27, 2014.