Product Safety Recalls

Ford promises software update following recall of vehicles with overheated engines.

The AP (12/11, Krisher) reports, “Ford will update software on 2013 Escapes and Fusions to stop their engines from overheating, a problem that has caused a small number of fires.” According to the AP, “Reports of nine fires prompted the automaker to recall more than 89,000 of the SUVS and midsize cars in the U.S. and Canada last month. No injuries were reported and only models with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines were recalled.”

Report: Some mobile apps for children fail to provide enough disclosure to parents.

The New York Times (12/11, Page B1, Singer, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) reports that according to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission, “several hundred of the most popular educational and gaming mobile apps for children fail to give parents basic explanations about what kinds of personal information the apps collect from children, who can see that data and what they use it for.” The report says that “the apps often transmit the phone number, precise location or unique serial code of a mobile device to app developers, advertising networks or other companies.” According to Federal regulators, such information could be used to track children’s activities across different apps or to contact the children without parents’ knowledge or consent. The Times notes, “Regulators said they were investigating whether the practices of certain apps violated a federal law requiring Web site operators to get parents’ permission before collecting or sharing names, phone numbers, addresses or other personal information obtained from children under 13.”

Firm recalling about 220,000 infant travel beds over suffocation risk.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (12/11, Roth, 190K) notes, “A month ago, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the voluntary recall, which allows owners of the PeaPod and PeaPod Plus travel beds to get a kit designed to fix the problems that might put children at risk of harm.” The story adds, “In the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, one section called for testing and safety standards for all ‘durable infant products,’ including pack-and-plays, bassinets and full-sized cribs,…but the PeaPods weren’t covered by that requirement.”

Study: Fish frequently misidentified in New York City stores, restaurants.

In its “Green” blog and in print, the New York Times (12/11, A25, Rosenthal, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) reports, “Fish is frequently misidentified on menus and grocery store counters in New York City, even at expensive restaurants and specialty shops, DNA testing for a new study found.” Investigators “from the conservation group Oceana said that genetic analyses showed that 39 percent of nearly 150 samples of fresh seafood collected from 81 establishments in the city this summer were mislabeled.” The piece also notes, “The Food and Drug Administration, which is charged with ensuring food safety and setting labeling standards, has been working to curb seafood fraud in recent years, developing new programs to combat such fraud in the past year.”

        Reuters (12/11, Rudegeair) points out that according to a spokeswoman from the Food and Drug Administration, not labeling seafood properly may result in allergic reactions or illnesses that are specific to a particular species of fish. The piece also points out that Oceana’s survey results echo those of a 1992 Consumer Reports study that revealed nearly a third of seafood obtained in New York was mislabeled.