The year of 2017 was marked by a number of large recalls for safety issues, that posed serious safety risks, including several that specifically put children at risk throughout the United States.
Birth control implants, fire extinguishers, drugs and cars were found to carry significant dangers to the public, sometimes years after they had already been on the market. This is the AboutLawsuits.com List of the Top 10 Recalls from 2017.
1. Kidde fire extinguishers are found in millions of homes and businesses across the country, which is why a Kidde fire extinguisher recall issued in November affected more than 40 million units. The recall came after reports of problems that can cause them to fail, limit activation or result in the nozzle detaching. ‘
Problems with the fire extinguishers have been reported in at least 91 incidents of property damage, 16 injuries from smoke inhalation and burns, and at least one death. All of the incidents and injuries occurred when the extinguishers failed to operate.
2. Samsung made the top 10 list last year because of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, and made the list again in 2017 after announcing a recall of nearly three million top-loading washing machines that could become unbalanced due to excessive vibration and break apart or explode.
While the actual recall occurred in late 2016, Samsung itself exacerbated the problem this year due to its recall response, in which consumers say the company tried to cajole them into buying more Samsung products, offered them almost nothing for the value of their washing machines when they wanted a refund, and when consumers demanded a repair, they slapped a new sticker on the machine’s control panel that blacked out the high spin cycle and called it a day.
Needless to say, consumers were not happy, and the company now faces a growing number of Samsung washing machine recall lawsuits from irate customers.
3. Bayer’s Essure birth control implant makes the list on a technicality, and for the fact that it wasn’t recalled….in the United States. Oh, Essure was pulled from the market everywhere else in the world, amid growing complaints over complications involving severe pain, potential allergic responses, migration and organ perforations. It was even banned in Australia.
But neither those problems, Bayer’s decision to stop selling the device worldwide, or the growing number of Essure lawsuits filed by women across the United States were able to convince Bayer that it couldn’t continue to profit off the controversial implant by continuing to sell it to women here in the U.S.
4. A recall of papayas imported from Mexico was linked to more than 100 cases of food poisoning after the fruits were linked to two separate strains of salmonella. The tainted papayas were linked to two different distributors, and thousands of boxes of papayas that sickened people in 16 states.
The FDA ceased importation of papayas from the Mexico-based farms as a result.
5. Viewed by many as long overdue, the FDA announced a Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablet recall in April. The recall came after reports of at least 10 deaths and hundreds of adverse events in recent years.
The illnesses and deaths were linked to the fact that the teething tablets carried a risk of Belladonna poisoning. Belladonna is widely recognized as poisonous, and is often referred to as “The Deadly Nightshade” and yet it was used in teething tablets for infants and toddlers.
The incident has led the FDA to re-evaluate how it oversees homeopathic products and the agency recently released new draft guidance promoting more stringent enforcement procedures.
6. Another product that put children at risk and was recalled this year was a dresser by Walmart. In September, a Walmart Ameriwood Home Dresser recall was announced after one fell over onto a four-year-old, injuring the child.
More than 1.6 million of the dressers had to be pulled from the market because they failed to comply with furniture tip-over requirements, designed to prevent just that type of incident.
7. More than 2 million Honda Accords were recalled in July following at least four reports of vehicle fires and nearly 4,000 warranty claims by owners who said the vehicle’s battery sensor short-circuited.
It was determined that the battery sensor was improperly sealed, which could lead to a short circuit due to the intrusion of water, salt and road debris.
8. In June, the FDA took the rare step of publicly pressuring Endo Pharmaceuticals to issue an Opana ER recall, indicating that the risks of the powerful opioid outweighed its benefits. Endo at first resisted, but acquiesced to the recall request about a month later, pulling the drug from the market.
The problem was with Opana ER’s high rate of abuse. However, the drug was marketed as having “abuse deterrent” technology that should have resulted in lower rates of abuse. But the abuse deterrent just prevented the pill from being crushed and snorted. What it didn’t due was stop abusers from injecting it, which addicts quickly realized.
The health risks did not stop at the risk of overdosing. In 2015, Opana ER injections were determined to be the primary cause of an HIV outbreak in Indiana when addicts shared dirty needles. The “abuse deterrent” formula was 10 times more powerful than morphine when injected, and users only needed one quarter of a pill to get their high. Thus, the “abuse deterrent” design probably encouraged more abuse than it prevented.
9. In October, a Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee recall was announced after it was discovered that water could enter the vehicles’ brake booster, limiting its braking ability. The recall affected more than 700,000 vehicles.
The recall investigation came after several consumer complaints and at least one crash report. Investigators determined that some of the vehicles’ brake booster shields had been improperly installed.
10. Listeria contamination risks led to the recall of cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other vegetables nationwide in October after the risk was detected by food inspectors. The Mann Packaging vegetable recall reverberated throughout grocery stores across the United States, causing major chains such as Whole Foods, Meijer, Safeway, Vons and others to issue recalls of their own.
The tainted veggies were sold in eight states and Canada and were also added to mixed vegetables, resulting in dozens of vegetable products being recalled nationwide.