U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission declares hoverboards unsafe



In a letter to manufacturers of hoverboards the CPSC called on makers and sellers to voluntarily take hoverboards off the market until they can be certified as safe by UL, the independent testing firm widely used by U.S. electronics manufacturers and failure to do so could lead to prosecution.  CPSC Letter 2-18-16

This announcement came on the shortly after the CPSC opened an investigation in January 2016 to look into dozens of fires involving hoverboards, which are also called smart boards or self-balancing boards.  Many of these fires occurred indoors and could have resulted in serious injuries if not for the quick actions of consumers to extinguish the fire.

According to the CPSC its investigation included the safety of hoverboards made and/or sold by:


Smart Balance Wheel/One Stop Electronic Inc.

Smart Balance Wheel Scooter/Glide Boards

Hover-way Hands-Free Electric/Digital Gadgets LLC

Swagway Hands-Free Smart Board/Swagway LLC

Smart Balance Board/I Lean Hoverboards

E-Rover-Mini Smart Balance Scooter/LeCam Technology

Smart Balance Wheels/Kateeskitty


iMOTO/Keenford Limited


Smart Balance Wheel/Luxiyan and


DEYA LED/E-Rover Smart Balance Wheel /Shenzhen yuan jia jie Technology Co. Ltd

Electrolux named in class action lawsuit over defective dishwashers



Plaintiff represents a proposed class of thousands of consumers—who owned and used residential dishwashers designed and manufactured by Defendant Electrolux Home Products, Inc., and sold under the Frigidaire or Electrolux brand name. These dishwashers are dangerously defective in that the electrical system overheats and catches on fire, burning holes through the dishwasher, causing flooding, or engulfing the entire dishwasher and surrounding area in flames.

The seriousness of the health and safety hazard this defect poses is exemplified by this picture of a Frigidaire dishwasher, which caught fire and burned part of the house down:

Other consumers’ experiences are equally alarming and illustrate the degree to which these dishwashers pose an unreasonable safety hazard.

As alleged, Electrolux has known of this dangerous defect for years; however, to date, it has failed to recall or otherwise inform the public that its dishwashers are defective and are serious safety risk.

Electrolux’s conduct violates well-established contract, tort, and consumer protection laws of Illinois and various states. Plaintiff brings this suit on behalf of herself and similarly situated consumers. She seeks damages and appropriate equitable relief, including an order enjoining Electrolux from selling these dishwashers without disclosing the defect to its consumers.


Nissan named in class action lawsuit over premature failure of floorboards in 2002-2006 Nissan Altima automobiles

According to the complaint, Nissan sold 2002-2006  Altima’s without disclosing to consumers that Nissan had opted to install floorboards in the vehicles that do not withstand normal exposure to the elements, do not drain properly, and rust to the degree that the floorboards substantially deteriorate and allow visible exposure to the roadway beneath the vehicle (“Defect”).

As a result of the Defect, there has been at least one reported accident with injuries. Hundreds of other drivers have told Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they feel unsafe driving their Class Vehicles. Because the replacement of the floorboard can cost several thousand dollars, and because Nissan refuses to recognize the existence of the Defect or to cover the full cost of repairs, many owners of Class Vehicles are not in a position to replace the defective floorboard when they discover the problem. Moreover, Nissan provides no assurances that any replacement floorboard will not suffer from the same problems.

Plaintiff brings this proposed class action on behalf of herself and all other Illinois owners of Nissan Altima automobiles for model years 2002-2006 (“Class Vehicles”) alleging that Nissan’s conduct violates Illinois law including the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.


Nissan recalls Juke and Infinity vehicles over potential fuel leak

Nissan North America, Inc. is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 Nissan Juke, 2012-2013 Infiniti M56, QX56, and 2014-2015 Infiniti Q70 (V8 engine vehicles only), and QX80 vehicles. The fuel pressure sensors may not have been sufficiently tightened during production. As a result, the fuel pressure sensor may loosen with vehicle usage and cause a fuel leak.

A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source could cause a vehicle fire.

Approximately 133,592 vehicles are implicate din the recall.

Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will re-torque the fuel pressure sensors free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on or before January 26, 2015.


Graco Children’s Products Inc named in class action lawsuit over allegedly unsafe car seats


This class action was brought on behalf of a class of California and nationwide consumers (“Class Members”) who purchased, within the applicable statutes of limitations period, a Graco car seat manufactured between January 1, 2009 and October 2012 that was equipped with a “Signature Buckle” (referred to herein as the “class car seats” or “the products”). These class car seats include, without limitation, any of the following models:

(a) Nautilus; (b) Nautilus Elite; (c) Argos 70; (d) MyRide 65; (e) MyRide 65 with Safety surround; (f) MyRide 70; (g) Comfort Sport; (h) Classic Ride 50; (i) Size4Me; (j) Step 2; (k) CozyCline; (l) SmartSeat; (m) Snugride; (n) Snugride 30; (o) Snugride 32; (p) Snugride 35;  (q) Step 1 Safe Seat; and (r) Snugride Click Connect 40.

This action concerns the advertisement and sale of defective child car seats by Defendants under the Graco brand name. The class car seats are defective in that the harness buckle which is a component of the car seats (the “Signature Buckle”) is either unreasonably difficult to unlatch, or simply will not unlatch.

Accoding to the complaint, numerous consumers have reported that they had to either struggle excessively to unlatch their child from the class car seats, had to cut the harness in order to remove their child from the car seats, had to manipulate their child out of the car seat while the harness was still buckled, or simply stopped using the car seat because it would not unbuckle.

The alleged defect includes the inability of the buckles to de-latch, even when dirty. Reasonable consumers expect that childrens’ car seats will get dirty and that even if some dirt accumulates in the latch, the buckles will open. To the extent that Defendants contend that the buckle malfunction is due to foreign material accumulating in the buckle and consumers’ failures to clean the buckle apparatus, Defendants failed to disclose, adequately or at all, material information regarding the necessary cleaning procedures for the car seats.

Defendants knew or should have known that the class car seats had one or more design and/or manufacturing defects which result in the failure of the harness buckle to operate as intended. The defects impede the ability of, or otherwise prevent, the safe and timely removal of the child from the car seat.

The defects pose an unreasonable safety hazard to consumers and/or their children because in the event of a vehicle accident it may be imperative to remove the child from the seat belt as quickly as possible to avoid further injury or death. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, “[c]ar crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States.” Moreover, for other reasons, it may be imperative to remove the child from the car seat to avoid injury or death such as if the car becomes submerged in water, if the car is on fire, or if the child is suffering a medical emergency that necessitates quick removal from the car seat.

Because Defendants will not notify Class Members that the class car seats are defective, Plaintiff and Class Members and/or their children are subjected to dangerous conditions.

As alleged, Defendants knew about and concealed the defects in every class car seat, along with the attendant dangerous safety hazards, from Plaintiff and Class Members, at the time of sale and thereafter. In fact, instead of repairing the defects in the class car seats, Defendants refused to acknowledge their existence.

If Plaintiff and Class Members knew about these defects at the time of sale, Plaintiff and Class Members would not have purchased the class car seats or would have paid less for them.

Mercedes Benz named in class action over safety issues related to its M272 or M273 engines



Plaintiffs brought a class action lawsuit against Mercedes Benz on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated owners and lessees of Mercedes Benz branded automobiles equipped with Mercedes M272 or M273 engines in California.

As alleged in the complaint, the engines are equipped with defective gears in their balance shafts (in the event of the M272 engines) or with defective idle gears (in the case of the M273 engines). These defective gears wear out prematurely, excessively, and without warning, causing the vehicle to malfunction, the “check engine light” to remain illuminated, and the vehicle to misfire and/or stop driving. The only recourse is to have the balance shaft or idle gear replaced, which is a large scale repair job, taking numerous days and costing several thousand dollars. All the while, Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (“Defendant” or “Mercedes”) has known of the existence and manifestation of this defect, as is documented in its own internal documents, but has failed to take appropriate corrective or remedial action, and has concealed and affirmatively misrepresented the existence of this defect from unsuspecting owners and lessees. Plaintiffs are among the numerous owners of such vehicles that have had faulty balance shaft or idle gears, and have incurred thousands of dollars’ worth of repair bills as a result. Defendant’s conduct with regard to the sale, distribution, and repair (or lack thereof) of these vehicles amounts to a violation of Defendant’s common law and statutory duties

Mercedes’ M272 engine is a v-6 engine first introduced in 2004, and found in the following Mercedes model vehicles in the following model years: Mercedes C 230, SLK 280, SLK 350, and CLS 350 (2004 to present); E 230, CLS 280, CLK 280, C 280, E 280, SL 280, C 350, E 350, S 350, SL 350, and Viano (2005 to present); R 2801 R 350, :NIL 350, and Sprinter (2006 to present); S 280 (2007 to present); CLC 230, ana CLC 350 (2008 to present). Mercedes’ M213 engine is a V-8 engine first introduced in the model year 2006, and found in the following Mercedes model vehicles in the following model years: E 50DIE 550, CL 500/CL 550, CLS 500/CLS 550, and GL 500/GL 550 (2006)’ GL 450, S 450, and :NIL 450 (2007); :NIL 5001ML 550 (2008); and, CLK 500/CLK 550 (2006 and 2009). The class seeks to represent owners and lessees of the foregoing model vehicles.

See a copy of the complaint here: Mercedes Benz (2011)