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Massachusetts Consumers Need to Remain Vigilant During Holiday Season

snowmanShopping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends during the holidays can be enjoyable but time-consuming. Despite the busyness of the season, it is important to stay abreast of the latest news in consumer product recalls, advisories, and safety alerts.

With several different government agencies policing the millions of products sold in the United States annually, knowing where to go for specific information can be a bit confusing. Three of the major entities charged with protecting consumers are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Where to Look for Vehicle Safety Issue Recalls

To check for potential safety issues with your vehicle before making a lengthy trip out of town to visit family, the place to look is the NHTSA. The NHTSA has the task of reducing deaths and injuries caused by vehicle crashes by enforcing safety performance standards and investigating defects in motor vehicles.

Some of the vehicles recalled recently include 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jettas and Beetles (possible loss of  control), 2013-14 Range Rovers (risk of tire failure), 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtops (spare wheel may separate),  2015 Volkswagen Jettas and Passats (unexpected movement of driver’s seat), and 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 and C400 4Matics (sliding shaft may disengage from the steering column). To check for vehicle recalls on your particular automobile, you can search by vehicle identification number (VIN).

To Check for Consumer Product Safety Information

If you have concerns about a particular product, such as a toy that your child received as a gift, the CPSC is the place to go. Products that recently made their list for potential safety hazards include bicycle helmets made by UVEX Sports (risk of head injury), GCI stadium seas (seats can fail), Ethan Allen floor lamps (defective insulation can cause electrical shock), Lenovo computer power cord (fire and burn hazard due to overheating), Nordstrom open vest sweaters (do not meet federal flammability requirements), Dream on Me play yards (strangulation hazard), HobbyZone radio-controlled aircraft (risk of fire and property damage from overcharged battery), and Salsa Cycles bicycle forks (risk of fall hazard).

If You Have Concerns about a Potentially Dangerous Food Product

For those hosting holiday parties, the FDA can provide information about safety alerts, recalls, and market withdrawals of food products. That list currently includes apple pistachio salad sold by Giant Eagle and fresh cut red apples from Farmers Market, 7-Eleven, and other retailers (listeria monocytogenes), and enchiladas from Open Nature (salmonella risk). The FDA also provides information about dangerous drugs, animal health, biologics, medical devices, and cosmetics.

If You Have Been Hurt By a Defective Vehicle, Product, or Food

Unfortunately, many accidents, injuries, and even deaths occur annually as a result of faulty and defective products. If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of such a product, call the Law Office of John C. Manoog, III at (888) 262-6664 to discuss your potential products liability case. Following a free initial consultation, we will investigate whether a manufacturing defect, design flaw, or failure to warn may have contributed to your injury. We are now accepting product liability cases throughout the Cape Cod area.

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