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Top 10 Product Recalls

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Liam Hillery No need to think twice about it; you won’t be able to use it again anyway. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Infamous Product Recalls. For this list, we’re taking a look at products that were taken off the market after irking the public and stirring controversy. Special thanks to our users Perkakola for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Worst+Product+Recalls
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Transcript
Script written by Liam Hillery

Top 10 Product Recalls


No need to think twice about it; you won’t be able to use it again anyway. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Infamous Product Recalls. 

For this list, we’re taking a look at products that were taken off the market after irking the public and stirring controversy. Because products are typically recalled out of necessity for safety and health reasons, and those products are rarely seen again, we’re also considering how this affected the companies that manufactured them.

#10: Easy-Bake Ovens

Introduced in 1963, the Easy-Bake Oven was immediately appealing. Kids getting to make tasty treats - what’s not to like? In 2007, however, Hasbro recalled its latest model of the toy after they received numerous, substantial complaints of children getting their fingers stuck in the oven’s door. Hasbro issued a voluntary recall and made available a free U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved guard for all who still wanted to keep the oven… except it didn’t work. The CPSC report revealed approximately 250 more cases of children’s fingers getting caught in the door, and nearly 80 cases of burns, with one girl’s burn being so bad her finger was amputated. This brought on another recall. In the end, the recall affected nearly one million Easy-Bake Ovens.

#9: Volkswagen

Back in 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency charged Volkswagen with breaching the Clean Air Act, a 1963 law that tries to ensure exactly what its name implies. The investigation revealed that 11 million Volkswagen vehicles that had turbo charged direct injection diesel engines were programmed using defeat devices to keep emissions at approved levels during testing periods, but would forgo those controls afterwards, thereby releasing unapproved levels of Nitrogen Oxide into the air. As a result, Volkswagen made plans to invest over 18 billion dollars to refit affected models across the globe and reduce their emissions. As you can imagine their reputation also took a bit of a hit.

#8: Peanut Corporation of America’s Peanut Products

Remember in 2008 when there was that salmonella outbreak? If you don’t, you should. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported nine deaths and over 700 cases of food poisoning as a result of negligence. After an extensive, collaborative investigation between the CDC and the FDA, the outbreak was traced back to a Peanut Corporation of America plant in Georgia. Reports on that facility, as well as the one in Texas, revealed unsanitary conditions such as dead animals and moldy ceilings. Reports also accused the plant and company CEO of approving the sale of products that had already tested positive for salmonella. The scandal’s recall was the largest pertaining to food in U.S. history, and it forced the Peanut Corporation to bankruptcy.

#7: Ford Pintos

In action movies, it’s not uncommon to see a car explode after even the smallest impact. Starting as early as 1973, there were cases stating that the Ford Pinto might be volatile. It wasn’t until 1974 that something official came about, with a petition out forth by the Center for Auto Safety to recall the car make. Apparently, the Ford Pinto’s gas tank was poorly positioned between the rear axle and bumper, and it tended to catch fire when it touched the shock absorber in the back of the car, and thus would frequently explode in rear-end collisions. Ford faced a slew of legal battles and accusations criticizing its decision-making both before and during the scandal. Ultimately, Ford issued a massive recall and in 1980, they stopped producing the Pinto altogether.

#6: Takata Airbags

Chances are not bad that you’ve sat in a car with Takata Corporation airbags, given that they’ve been manufactured since 1988, and cover 20% of the airbag market. However, in 2013, complaints against the company came pouring in, citing issues that may’ve spanned the previous ten years. Honda asserted that their product caused eight deaths and approximately one hundred injuries, claiming that, even in minor collisions, Takata airbags propelled deadly shrapnel upon deployment. An investigation revealed it was a Takata production plant in Mexico that had inappropriately assembled the less stable parts of the airbags. Over the course of the controversy, several recalls were issued, necessitating the recall of millions of vehicles from various brands, including Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and BMW.

#5: Roman Blinds

The exact number of deaths and injuries due to this product can be debated, as use of roman blinds is so widespread; but what cannot be argued is the fact that in 2009 all Roman style blinds were recalled from the market. What does “all” constitute? Well, around 50 million units. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission pulled Roman style blinds when several children died from strangulation after becoming entangled in the shades’ exposed inner cord. Ultimately, the report recommended consumers stop using Roman style shades altogether if they were not equipped with updated safety precautions.

#4: Infantino SlingRider Baby Slings

In 2010, over one million sling-style Infantino brand baby carriers were recalled from the market. The Consumer Product Safety Commission determined there was a risk of asphyxiation for those babies being carried. After three infant deaths occurred, an investigation was launched, which revealed sling-style carriers could block air passages, resulting in the tragic death of these infants. The risk was especially great for those under the age of four months. In March 2010, the CPSC issued a report linking 14 deaths to the product, dating back as far as 1990, and just weeks later the recall was issued.

#3: Chinese Milk

Back in 2008, China recalled approximately 9,000 tons of powdered baby formula. It was revealed that China’s largest producer of baby formula had issued products cut with melamine, a dangerous chemical used for plastic that can also be used to falsely indicate high protein levels when added to milk. According to reports, it was this misleading nutritional information that led to the deaths of at least six infants from complications with their kidneys. Ultimately, the scandal affected 300,000 victims including 54,000 infants. Two men were sentenced to death by Shijiazhuang’s (shih-TZIA-twung) Intermediate People’s Court for their role in selling the contaminated powder.

#2: Tylenol

This pain reliever was pulled from the market in October 1982 after it was linked to the murders of seven people. Reports determined Tylenol in Chicago and its surrounding areas had been tampered with and laced with potassium cyanide. Johnson & Johnson, Tylenol’s parent company, promptly issued warnings, suspended production, and set in motion a full, nationwide recall. In total, Tylenol pulled nearly $100 million worth of product from the market, and the entire pharmaceutical industry developed special packaging to prevent tampering. Interestingly, no culprits in this case were ever caught, but in the wake of the crisis, the public was scared by several copycat offenses. The company faced yet another recall in 2010, but this time initiated due to mildew in its products.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions. 
- Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys
Traces of Lead

- Keurig Mini Plus Brewing Systems
Burns from Overheated Water

- Toyota
Faulty Accelerator Pedals

- Simplicity Cribs
Defective Support Frames

#1: Ford Explorer’s Firestone Tires

Back to cars and crashes. In 2000, after a warning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford launched an investigation into the quality of the Firestone tires that it used on its vehicles. They determined that several Firestone models failed far more often than what’s considered normal, and after more tests found that Explorers fitted with these tired tended to rollover when they failed. One possible reason for these problems? Before the Explorer was first put on the market, they discovered it was inclined to rollover in accidents. Instead of a complete redesign, they opted to reduce air pressure in the tires. However, low tire pressure can lead to accelerated deterioration of the rubber. Reports vary, but these Firestone tire failures are thought to have caused 250 deaths and 3000 injuries. The recall ultimately pulled over 14.4 million tires.

Do you agree with our picks? What do you think is the top Product Recall? For more interesting top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com. 
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