The 10 Worst Product Recalls

When life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade. But if the lemons are products that consumers paid for with hard-earned cash, expect the company or the relevant government agency to order a re

When life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade. But if the lemons are

products that consumers paid for with hard-earned cash, expect the company or the

relevant government agency to order a recall. Products sold on the market should

always be safe and must work properly. Consumers deserve nothing less and they

certainly do not deserve the following items. These are the 10 worst product recalls

ever made.

10 Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys by RC2 Corp., 2007

Kids have been playing with train sets for the longest time. As a matter of fact, some

adults do not outgrow the toy and keep it even as they get older. One set of toys that

is definitely not for keeps is the wooden railway set from Thomas & Friends. The toys

were made in China and it made use of paint that contained lead. This substance

can be toxic if ingested. The company was forced to recall over 1.5 million units of

the toy set.

9 Easy Bake Oven by Hasbro, 2007

Children love to mimic the things that adults do. Boys play with cars and tools

because those are the things that fathers tinker with, while girls go for playhouses

and dolls. Hasbro tried to fill that market by releasing the Easy Bake Oven. The toy

turned out to be quite dangerous, however. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety

Commission reported 249 cases of kids getting their hands or fingers caught in the

openings of the oven. There were also 77 reports of burns. The worst was that of a

five-year-old girl’s whose finger got partially amputated due to severe burns.

8 Baby Milk Powder from China, 2008

Products from China faced a lot of scrutiny back in 2008 because of a series of

concerns related to a variety of products. Barbie and Polly Pocket products also

encountered the lead paint issue faced by Thomas & Friends. The danger was not

limited to lead paint, as there were also problems with hazardous magnetic parts. The

worst, however, was the melamine scare that was initially detected in dog and cat

food from China. Melamine is a dangerous chemical used for plastic that can also

artificially bloat a food product’s protein value. Chinese manufacturers added the

chemical to baby milk powder, causing the death of a baby and kidney problems in

50 others. Two men were sentenced to death and 700 tons were recalled.

7 Jarts Lawn Darts, 1988

The Jarts, or lawn darts, was a mildly popular toy in the 80's that had accident

spelled all over it. The game involved throwing large plastic darts into plastics rings

on the ground. The problem was that the darts had weighted and pointed metal tips. It

made one think whether it was really a toy or actually a weapon. In 18 years, three

deaths were reported because of Jarts. By 1988, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety

Commission had had enough and decided not just to recall the product but also to

completely ban the toy from the market. Canada followed suit a year later.

6 Ford Pinto, 1978

The Ford Pinto was a badly designed car with an oddly positioned fuel tank that

could blow up in case of a rear-end collision. It could have been easily remedied,

but Ford decided it would be cheaper to settle lawsuits instead of fixing the design.

criminal charges were brought. Ford eventually fixed the problem, the charges were

dismissed, but the damage to the car’s reputation was permanent. By 1981, the

model was already retired.

5 Tylenol, 1982

In 1982, Tylenol grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons. Seven people had

died after ingesting the medicine laced with potassium cyanide. The suspect was

never caught and it sparked panic across the country, copycat incidents and new

safety regulations for medicines. New tamper-proof seals were mandated for all

drugs sold over-the-counter.

4 Peanut Corp., 2008

Mold lined the walls and ceilings of the food manufacturing plant. Rats and

cockroaches were all over the place. Food supplies were mingled with waste and

contaminated with salmonella. That was the condition of the Georgia peanut plant of

the Peanut Corp. Yet, the company still allowed shipment of its products that were

used to make ice cream, peanut butter and other stuff. Eight people died because of


3 Infantino Slingrider, 2010

Imagine purchasing an item that is supposed to help you carry your baby around

as you go along your daily tasks. Now, imagine that same item being the cause of

a baby’s death. It is pretty hard to swallow and may even be unbelievable to some,

but that was exactly the problem brought about by the Infantino Slingrider. The

Slingrider’s fabric had a tendency to press against the nose or mouth of the baby,

effectively suffocating the child. The danger was pronounced especially for those

under four months old. Three babies died as a result. And the number may still rise,

as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating 14 more deaths

since 1990 that may be associated with the use of the product.

2 Firestone and Goodyear Tires, 2000

It was probably the worst product fault in the history of car making. Tires made by

Firestone and Goodyear were blowing out left and right because of the tendency

of the tire treads to peel or separate. Top-heavy cars, like the Ford Explorer, were

especially susceptible and were toppling over as a result. The Firestone tires were

blamed for 175 deaths and 700 injuries, while those made by Goodyear accounted

for 15 deaths and 120 injuries.

1 Vioxx by Merck, 2004

The product was supposed to help patients suffering from arthritis. Yet, for some

reason, those who ingested the medicine for more than 18 months suddenly found

themselves at risk of heart attacks and strokes. More than 27,000 lawsuits were filed

against the company. Merck had to pay $4.85 billion in settlements, wiping out the

$2.5 billion in sales that Vioxx had brought in the previous year.

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The 10 Worst Product Recalls