Court Rules That Companies Can’t Litigate In Secret Just To Protect Reputation

It doesn't take very long to read the court documents in Company Doe's lawsuit against CPSC, since most of it is redacted.

Since 2012, we’ve been telling you about the mysterious case of Company Doe, a business that had sued the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission over the agency’s SaferProducts.gov database and had convinced a court to let it do so anonymously in order to protect the company’s reputation, setting a dangerous precedent that would allow manufacturers to file such lawsuits completely out of view of the public. But a federal appeals court has sided with consumer advocates and ordered that Company Doe’s identity be revealed. [More]

Lawmakers Call On FCC To Make Complaint Database Accessible To Public

Lawmakers Call On FCC To Make Complaint Database Accessible To Public

Every year, the FCC receives hundreds of thousands of complaints from consumers, but those gripes are rarely made public. That’s why a pair of Senators are urging the Commission to follow the lead of other federal agencies that offer public, searchable databases of complaints. [More]

Walmart Recalls 174,000 My Sweet Love/My Sweet Baby Dolls Because Burnt Flesh Isn’t So Sweet

Walmart Recalls 174,000 My Sweet Love/My Sweet Baby Dolls Because Burnt Flesh Isn’t So Sweet

Though a handful of kids’ dolls have been known to become possessed by the souls of deceased serial killers — not to mention the occasional murderous, self-aware ventriloquist dummy — it’s generally accepted that dolls are not supposed to hurt the children who play with them. That’s why Walmart has issued a recall on 174,000 dolls that can overheat and cause burns or blisters. [More]

The Consumerist 101 Guide To Understanding Your Financial Regulators

The Consumerist 101 Guide To Understanding Your Financial Regulators

Washington, D.C., might as well be called Acronym City. It feels like there are a zillion different, discrete agencies, organizations, bureaus, boards, and commissions within the federal government, each with its own graceless three-, four-, or five-initial moniker, forming the tangled web of a bureaucracy that regulates… well, almost everything. So what are the key regulatory agencies, anyway? Who oversees what, and who do they report to, and how does it all work? [More]

8,200 Stuffed Grumpy Cats Recalled, Are Unhappy About It

8,200 Stuffed Grumpy Cats Recalled, Are Unhappy About It

If you aren’t familiar with the perpetually-frowning, totally adorable Grumpy Cat, we feel very sorry for you. Obviously, you need to spend more time looking at cute pictures of animals on the Internet. Grumpy Cat started as a cute kitty who always looks like she’s frowning, and somehow spawned an entire industry of apps, merchandise, and beverages, and became a Friskies spokescat. One of those pieces of merchandise has been recalled. [More]

Fitbit Sued Over Itch-And-Rash-Inducing Wristbands

Fitbit Sued Over Itch-And-Rash-Inducing Wristbands

Nearly a month after Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Fitbit Force bracelets over complaints from thousands of users who developed itchy rashes while wearing the devices, and weeks after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission made the recall official, comes the first of what will likely be many lawsuits against the company. [More]

Center for Auto Safety research claims that 303 people have died while sitting in the front seat of Saturn Ion or Chevy Cobalt vehicles in which the airbags failed to deploy.

Review Claims GM Defect May Be Tied To Up To 303 Deaths

While data provided by General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration links at least 12 deaths to an ignition switch defect in Chevy Cobalts, Pontiac G5s, Saturn Ions and other vehicles, an independent review claims that the actual number of fatalities tied to this defect could be as much as 25 times that number. [More]

CPSC Wants Fitbit To Share Recall News With Customers

CPSC Wants Fitbit To Share Recall News With Customers

While Fitbit issued a voluntary recall of its itch-inducing fitness bands in February and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a formal recall of 1 million of the devices, the company has been pretty quiet about sharing this information with its most dedicated customers. [More]

Government Officially Recalls Fitbit’s Rash-Inducing Wristbands

Government Officially Recalls Fitbit’s Rash-Inducing Wristbands

Nearly two months after Consumerist first brought you the news of Fitbit owners complaining about itchy rashes resulting from the fitness band, and several weeks after the company undertook its own recall of the product, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled 1 million of the devices in the U.S. after receiving nearly 10,000 complaints from consumers. [More]

If You’re Into Rashes, Recalled Fitbit Force Goes For About $200 On eBay

If You’re Into Rashes, Recalled Fitbit Force Goes For About $200 On eBay

Since we broke the story of the Fitbit Force personal motion tracker causing contact dermatitis in some users, the company has begun its own recall of the devices and told authorized retailers to stop selling them. The problem is that hot gadgets are always available through unofficial channels as well. Like eBay, where you can still buy the Force, and it’s selling for a premium. [More]

Feds: ADT Paid “Independent” Experts To Shill For Pulse Security System

Feds: ADT Paid “Independent” Experts To Shill For Pulse Security System

When you see a so-called expert on the Today Show talking up a product, you might reasonably assume that this expert is giving you an honest opinion that hasn’t been tainted by cash or gifts. Alas, not every company is up front about the fact that they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their product mentioned on TV by not-exactly-independent experts. [More]

CPSC Working With Fitbit On Mysterious Force Rash Issues

CPSC Working With Fitbit On Mysterious Force Rash Issues

Some users of the new Fitbit Force activity tracker really liked the product. They thought it was just great… right up until ugly patches of contact dermatitis broke out on their wrists. The company announced its own recall, but is simply accepting wristbands back from users who don’t want them enough? [More]

More Bad News For Babies: 216,000 Britax Strollers Recalled Over Finger Amputation Risk

More Bad News For Babies: 216,000 Britax Strollers Recalled Over Finger Amputation Risk

It’s been quite a bad news week for babies and their parents — on the heels of yesterday’s recall of 200,000 baby pacifiers by Fred & Friends, Britax has announced it’s recalling 216,000 strollers over the risk of amputation. [More]

Recall Of 200K Pacifiers: While A Baby With A Mustache Is Cute, It’s Not Worth Choking Over

Recall Of 200K Pacifiers: While A Baby With A Mustache Is Cute, It’s Not Worth Choking Over

Look that baby! She’s got a mustache and a tiny little beard! Isn’t that just so adorable, because see, babies can’t grow facial hair and also she’s a girl? Sure, it might be cute, but the company behind three novelty pacifiers, Fred & Friends, has announced it’s recalling 200,000 over safety concerns. Namely, that a baby could choke on some of the parts included. [More]

Flushmate III Toilet System Recalled Because Toilet Explosions Are Very Bad

Flushmate III Toilet System Recalled Because Toilet Explosions Are Very Bad

Words that you never want to see in close proximity to each other: “toilet,” “explosion,” and “shatter.” That’s why the Flushmate flush-assist system has been recalled, though: one of the welds in the system can break, shattering the toilet tank and posing an “impact and laceration hazards to consumers,” as the Consumer Product Safety Commission elegantly explains.  [More]

Sears, Kmart Recall Kenmore Fan Heaters Because They Are Not Supposed To Catch Fire

Sears, Kmart Recall Kenmore Fan Heaters Because They Are Not Supposed To Catch Fire

While flames have long kept humans warm during cold weather, fire is not the intended output of a Kenmore heat fan. That’s why Sears and Kmart have recalled 43,000 of the fans and will be issuing refunds to customers who bought them. [More]

Some trunks, like the 12 million recalled Lane cedar chests (above), can lock automatically upon closing and only be opened from the outside.

Death Of Siblings Is Tragic Reminder To Check Trunks & Chests For Potential Traps

As much as an old trunk or hope chest can look nice in your living room, it can also be a potential hazard for children if there is no way to open it from the inside. Yesterday, a young brother and sister in Massachusetts died at their home after becoming trapped inside a hope chest in their home. [More]

Buckyballs Founder Could Be Found Personally Liable For $57 Million In Refunds

Buckyballs Founder Could Be Found Personally Liable For $57 Million In Refunds

Buckyballs: cute office toy, or powerful balls of magnetic doom?  The inventor insists they’re the former, the Consumer Product Safety Commission insists they’re the latter, and the lawsuit fighting it all out just keeps getting uglier. [More]