Amid multiple reports of “hoverboard” batteries exploding or catching on fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that the self-balancing scooters are not safe unless they meet certain standards. [More]
Hundreds of thousands of residents in five states and one U.S. territory will receive a two-year reprieve from having to use an additional form of identification when going through airport security, as the Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline for state drivers licenses to meet REAL ID standards. [More]
Ten years ago, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and photo IDs. While the rules haven’t exactly been enforced to the “T” by the Dept. of Homeland Security, that’s poised to change, leaving millions of people in nine states in need of a second form of ID to pass through airport security. [More]
Bob Lutz, GM’s vice president and product chief, told reporters this week that new federal guidelines that require 35mpg fuel efficiency by 2020 (yes, more than a decade from now) are so stringent that it will end up costing an average of $6,000 more per vehicle. “That cost will have to be passed on to consumers,” he then threatened. We can’t help but feel sorry for GM. After all, this whole “better fuel efficiency” topic was only brought up, what, like two or three months ago? And GM only has twelve years to find cost-effective (we’d say “innovative” but don’t want to put too much pressure on such a backwards, fearful company) ways to lighten cars and improve engines.
California dairies are bristling under regulations that limit the amount of yucky coliform bacteria allowed in raw milk. The new health standards set a maximum of 10 coliforms per milliliter, which upsets Mark McAfee, the founder of California’s largest raw milk dairy. According to McAfee, “There’s quite a ruckus right now.” Let’s see how he frames the issue.
Well we’re glad that’s taken care of. Wait… the Toy Industry Association is a trade group, not a federal agency! At any rate, on February 1st the Toy Industry Association, a 500-member strong group, will “release a draft of tough new safety rules, which include a plan to require manufacturers to test toys for hazardous chemicals and defective designs.” According to CNN, the group is drafting the 3-point plan with at least the awareness, if not the help, of the CPSC, and it hopes to have the plan formally certified as the CPSC’s “new standard for toy safety.”
Consumers in twenty-seven states are suing Aurora Dairy, the nation’s largest organic dairy for selling milk that failed to meet basic organic standards. The suit is bolstered by findings from USDA inspectors, who found that between December 2003 and April 2007, Aurora: “labeled and represented milk as organically produced, when such milk was not produced and handled in accordance with the National Organic Program regulations.”
The SCC’s communications division has recommended that Verizon Virginia and Verizon South pay a related fine of $17.5 million — an estimate of the sum Verizon saved by not responding quickly to customer complaints of “land line” phone outages.