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Defective Products

Vapers Need Not Apply at U-Haul




U-Haul announced that it will no longer hire employees who smoke traditional cigarettes or vape e-cigarettes. The policy will become effective on February 1 for the 21 states where the company does business. However, it won’t affect the current employees.

A total of 21 states now allow employers the option to not hire someone who smokes or uses nicotine. Even though 17 of the states take it a step further and allow drug testing for nicotine before hiring, U-Haul has said it won’t be doing that now.

The reason for the change in policy is to enhance the company’s wellness program. The focus is also on lowering the costs of healthcare, which can be increased from the use of nicotine and tobacco. The following states are part of the new policy:

  • Alabama
  • Texas
  • Alaska
  • Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Nebraska
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Kansas
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Florida
  • Georgia

Even though this seems like an extreme policy and it is certainly rare, it’s by no means the first. Alaska Airlines has had a similar policy as part of the hiring process ever since the 1980s.

Other organizations may not fail to hire people because they smoke, but they often reward those who give it up or don’t smoke with lower health insurance costs or other incentives.

Encouraging Employees to Do Better

Many employers use incentives to encourage employees to be healthier. This idea benefits both parties. First, it helps employees get healthier, which enables them to enjoy life more and do more things they like. It also provides them with special benefits that mean something to them.

For the employer, the benefit is reduced employee sick time. Employees are able to be at work every day and are often more productive because they feel better. They also believe the employer cares about them.

The rewards can vary based on what the employer can afford and is willing to do as well as what the employees find to be motivational. Gift cards are often popular along with drawings for other prizes.

Other rewards include:

  • Paid time off
  • Lower insurance premium
  • Reduced deductible
  • Lower co-pays
  • Employer contributes to HAS

Some incentives allow the employee a chance to participate, such as with a drawing. Only one person wins, but it’s enough to get more people participating. Other incentives reward everyone who is successful, such as when a person earns an extra day off from work.

With research showing that vaping isn’t much safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, more employers may offer rewards for people who stop this habit. For other employers, they may decide to follow U-Haul’s action by restricting employment to those who avoid these dangerous habits.

What is interesting to note is that employers and the public at large is putting vaping and smoking tobacco products into the same category. This is in direct contrast to what vaping manufacturers want consumers to believe about their products. It also increases the challenge they have to convince people that vaping is a better alternative to smoking, which goes directly against what many organizations, such as the American Lung Association are saying to the public.


Defective Products

Baby and Toddler Swing Recalled for Fall Hazard




The baby and toddler swings made by Flybar have been recalled due to a safety hazard. There is a risk that the rope holding the swing in place may detach, which could allow the swing to fall with the child in it.

Danger of Falling

The product line being affected is the Swurfer Kiwi Baby and Toddler Swings. The child could suffer from a fall if the swing malfunctions. There have been no reports of injuries at this time, but the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has noted that six people have made complaints against the product because it fell apart while the children were using them.

Both the manufacturer and the CPSC warn consumers to stop using the swings and contact Flybar for repair instructions. The swing is fifteen inches wide, twenty inches tall and ten inches in depth. It comes in blue, pink and green and weighs four pounds. It is designed to be attached to a swing set or tree limb.

Around 3000 of the products which were sold are part of the recall notice. There has been no information released as to why the swings come apart.

The swing is sold online at both and as well as on Amazon and Walmart. Other independent stores also carry the product, which retails for around $80.

Children from six months to four years of age and up to 50 pounds can safely be placed in these swings. It curves around the child’s body for comfort and safety and comes with a soft braided rope. To secure the child safely it comes with a three-point safety harness, which is adjustable as the child grows.

Parents often use swings for this age range to keep their little ones occupied and safe as well as to provide entertainment. As the child gets in motion, the risk for injury in a fall becomes greater. They can land wrong when the swing falls, which could lead to injuries of the neck, arms, shoulders and legs. The baby or toddler may sustain broken bones or other injuries in the fall. They could even get a concussion if they land on their head or suffer from a hematoma. In the most serious situations, a fall can lead to death in an infant or toddler.

Other Recalls for Swings

This isn’t the first recall on child swings. Fisher-Price recalled around 30,000 baby swings which could also detach and cause the seat to fall. These swings were designed for babies and small toddlers and can lead to serious injury with a helpless infant.

Many parents use the swings to keep their little ones contained as they go about their routines. They may not be monitoring their child’s actions every moment as they believe the child is safe in a swing.

If you own one of these FlyBaby swings, you can contact the manufacturer to find out what to do for a replacement or repair. Stop using the swing immediately to prevent the risk of falling for your child.

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Defective Products

Ford Issues New Recall




Ford has issued a new recall notice that affects Transit Connect vehicles as well as the new Mustang E-Mach. These two recall notices affect the safety of passengers as they travel.

Ford Transit Connect Recall

The first recall is for the Ford Transit Connect passenger vans. These vehicles have a potential issue with the seat belt pretensioners on the front passenger side. They may not deploy when the vehicle crashes and the system is activated. This would allow the passenger to be pushed forward rather than staying in place and could cause significant injury.

The vehicles affected were manufactured at the Ford plant in Valencia, CA during the period of July 17 to July 31, 2016. Owners of the passenger models affected by the recall can contact their local dealership which will inspect the assemblies and replace any that are part of the recall notice.

Ford Mustang Recall

The 2020 Ford Mustang has been recalled for an issue with the front camera. In some models, it has been aligned incorrectly, which could prevent the camera from functioning correctly. This misalignment could impact several systems, including pre-collision assist, lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, and driver alert. It can also alter the working of the auto high-beam control.

When these systems don’t work correctly, they may fail to notify the driver of potential hazards or collisions. For instance, the adaptive cruise control system works to adjust the speed of the vehicle when cruise control is in use to slow down when a vehicle is detected in front of the Mustang. With the camera installed incorrectly, it may not detect a vehicle in front, which means the car won’t automatically slow down to maintain a safe distance.

The pre-collision system alerts drivers to a potential crash ahead, and it can apply the brakes automatically to reduce the speed of the car and lessen impact. With the lane-keeping system, the vehicle detects drifting and alerts the driver to move back over into their correct lane.

When these systems fail, it can increase the risk for an accident, especially if the driver isn’t paying close enough attention or is relying on the systems for alerts. At this time, only 24 vehicles which were manufactured at the Flat Rock plant in Michigan have been impacted.

Ford hasn’t been made aware of any accidents caused by the malfunctioning camera at this time. The company hasn’t announced a schedule to notify owners as of yet, but they can call the manufacturer at 800-392-3673 to find out more details. Dealerships will realign the camera system for free to ensure it’s facing the correct way.

Safety systems in vehicles are designed to prevent accidents and protect the occupants when one occurs. Newer technology has the capability of detecting potential problems and even automatically making corrections without human intervention. However, when these systems fail, it leaves the driver more vulnerable to an accident. While both models are still safe to drive with these recall notices, it is important to have the issues repaired as soon as possible for added safety.

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Defective Products

Defective Fuel Heater Causes Recall of Trucks and Buses




Over 50,000 buses and trucks are being recalled because of a defective component in a Cummins diesel engine. Navistar, Inc. has initiated the recall because of a possible fire hazard from an electric fuel heater.

Danger of Fire and Injury

If a Cummins medium-duty diesel engine would overheat, it could cause plastic components in an electric fuel heater to melt. As the plastic melts, it could cause the vehicle to catch fire. This engine is used in school buses, emergency vehicles and trucks. Another concern is could cause the engine to stall out. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that it increases the changeof a crash from the engine stall-out.

Of the more than 68,000 Cummins engines in circulation, about ten percent are expected to have the problem. At this point, Cummins said it isn’t aware of any fires or injuries that have been caused by the defective part.

The manufacturer is still in the process of developing a solution. The company plansto notify dealers on April 30th and begin the recall on May 29th. The first incident occurred in the early part of February. There have been 12 known cases where the component has melted when Cummins decided to issue a recall notice. The company notified Navistar, the maker of the majority of affected vehicles.

Models Impacted

Most vehicles are 2018 and 2019 model years with a few 2020 and 2021 buses as well as International/Durastar and International/Workstar models from 2017.

IC Bus is a line of school and commercial busses. Models impacted from the recall range from 2018 to 2021 and include both school buses and commercial transit. International is the truck side of Navistar’s company with various models. The International/Workstar is a severe-duty truck for hauling heavy cargo, such as rock. The International/HV is often used to haul cement and other heavy products. The MV, another model included in the recall, is popular for hauling cargo with a trailer connected.

Navistar is a leading manufacturer of buses and commercial trucks as well as defense vehicles. Any recall can have significant impact because of the number of these vehicles out on the road. The size of the trucks and buses make any defects dangerous not only for the driver but for other vehicles around them. If the vehicle catches fire, it can incinerate other vehicles nearby. If the truck is hauling hazardousproducts or explosives, the risk intensifies.

While some vehicles have a safety system that shuts down a vehicle when a fire starts, not all models are equipped in that way. A fire with one of these models can result in severe injury, especially with burns. Other injuries can be caused by a crash if the engine shuts down while the vehicle is moving.

Anyone driving one of these models can contact their employer to let them know about the recall. They should stop driving immediately until it can be determined if the vehicle has a defective device and the issue is corrected.

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