Articles Posted in Consumer Law

Last week, the FDA finally released updated guidelines for consumer CBD use after months of deliberation, in which it warned against products with hemp-derived cannabidiol.

The FDA’s release singled out 15 companies for illegally selling CBD items, further contributing to fear of an eventual all-out ban. Still, the decision is diluted given that both the World Health Organization and the National Institute on Drug Abuse don’t appear to be worried about any health risks of CBD use among consumers.

Almost three quarters of American consumers presume CBD sales are being moderated by the government according to Forbes. As Forbes first reported, a new survey conducted in October by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) found that 76% of adults assume cannabidiol (CBD) has the government’s stamp of approval. Furthermore, of the 2,056 subjects surveyed, 53% believed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates CBD.

 

The Associated Press reports on a Takata recall that is “new and distinct” from the defect that resulted in at least 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide, though the new defect still “leads to air bags that can explode and hurl shrapnel, killing or injuring people.” The new defect has caused at least one death in Australia and injuries to one driver in each of Australia and Cyprus. The AP reports BMW has recalled 116,000 3-Series cars with model years between 1999 and 2001. BMW has determined that about 8,000 of the vehicles definitely have the defective airbags and should be parked, but the remaining vehicles can still be driven. Takata said it manufactured about 4.5 million of the airbags, but because they were installed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, “only a portion are still in use because the vehicles are so old.” Honda, Toyota, and Audi are investigating which vehicles will need to be recalled, and Mitsubishi has determined that the only vehicle in the US that will require a recall is the 1998-2000 Montero. The Hill  reports BMW plans to replace the defective airbags and will let affected vehicle owners know when replacement parts are in.

Consumer Reports  reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined the inflators in the airbags are not sealed correctly, which could either allow too much moisture in, which could prevent the airbag from deploying with appropriate force, or dry out, which could cause the airbag to rupture and eject metal fragments at the occupants of the vehicle. NHTSA has said the ongoing recall involving Takata airbags is “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” Bloomberg also reports.

The Washington Post reports, “Uber has disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year, the first time it has revealed the scale of the safety problem that exists at ride-hailing companies.” According to the Post, “The reported assaults were part of Uber’s long-awaited safety study, published Thursday amid widespread and ongoing criticism of its safety practices and pressure to increase its transparency about the issue.” The Post adds, “In the lengthy report, which divides sexual misconduct into 21 categories but focuses on the five most serious, Uber said it recorded 235 rapes last year and thousands more reports of assault that could involve unwanted touching, kissing or attempted rape. The reports involved drivers and passengers. The company tallied roughly 6,000 reports of those types of assault in 2017 and 2018.” The report “also examined other safety categories, including motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes such as physical assaults.”

Uber and Lyft both have touted big changes to their networks to address safety concerns, spending millions of dollars and adding teams of people devoted to the issues. They also have made improvements to their apps and said they have increased screening and background checks for drivers — something Uber said resulted in more than 1 million prospective drivers being weeded out over the two-year report period.

Lyft has faced lawsuits from at least 34 women in San Francisco who allege they were raped or sexually assaulted on rides booked through the app.

Ford Recalls Millions of Vehicles
The Detroit (MI) Free Press reports seven current and former Ford employees who worked on the DPS6 dual clutch “PowerShift” transmission included in two million Fiesta and Focus cars said knowledge of problems with the transmissions was widespread throughout the engineering, product development, research, design, and manufacturing departments at Ford.

An engineer said the DPS6 was “cheap to make and cheap to assemble,” but the “dry” clutch technology ensured the transmission could not cool itself down, which would result in failures. The Free Press reports engineers told the outlet that they feared speaking out about the issue out of concern that they could lose their jobs during the economic downturn.

The transmissions were introduced in the 2011 model year Fiesta, which went to dealerships in the spring of 2010, and 2012 Focus, which went on the market a year later. They were used until the Focus was discontinued with the 2018 model year and through the 2019 Fiesta model year.

Government entities, municipalities and even schools are suing JUUL for targeting minor children in their marketing practices.

JUUL Lawsuits
At the time of writing this, Minnesota is the state that has filed the latest lawsuit against the company for ‘targeting youth’ in e-cig marketing according to the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.  The anti vaping lawsuit the Minnesota attorney general filed, alleges that the company illegally marketed flavored e-cigarettes to children and violated several CONSUMER laws, including fraud.

This is one of many lawsuits filed by municipalities for the same type of lawsuit.  New York filed their lawsuit in November 2019 with the same claims, the District of Columbia, and California also filed similar lawsuits with the same allegations.

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