10 Embarrassing Product Recalls Businesses Want You to Forget…

10 Embarrassing Product Recalls Businesses Want You to Forget…


When a product malfunctions, its buyer complains. When enough products malfunction and customers
complain, the manufacturer may be prompted to issue a recall. Product recalls are rarely good news, but
there’s a world of difference between your average “there were 0.2% more bugs in this
sausage than FDA regulations allow” recall and the ones we’re talking about today. These are companies panickedly realizing that
they have been manufacturing products that can explode, catch fire, emit poison or even
kill people, and the unfortunate aftermath of those exact things happening. Let’s take a look at some of the worst product
recall cases of all time. 10. Dell notebook batteries Mobile devices are everywhere, which means
they need reliable batteries. However, every once in a while the occasional
defective one manages to make it through the production line, leading to all those stories
about exploding or otherwise malfunctioning batteries you occasionally read about in the
news. Between 2004 and 2006, Dell had a slightly
less than lucky run with said defective batteries, when Sony delivered more than a few for their
Inspiron, Latitude and Precision laptops and XPS units. Soon, reports of Dell notebooks catching fire
or even exploding started surfacing, and the company was facing one of the largest recalls
in the history of the electronics industry when it realized that the faulty batch was
a whopping 4.1 million batteries that were a fire risk — almost 20% of Dell’s computer
sales during that time period. After some high-profile scandals such as a
Dell laptop bursting into flames at a conference, Dell and Sony ended up issuing a recall for
all 4.1 million batteries. 9. Westland/Hallmark beef February 2008 was a bad time for Westland/Hallmark
Meat Packing Company in Chino, California. Not only was the company drawing accusations
for treating its cows badly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was also on their tail. They had slaughtered cows that had lost the
ability to walk after they had already passed pre-processing inspections without having
them examined for chronic illness, which was a bad move during a time when bovine spongiform
encephalopathy — the Mad Cow Disease — was creating panic all over the Western world. Westland/Hallmark paid a hefty price for their
neglect when the Department of Agriculture forced them to recall the meat that had been
potentially contaminated. All 143 million pounds of it. If you have a hard time wrapping your head
around that number, it’s enough to make two delicious burgers for every single man,
woman and child living in the U.S. at the time. 8. Mattel toys As the maker of iconic toys such as Hot Wheels
and Barbie dolls, it’s easy to assume that Mattel would pay pretty close attention to
keeping its products safe for children. Unfortunately, not all of the company’s
business partners bother with such trivialities; In 2007, Mattel announced a recall of no less
than 967,000 toys after finding out that they were covered in poisonous lead paint. The toy giant managed to stop roughly two
thirds of the batch, which had been made by a Chinese contract manufacturer. However, an estimated 300,000 toys still made
it to the shelves of American toy stores. These weren’t display action figures or
over-12-years-old stuff, either — the 83 types of tainted products featured Nickelodeon
and Sesame Street characters that were specifically aimed for toddlers. The incident was particularly hurtful for
Mattel because the Chinese company that had betrayed them was no cost-cutting spring chicken
that had just started working for them. This was a manufacturer they had been working
with for 15 years, which means they were in full knowledge of all the rules and regulations
of safe toy-making … and yet, something went awry. 7. Ace Bayou bean bag chairs Ace Bayou bean bag chairs were a popular and
affordable piece of furniture that was sold widely by many popular retail stores and sites
such as Walmart and Amazon. However, as you can probably guess by their
presence on this list, their design had one serious safety flaw: The zipper. The Ace Bayou bean bag chairs were equipped
with a zipper that was so easy to open that even small children could do it. Unfortunately, this exact thing happened more
than once, and because an opened bean bag seems like an inviting miniature ball pit,
kids climbed right in … and some of them closed the zipper behind them. We’re not going to go into the depressing
specifics, so let’s just say that an airtight sack full of choking hazards is not the safest
environment for a small child. After two tragic deaths, Ace Bayou promptly
issued a voluntary recall for its bean bags, and started to provide free repair kits that
disabled the zipper. 6. The Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven seems like a fairly
simple toy … that is, until you remember that it’s quite literally a miniature oven
that young children can easily stick their fingers in. For everyone who has ever seen a toddler,
let alone witnessed its parents frantically baby-proof the electrical outlets of the house,
this seems like a pretty massive safety risk. After all, small children love nothing more
than sticking their hands in every possible place, regardless of their danger factor. With that in mind, please pretend to look
surprised when we tell you that when Hasbro started using a genuine heating element (instead
of the traditional light bulb) in the ovens in 2006, it took them less than a year to
voluntarily issue a recall for a million easy-bake ovens, as toddlers kept sticking their hands
inside the easy-bakey part of the toy, resulting in (occasionally serious) burns when their
baby sausage fingers connected with the brand new heating element. Later in 2007, Hasbro repeated the process
for another million toy ovens. Between those two recalls, the toy company
and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had been bombarded with a total of 249 complaints
about kids getting their hands stuck in the oven, 77 of which reported burns. One 5-year-old received such bad burns that
her finger had to be partially amputated. 5. Tylenol Tylenol is a popular pain reliever that can
nevertheless lead to massive complications — up to and including liver failure — when
taken in large doses. It has also been the subject of several large-scale
recalls over the years. In 2009, the manufacturer had to recall several
Tylenol brands because a wood-treating chemical had somehow made its way into the medicine
and was causing diarrhea, vomiting and nausea to people who ingested the medicine. Another disaster struck in 2011, tens of thousands
of Tylenol products had to be recalled over issues with quality control, and the problem
became so large-scale that they had to close one of their manufacturing plants. In 2012, yet another 600,000 bottles of Tylenol
for infants had to be recalled because dosing issues had turned the pill into a crapshoot
of either too little or too much medicine. There have also been other, less significant
recalls over mislabeling, development issues or a strange, uncharacteristically moldy odor. However, the most infamous Tylenol product
recall was no fault of the manufacturer. In 1984, someone in Chicago started tampering
with bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol, lacing them with poisonous cyanide. The poison killed seven people before Johnson
& Johnson (the manufacturer) had time to send warnings to distributors and hospitals, but
they were quick to stop both advertisements and production of the drug and swiftly recalled
an estimated 31 million bottles. The Chicago Tylenol Murders remain unsolved
to this day. 4. Jensen Farms Cantaloupe may or may not be your favorite
fruit, but even if you hate it from the bottom of your heart, eating it is unlikely to kill
you … that is, unless you bought Jensen Farms’ sweet Rocky Ford cantaloupes in 2011. A batch of the farm’s product was contaminated
with listeria, but nevertheless made it to the stores, where the tainted cantaloupes
proceeded to kill 33 people and making 147 people violently ill in an outbreak that spanned
28 states. The listeria-laced melons were also linked
to at least one miscarriage. After a hasty recall, the two brothers who
owned of the farm were arrested (and later filed for bankruptcy). An investigation found that they had neglected
to use a system that sprayed the melons with an antibacterial solution before packaging,
despite the fact that they knew perfectly well this could mean that their product was
contaminated. Unsurprisingly, federal charges followed,
and the Jensens’ farming career ended with six counts of adulteration of food and aiding
and abetting. In 2014, the brothers were each sentenced
to five years probation and six months home detention, complete with 100 hours of community
service and $150,000 of restitution payments. While this might seem like a slap on the wrist
for men who were responsible for so many deaths, there were some mitigating factors at play. The case managed to prompt stricter food safety
laws and liabities on producers, and many of the victims’ family members also agreed
that the apologetic Jensens should face no prison time. It’s also fairly uncommon to actually charge
food producers for food safety issues, and the FDA made it clear the Jensens’ case
was specifically meant to send a message to other food producers out there. 3. The Ford-Firestone tire recall When hundreds of people die because of a defective
product, you know that someone somewhere has messed up in a serious way. Unfortunately, Ford and tire manufacturer
Firestone had a hard time agreeing on which one of them was the true culprit in 2000-2001,
when Firestone’s 15-inch Wilderness AT, radial ATX and ATX II tire treads started
separating from the tires’ cores, which led to many nasty and movie-worthy roll-overs
and crashes … and, of course, countless human tragedies. Most of the defective tires were custom equipment
for the Ford Explorer, which happened to be the world’s best-selling SUV at the time. Firestone immediately (and apparently genuinely)
believed they had managed to sort the problem out and acted accordingly, but more and more
accidents kept piling up, and Ford wasn’t happy — especially when Firestone started
claiming that the problem wasn’t just the tires, but the design flaws in the Explorer
itself. The back-and-forth between the two companies
was a bitter one and reached epic levels that involved congressional hearings and the recall
of 6.5 million tires. The situation came to a head in 2001, when
the exasperated Ford promised to replace all 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires out
there at their own expense. Firestone wasn’t having any of it and severed
their nearly 100-year-old business relationship. The defective tires caused 200+ deaths and
over 800 injuries and countless lawsuits. Executives resigned, new laws were forged,
and in a development that shocked absolutely no one, the tire company’s market value
was cut in half. 2. Toyota’s faulty floor mats Cars have tons of parts that can cause a massive
disaster if they don’t function properly, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect the
floor mat to be one of them. As Toyota proved to the world in 2009, you’d
be wrong to assume so when they announced the recall of almost four million Toyota and
Lexus cars, including 2005-2009 editions of the popular hybrid model Prius. The problem was, as you can probably guess,
the cars’ floor mats, which thanks to a design flaw could become dislodged in multiple
ways and get stuck under the accelerator, which could lead to every driver’s worst
nightmare: unintended, uncontrolled and dangerous acceleration. This ended up happening in the most dramatic
way imaginable, when a Highway Patrolman and his family found to their horror that the
doormat of their Lexus sent them speeding uncontrollably at over 100 miles per hour. The patrolman was able to call 911 and explain
the terrifying situation, and was still on the phone when the fatal crash came. As accidents started piling up, the FBI started
to become interested. The ensuing investigation revealed that Toyota
had downplayed the unintended acceleration problem, which also included issues with sticky
pedals and plenty of allegations that they kept making cars despite being well aware
of their potentially lethal issues. In 2014, the manufacturer agreed to pay a
massive $1.2 billion in order to avoid prosecution for its safety issues. The agreement also forced Toyota to “admit”
misleading American consumers and making deceptive statements about serious safety issues. By then, the car company’s long-standing
acceleration troubles had killed 89 people and injured a further 57, and the company
had recalled over eight million vehicles. 1. Ford Pinto Yes, it’s Ford again, and if you know anything
about bad cars, you might actually have seen this one coming. Ford Pinto was one of the best-selling cars
of the 1970s right up until the moment it turned out that the car was basically a fireball
waiting to happen. A massive and tragic flaw in the Pinto’s
design made the vehicle’s gas tank vulnerable to rear-end collisions, which could create
an explosion and turn the car into a fiery death trap. Unfortunately, many of the owners found this
out in the worst possible way. Faulty Ford Pintos caused around 500 deaths
and hundreds of injuries before 1978, when Ford agreed to recall 1.5 million of the vehicles,
along with 30,000 Mercury Bobcats with similar design issues. The product scandal left Ford’s reputation
in tatters, especially when it emerged that the fatal design flaw was the result of a
very cynical cost-benefit analysis. Auto industry superstar Lee Iaocca, who had
presided over Pinto’s creation, was unceremoniously fired, and Ford’s lawyers had to put in
some serious overtime dealing with the 117 lawsuits by disgruntled customers. The recall also prompted a 1979 landmark case,
“Indiana vs. Ford Motor Co.,” which marked Ford as the first American corporation that
was indicted and prosecuted for criminal homicide.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I knrw my moms car was gonna be thete SOMEWHERE, but, NUMBER ONE???
    HAHAHAHAHA
    701CIK was the license plate of that LITTLE mustard yellow ford pinto.
    My mom was driving it, and she was at a stop sign, and a NEIGHBOR started YELLING ay her- "Your car is on fire, GET OUT!!!"!!!
    A garden hose. QUICKLY doused it out. Luckily, she was still in the neighborhood!!! All had to do is turn the corner, and go home. our house was literally the 6th one on the RIGHT.

  2. Toyota now has a blanket policy of not allowing a technician to drive a vehicle, even from the parking lot into the shop, with an aftermarket floor mat. I have been told that "you have Husky X-Act liners that fit better then the factory floor mats but we have to take them out".

  3. If a 5 year old burned herself in an EZ Bake oven……there's an element of parental supervision that seems to have been lacking…I'm sure there's a "only with parental supervision" caveat somewhere in the instructions for the oven.

  4. Heard about a guy that gave his wife a present when they got divorced. It was an Explorer with Firestone tires….

  5. I don't know where he came up with that pronunciation of Lee Iacocca's name. Not even sure what he said.

  6. I worked in a photo lab down the street from the capital building in Texas while the Ford Explorer recall trail was ongoing. I got to develop and print over 300 images used as evidence in the trial. It was horrifying the results of the wrecks those tires caused.

  7. The problem with the Pinto wasn't that the gas tank could catch fire, which happened to other cars as well, but that when you were hit from behind, the doors jammed and the windows wouldn't roll down, which trapped you inside the car while it burned.
    Pintos were great cars to drive – sporty, economical, and nimble. And, for what its worth, the vast majority of Pinto owners survived the experience.

  8. We have always been quite happy with our American "Ford Explorer". We had a radiator problem which the dealer put in order very quickly.

    The tires: is this a compmete report? I always thought the fault lay with BOTH Stone companies… Bridgestone and Firestone. It made them easy to remember that way. I simply never bought any Stone tires (tyres) again.

    Pintos. Some of us loved Pinto cars. Mine was the 4 speed station wagon. Friends had the little one. No complaints.

    If you want direction about the Pinto, get the one with the German engine and transmission set. The British set were not up to par.

  9. The Ford Pinto problem was a ruse. If you impact any car that hard, don't be surprised at a guel fire problem.
    Why do you think they had to make a comical exploding Pinto movie?

  10. Easy bake oven is for older childeren and should be superviced by an adult , you don't let kids play with the stove and oven in the kitchen

  11. Ford is crap! I had a friend who bought a 8 person car. It was broken all the time, different issues. Like that wasn't enough, the serial number was wrong in it, so every time the Ford shop orderer a replacement part, it was the wrong model. After 2 years almost all parts in the car had been changed and Ford wouldn't pay a penny. My friend use this car for work and he lost a lot of money because it was standing still almost 1 year. We estimated he had lost about $45000. He got a lawyer and wanted to sue Ford, but his lawyer chicken out and made a settlement with Ford so my friend go something like $8000

  12. GEE, "THANKS Sony!" UGH!! 💢 I NEVER put my laptop directly on…….woo, MY LAP!!! Because it'll cause [Men particularly] Sterility due to the heat radiating from the device!

  13. 12:04 Ummm, don't you mean FLOORMAT and NOT your meek & gullible friend that's talked into most ANYTHING…. OR a "Doormat" …I suppose…

  14. The worst thing about these are..The company refuses to do anything and at first blame the people who brought the items..Then they say don't do this and that with them..AS more people get hurt..Finally after 20 or more people die or get hurt ..The company does a recall..Never being held responsible for their actions..The GOP always back the companies against the American people.trump stop testing of water for Ebola in California and 4 people died..Not one word from the GOP or republicans..But Hillary..

  15. My grandparents had a pinto that caught on fire. It was before I was born though. So my memories on it are just that it caught fire somewhere between Mississippi and Alabama.

  16. I had a bean bag as a child and i never thought about unzipping the bean bag and climbing in…
    And where were the parents???
    Idk, do I dare say I dont feel too bad?

  17. "Oh it's totally worth it if innocent lives are cut short because that won't cost as much as actually making a safe product"
    Corporations really are evil.

  18. When you are that dumb to put your hand in an easy bake oven with incompetent adult supervision that you need amputation, the amputation should be performed on the parents and kids heads to prevent them from breeding and further polluting the gene pool with stupidity.

  19. Toyotas acceleration problem had more to do with bad engine management software than floormats. They knew the software had a glitch that would sometimes lock the throttle wide open under certain circumstances but figured the odds of that happening were small and they could deal with it on a case by case basis. They were lucky their floormats were also defective so they could hide the software issue as sticky floormats. That's why it took Toyota so long to find a solution to the 'floormats' and why some people who had their floormats fixed still experienced acceleration problems or were asked to bring their cars back for the same fix several month later.

  20. Surprised you didn't mention the GM ignition switch recall due to GM having swapped out the longer tension spring (which prevented the ignition from rotating back to the OFF position without the driver actually turning the key) for a shorter one. While only a couple of millimeters in length difference, it meant there was little actual tension and allowed the ignition to move on its own, resulting in a plethora of deaths and GM having to issue a public apology while internal memos said that it was better to pay out some wrongful death lawsuits, than recall the ignition (less cost). Even engineers had warned management of the risk, but they just didn't care, as the few cents saved per vehicle manufactured from using the shorter spring was well worth it in their opinion.

  21. Huh. We have a 2009 Prius. We replaced the original floor mats with Weather Tech floor mats, all the way around the car last year. It was what we did for the car's benefit with part of our tax refund. I always HATED those original floor mats. Luckily, ours had received the recall "fix," and so the driver side floor mat didn't come loose from the fastener on the floor. But it didn't stop the deep, un-reinforced, textured, rubber mat not to shred. It's why we decided to replace them with something much sturdier and much better.

  22. I always figured that if my accelerator stuck that I’d put the transmission in neutral and brake/coast to a stop before turning it off. Doesn’t seem that hard, but apparently it is.

  23. Why did a single person die from floor mats? If the acelerator is stuck down and you are on the phone with the police anyone could have told that man to put the car into neutral and apply the brakes.

  24. During the Ford Pinto piece, did you mean to say "Lee Iacocca" instead of whatever the hell it was that you actually said?
    I think it probably was.

  25. I noticed a few mistakes in this video. First off they definitely figured out who the Tylenol killer was. A woman wanted to kill her husband with cyanide so she tampered with a lot of bottles at the store so her husband wouldn't be the only one to die. They caught her because the cyanide she put in the pills contained anti algae stuff she used for all her giant fish tanks that she had ground up in the mortar and pestle prior to grinding up the cyanide.
    Also I'm pretty sure they figured out the problem with Firestone tires was Ford attempting to make up for their rough riding trucks suggested that people air their tires up lower then the fire stone suggested safe pressure range.

  26. If Mattel had used skillshare they might have known not to use real heating elements in children's toys.

  27. Hi, and thanks for the video. Very illuminating and scary. I love your show. Bastards, bottom line, and laziness are what kill so many people. Disgusting.

  28. So I'm watching this video about products, and Mr. Whistler interrupts the video with a commercial about Skillshare. While enduring this, Google decides to monetize the video with yet another commercial. Yes, a commercial within a commercial, within a commercial. Inception I say.

  29. Firestone finally recalled the Wilderness AT. I had a Ranger with Wildernes HT tires. Same tire, different tread pattern. They disintegrated after 400 miles. Firestone never recalled the HT version. I won't drive a car off the lot if it has Firestones. The dealer can change the tires or I'll buy something else.

  30. If for what ever reason your liver ,or kidneys are compromised Doctors recommend keeping a close eye on aspirin , acetaminophen and other such medicines

  31. I'm guessing either Samsung's Note 7 (or was it the 8?) is going to be number one or a vehicle made by GM.

  32. If not for inadvertently keeping on the closed captioning, I NEVER would have known that was supposed to be Lee Iacocca!!! How in the hell did you make it only two syllables? 😂😂😂😂

  33. +100 for the "Top Secret" video! I worked at Ford during the tire recall. What a mess! We had a Ford explorer during this. While most tires of the same design generally had pressure requirements of 32-35 psi. The explorer had a label stating 26 psi for a "better" ride. In hot states, these would delaminate over time.

  34. "Hey Ford and Firestone are sponsering a new game. Yeah It's Called Whose Fault is It Anyway?" – Drew Carey

  35. While you were on the subject of Ford Explorers, I'm surprised you didn't mention the "pedal to the metal" problem they had. The accelerator on some models used to go right to the floor & stick there. It was on the BBC's "Watchdog" programme in the mid 1990's.

  36. Years ago, I had a Toyota and I had that problem with the floor Mat sticking to the accelerator. I was able to solve the problem so nothing happened, but still.. I guess I was lucky.

  37. Unintended acceleration has been debunked as user error, or floor mats hitting the gas pedal (which is also user error). The US NHTSA found that the Audi 5000 claims in the early 80's were all driver error, even though many drivers cried at how their car ran over their mother with the driver standing on the brake. The drivers were standing on the accelerator. The highway patrolman accident just shows how lacking Calif is in training its troopers.

  38. For the Toyota floormat thing, could you not shift into neutral or just turn the ignition off? If my car starting accelerating on its own, I would shift into neutral and shut off the engine…

  39. It’s interesting that a company can just pay money to avoid prosecution. I guess companies are people only when that benefits the,,

  40. Seriously, if your car is accelerating uncontrollably, shift to neutral, brake and shut the car off. Its not hard to not die in this situation.

  41. The ford/Firestone thing went like this: Ford customers complained of a rough ride in their spiffy SUV's. Ford, rather than recalibrating the suspension and incurring the expense of new springs, shocks, etc. changed the recommended tire pressure to something ridiculously low (the exact number escapes me at the moment). Low pressures like this lead to high tread temperatures and the treads on the Firestones, not surprisingly, began to peel off. Finger pointing commencing in 4-3-2-1…

  42. Also Ford redesigned the Explorer the next year. The new model was wider with a lower center of gravity. All things you would do to prevent rollovers.

  43. Toyota owes me 4000 for the engine in my camry. At about 45000 miles it caught on fire. The engine was burning oil. This happened after i went to the deal about losing oil. They said it was fine, and i only had to change the oil every 5000 miles. I went about 2000 miles when it caught on fire. Aparently it was a problem they knew about and did nothing to fix.

  44. The Toyotas may have accelerated, but the brakes are stronger than the accelerator. Also, you have a key you can turn off. The highway patrol officer should have been able to handle the situation but he got on his cell phone instead. Not all Toyotas fault if only people knew what to do in an emergency.

  45. After suffering through Simon's horrid mispronunciations of virtually every proper noun he reads, I'm convinced that he does it on purpose to increase comments here.

    * DOH! * Well played, Simon. You got me to do exactly that!

  46. GM ignition switches have been confirmed to have killed 124 people and injured 274, but likely many more. Takata airbags have killed dozen and injured hundreds.

  47. 89 people died as a result of a stuck gas pedal? I think it was meant to be…. aka turn the car off. Fix the carpet…. carry on…

  48. So the police didn't think once about turning his car off or putting it in neutral? But he called 911 and crashed? wtf? Who doesn't have the common sense to turn the car off or take it out of gear? That's insane to me

  49. The toyota floor may deal was complete bs. Any cars brakes will overcome its acceleration…period. Not to mention a million other issues with the so called floor matt (pushing the throttle to the floor) floor mats keep pedals from being depressed…not vice versa

  50. Hasboro should have learned their lesson the 1st time. I mean yes the possibility of kids having younger siblings should have been taken into account in the first place, but at least it was a toy actively marketed to older kids. I think I remember it saying 7 and older on the box. Anyways it's the 2nd time out that seems egregious.

  51. I've owned 2 Pruis's. The mats are held on with clips. Impossible for them to creep under the accelerator. The problem was, people installing aftermarket mats over the factory mats to keep them from getting dirty. Only a Moron would do this.

  52. I had to empty about 1,000 of those bean bags into a dumpster when they did that recall. I dropped my keys in a chest deep sea of little foam balls. That sucked. I can see how that stuff could kill a kid in short order. It sticks to everything, and it's very hard to brush off, due to the magic of static electricity.

  53. 1. What’s the deal w lead based paint anyway? Why do so many Chinese manufacturers use it; is it just a much cheaper alternative? It just seems like an odd base from which to make paint.

    2. As far as the Easy Bake Ovens, it seems like the blame might rest more on the parents’ shoulders. I mean, why allow a toddler to play w an oven, even if it is a toy? Common sense would dictate only children of appropriate age should use them. My older sister had one (sometimes I’d join in), and I never had the urge to stick my hand inside, but I also would not have been allowed to play w it unsupervised any younger than like 7. Companies shouldn’t be held liable for stupid people.

    3. Did they ever find it who was to blame for the Explorer tire issues; Firestone or Ford.

    It’s just unfathomable that people/companies (several at that) would put money over the lives of others; knowingly allowing their products to result in multiple, even hundreds of deaths.

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