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Defective Products

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BUSINESS
December 16, 1994 | LESLIE HELM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In an ominous new twist to the Pentium chip controversy, computer users in corporations around the world are rushing to establish whether a flaw in the Intel microprocessor may have resulted in miscalculations that could make them vulnerable to lawsuits or trouble from government agencies.
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BUSINESS
March 13, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
On a summer day in 1911, Donald MacPherson was driving his Buick runabout to Sarasota Springs, N.Y., when the wooden spokes snapped on a rear wheel, flipping the open car and trapping him under the rear axle. MacPherson suffered a badly lacerated eye and a broken wrist so painful he couldn't grip the tools he needed to ply his craft as a stone cutter. He sued Buick Motor Co., alleging negligence in failing to ensure the wheel was roadworthy. In what would become a landmark ruling in product liability law, the New York Court of Appeals in 1916 awarded MacPherson $5,025 in compensation -- about $115,000 in today's dollars -- and established the automaker's "duty of care" to ensure customers are sold a safe product.
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OPINION
April 5, 1992
No business wants to make public its proprietary trade secrets. No business wants to encourage meritless lawsuits against itself. Legislation that promoted either would deserve to fail. But SB 711, which has been unfairly painted as anti-business, is actually pro-business and pro-consumer legislation that deserves support. The bill, authored by state Sen.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2010 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
And now, the Lexus hybrid. Toyota Motor Corp.'s investigation into brake problems with its Prius hybrid bled over to the Prius' upscale cousin, the Lexus HS 250h hybrid, on Thursday. The mechanical parts that make up the brake system in the Lexus model are identical to those in Toyota's 2010 Prius, but the two gas-electric hybrid cars use different software systems to control the way the brakes are used, said Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman. Still, he said, the Lexus is now part of Toyota's investigation.
BUSINESS
November 25, 1992 | TED JOHNSON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that it reached agreements with 40% of the individuals who decided not to participate in a prior class-action settlement of a 6-year-old lawsuit stemming from a potentially defective heart valve manufactured by its Irvine-based Shiley Inc. unit.
NEWS
February 6, 1993 | LESLIE HELM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Masue Kito, 60, died in her vegetable garden last September--crushed against a wall when she lost control of a rotary tiller as she put it in reverse to make a sharp turn. Hers was among the estimated 15 deaths a year from similar accidents involving the Mitsubishi machines. It was a television built by Japan's Sharp Corp. that apparently caused the death of 25-year-old Yoshiko Kaji one winter night in 1990.
BUSINESS
December 13, 1994 | LESLIE HELM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Intel Corp.'s handling of the outcry over the flaw in its Pentium microprocessor is shaping up as a textbook case of how not to handle a crisis, management experts said Monday. As did Exxon Corp. after the Valdez oil spill and USAir after its recent string of plane crashes, Intel is turning a difficult but isolated problem into one that threatens long-term damage to the company's reputation. "Everybody will have a crisis sooner or later.
NEWS
September 23, 2000 | MELINDA FULMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the first-ever product recall of a food because of its genetically engineered ingredients, Taco Bell brand taco shells are being pulled from supermarket shelves after tests confirmed the presence of an ingredient not approved for human consumption. The Taco Bell restaurant chain also said that, as a precautionary measure, it has begun substituting taco shells sold in its 7,000 locations nationwide. The Kraft Foods unit of Philip Morris Co.
NEWS
October 11, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
Auto industry officials could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for hiding fatal safety problems from government regulators under a bill that passed the House. Public outrage over the deaths of 101 Americans and the injury of more than 400 others using Firestone tires sped the bill through the House despite opposition from business groups. The bill faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, however, with time running out in the current session of Congress.
BUSINESS
February 29, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Owners of about 4.6 million Ford vehicles were warned Thursday to bring their cars and trucks to dealerships immediately so that cruise control switch systems that might cause engine fires could be disconnected. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the consumer advisory to owners of certain unrepaired Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, vans and passenger cars who have not responded to past recalls. The recalls have affected Ford Motor Co.'
BUSINESS
December 27, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, said it was having problems processing gift cards. The Bentonville, Ark., company said it investigated and found that a "third-party verifier's systems had an inadvertent processing error." The retailer said the error caused delays in gift card verifications.
NATIONAL
December 8, 2007 | From the Associated Press
NASA delayed the launch of space shuttle Atlantis until at least Sunday as managers debated whether to loosen launch rules to get around fuel gauge problems. Atlantis' countdown was halted Thursday after a pair of gauges at the bottom of the external fuel tank failed a routine test at the launch pad. The delay was especially disappointing for the many visitors from the European Space Agency. Atlantis is supposed to carry a European-built science lab, Columbus, to the International Space Station.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. offered exchanges for certain tires sold for use with minivans and small trucks but said the decision was not a recall because no defect was found. Goodyear believes that tread separation can occur in some of these tires under adverse conditions. It offered to exchange P215/70R14 tires sold under 23 private-label names, including Douglas, Kelly, Mohave and Republic, in the U.S. and Canada.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Automobile maker Volvo Car Corp. said it was recalling 56,000 vehicles because of two problems. A spokeswoman said 38,000 diesel versions of the S60, V70, XC70 and XC90 models made in 2006 were being called back in Europe because of a material fault that could cause the motor to catch fire. The second callback, involving 18,000 of the company's latest V70 and XC70 models, relates to an air bag problem in the side of the car. Volvo has been owned by Ford Motor Co. since 1999.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
SACRAMENTO -- California's secretary of state on Monday filed a lawsuit to try to force a voting machine company to pay damages for selling unauthorized systems to five California counties. A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen said the lawsuit seeks about $15 million from Elections Systems & Software Inc. of Omaha.
BUSINESS
June 17, 1999 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Flaws in the development of the newest version of the FA-18 E/F Super Hornet fighter could jeopardize an $8.8-billion Boeing Co. contract to continue early production of the jet, according to a congressional report. The General Accounting Office, the audit arm of Congress, said it identified 84 deficiencies in the FA-18 E/F Super Hornet, the latest version of Boeing's most important military aircraft program.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1990 | From United Press International
Alarm Firm Alleges Unfair Trade: Magnum Auto Security Systems sued three competitors and a manufacturer, alleging that they copied its alarm systems, provided it with inferior parts and tried to drive it out of business. The Superior Court suit contended that Precision Electronic Engineering of Van Nuys stole designs to Magnum alarm systems while manufacturing them in 1987 and 1988 and marketed them to David Levy Co. of North Hollywood, Delta Vehicle Security of Glendale and B&B of Van Nuys.
BUSINESS
July 4, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
U.S. safety regulators asked companies including Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for information about any imports from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. after a recall of tires made by the Chinese company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told 14 tire makers and importers in the U.S. to submit details by July 11 on tires they may have gotten from Hangzhou Zhongce since 2001, according to the agency's website.
BUSINESS
July 4, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Cavalier is being investigated by U.S. safety regulators because the fuel pump may fail and cause the car to stall at speeds of 35 mph or higher. The inquiry covers as many as 218,000 of the 2003 models, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The agency said it received 13 reports of stalling and 10 others of fuel pumps that failed and had to be replaced.
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