safety recall
Kameleon007/istockphoto

Dangerous Products That Had to Be Recalled

View Slideshow
Uppababy Stroller
US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Major Product Recalls

Consumers often take product safety for granted, but accidents happen — and sometimes those accidents are deadly. In the case of the UPPAbaby Ridge Jogging Stroller, the item is being recalled before things reach that level. After a report of a child's fingertip being amputated, the company is telling consumers to stop using the stroller and contact UPPAbaby for replacement brake discs. The current brake discs have openings that can cause serious injury if a child's finger should get caught. The stroller remains on the market, but that's not usually the case when things become more serious. From dangerous cars to risky toys, many notable items have had to be yanked off the market.


Related: Every Major Food Recall in the Past Year

Mamaroo Infant Swing
Amazon

MamaRoo Swings and RockaRoo Rockers

Recall Year: 2022

Deaths: 1

Using a MamaRoo swing hasn't been a problem for most parents, but it could be when an infant starts crawling. There have been two reports of crawling babies getting tangled up in the strap under the swing after crawling under it, which ended in the death of a 10-month-old and neck bruising of another child, rescued by a caregiver. The recall may have been preemptive, as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning two months earlier that infant rockers shouldn't be used to lull babies to sleep; 14 deaths have been linked to rockers made by Fisher-Price and Kids2. The recall is for all MamaRoo rockers that use a three-point harness and RockaRoo rockers with model No. 4M-012. Those who own the recalled products can register for a free strap fastener to stop the straps from extending under the swing. 


Related: The Most Dangerous Toys of All Time


Rock 'n Play
Buy Buy Baby

Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play

Recall year: 2019

Deaths: More than 50

The Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play was nothing short of a miracle for many parents who say the inclined rocker helped their fussy babies sleep when little else could. But the Rock 'n Play was linked to over 50 infant deaths, with many babies dying of asphyxia. Congressional investigators accused Fisher-Price of marketing the Rock 'n Play as a sleeper for years despite evidence that it actually wasn't safe for overnight sleep. And the story doesn't end there. Consumer Reports said at least eight more deaths were linked to the Rock 'n Play after the recall, and more could come — fewer than 1 in 10 of the rockers have actually been returned, according to federal data. And though the Safe Sleep for Babies Act banning the manufacture and sale of unsafe sleep products was signed into law in May 2022, retailers have 180 days to comply, potentially putting more infants at risk.


Related: Things You Should Absolutely Never Buy on Craigslist or eBay

Better Homes & Gardens Gem Room Spray
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Better Homes & Gardens Gem Room Spray

Recall year: 2021
Deaths: 2

Officials are investigating a Walmart store-brand aromatherapy spray after melioidosis, a rare and serious bacterial disease, recently sickened four people and killed two, including one child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the bacteria that causes the disease in a sample of Better Homes & Gardens Gem Room Spray, which was sold in stores and online from February through October. The spray came in six scents and was packaged in a glass bottle. Officials say anyone with the spray should act with extreme caution, putting on gloves, double-bagging the bottle, and placing it inside a box before returning it to Walmart for a refund and a $20 gift card. Linens or surfaces that may have been sprayed with the product should also be washed and disinfected, officials say.

Boppy Infant Loungers
eBay

Boppy Infant Loungers

Recall year: 2021

Deaths: 8

Infant deaths are always jarring, especially when they're related to a product that's marketed specifically for babies. Boppy infant loungers, pillow-like cushions widely sold at mass retailers including Amazon and Walmart, have caused eight infant deaths due to suffocation after babies fell asleep on them, despite being marketed specifically for awake playtime, federal officials say. Because infants sleep so much and can fall asleep so quickly, the CPSC is taking a harder look at products like this one that may lead to suffocation.

Kratom
AnuchaCheechang/istockphoto

Kratom

Recall year: 2018
Deaths: 44
If you need any proof that "organic" or "natural" isn't a synonym for "safe," consider kratom, an herbal supplement. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that kratom contains opioids, and those who use it risk "abuse, overdose, and in some cases, death." At least 44 deaths since 2011 are tied to kratom, according to the agency. And officials issued a mandatory recall for several kratom products manufactured by a Nevada company after the company refused to cooperate with a voluntary recall. Samples had tested positive for salmonella.

Hyland Teething Tablets
eBay

Hyland Teething Tablets

Recall year: 2017
Deaths: 10
No one likes listening to a baby scream through the teething process, but a potential remedy was yanked from the market after officials linked it to the deaths of 10 children. The FDA warned that Hyland's homeopathic teething tablets contained inconsistent amounts of belladonna, an alkaloid that officials say can be potentially toxic to children. The product is no longer sold in the U.S.

Kiddie Fire Extinguisher
Amazon

Kidde Fire Extinguishers

Recall year: 2017
Deaths: 1
Got a Kidde fire extinguisher? Check it now. After one death and at least 16 injuries, the CPSC issued a recall in 2017 for a whopping 38 million Kidde fire extinguishers produced from 1973 through 2017. The problems are twofold

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fire-extinguisher-recall-kidde-nearly-40-million/

: First, they can clog, which could leave you with a useless fire extinguisher in an emergency situation; second, the nozzles can rocket off of the extinguisher, becoming a potentially dangerous projectile.

Ikea Malm dresser
CPSC

Ikea Dressers

Recall year: 2017
Deaths: 8
Ikea recalled more than 17 million of its dressers, including the iconic Malm, because of tip-over risks. At least eight children died when the Malm or another Ikea dresser fell on top of them; well over 100 injuries have also been reported. The CPSC has urged parents to anchor all dressers and other heavy items to the wall to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Isolate Ethylene-Gas-Producing Items
Viktar Malyshchyts/shutterstock

Cantaloupes

Recall year: 2011
Deaths: 33
In 2011, nearly three dozen consumers died after eating cantaloupe tainted with listeria, a foodborne bacteria, and more than 140 were hospitalized. An investigation by the FDA and CDC traced the outbreak to a Colorado producer, Jensen Farms, triggering a massive recall. The incident remains one of the deadliest outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S.

Infantino SlingRider
CPSC

Infantino Baby Slings

Recall year: 2010
Deaths: 3
Slings are a popular way for parents to cradle their small babies while keeping their hands free, but they're not without risks. At least three infants suffocated in Infantino SlingRider baby slings, leading to a recall of 1 million of the products in 2010. More deaths have been linked to other baby slings. Though parents can still buy slings, the CPSC approved new rules to make them safer, including more stringent warning labels and durability requirements.

Toyota Accelerators
KMoFoto/istockphoto

Toyota Accelerators

Recall year: 2009-2010
Deaths: 89
Toyota suffered a public-relations nightmare beginning in 2009 when it had to recall nearly 4 million vehicles because floor mats could trap the accelerator pedal in the down position. But the following year, millions more Toyotas were recalled — this time, with faulty pedals, not floor mats, cited as the reason. It was later revealed that Toyota misled customers and regulators during an investigation, and it had to cough up a hefty $1.2 billion Justice Department fine in 2014. The defects may have caused at least 89 deaths in 10 years, according to NHTSA.

Takata Airbags
gokhanilgaz/istockphoto

Takata Airbags

Recall year: 2008-present
Deaths: 19
More than 37 vehicle models have been recalled in the U.S. because they contain 67 million defective airbags manufactured by Japanese company Takata. And it's not over: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently said it's investigating an additional 30 million vehicles — 1,384 vehicle models in total — for defective inflator circuitry in nonrecalled Takata airbags. The main problem in the previously recalled airbags: They could inflate too explosively, causing injury or death, and even hit the vehicle occupant with metal shards.

Drop-Side Cribs
M-image/istockphoto

Drop-Side Cribs

Recall years: 2005-2010
Deaths: 32
Several manufacturers have been involved in major drop-side crib recalls over a span of several years, including well-known brands like Simmons, Delta, Evenflo, Simplicity, and Stork Craft. At least 9 million cribs were recalled because the drop-side rails could partially detach from the cribs, creating a gap that could trap a baby, potentially suffocating or strangling them. In 2010, after at least 32 confirmed deaths, the CPSC voted to ban the cribs altogether. Drop-side cribs aren't the only dangerous baby item out there, though — there are many others.

Firestone Tires
Amazon

Firestone Tires

Recall year: 2000
Deaths: 271
In a joint move with Ford, Firestone recalled more than 14 million tires installed on Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer SUVs, Ford Ranger pickups, and several other vehicles because of tire-tread separation that led drivers to lose control of their cars. The tires were blamed in 271 deaths and hundreds of injuries, and Firestone was forced to cough up $240 million in a settlement with Ford related to the recall.

Mini Hammocks
portishead1/istockphoto

Mini Hammocks

Recall year: 1996
Deaths: 12
At least a dozen children from ages 5 to 17 died after becoming entrapped in mini hammocks, a lightweight version of a regular hammock without spreader bars, in an 11-year span from the mid-1980s to the mid-'90s. Several manufacturers were involved in the CPSC-led recall, which covered at least 3 million of the mini hammocks.

Lawn Darts
Allkindza/istockphoto

Lawn Darts

Recall year: 1988
Deaths: 3
This lawn-game relic turned lazy days in the yard into tragedies for several families during the 1980s. At least three kids died after being struck by the heavy metal darts, which also caused more than 600 injuries a year, according to the CPSC. Technically, there was no recall — the CPSC went straight to a ban after one grieving father pushed for a more thorough investigation of the game's dangers, Mental Floss reports. 

Jalisco Cheese
JeanCyrPuentes/istockphoto

Jalisco Cheese

Recall year: 1985
Deaths: 28
A 1985 outbreak of listeriosis rocked the Los Angeles area, killing 28 and likely causing 20 miscarriages in pregnant women. Investigators eventually traced the outbreak to listeria-tainted fresh cheeses made by Jalisco Mexican Products. A number of factors were likely at play, including shoddy pasteurization methods, an unsanitary plant, and the potential use of raw milk in products. The silver lining: Plenty of food-safety laws were strengthened after the outbreak.

Extra Strength Tylenol
Amazon

Extra-Strength Tylenol

Recall year: 1982
Deaths: 7
Fear gripped consumers after seven Chicago-area residents suddenly died after taking Tylenol, which was later revealed to be laced with cyanide. Though a suspect was never charged, investigators believe someone took capsules directly from store shelves to tamper with them. Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson cooperated with investigators' warnings for consumers to stop taking Tylenol, and the case spurred federal guidelines to make similar products tamper-proof.

Classic Yellow Ford Pinto
Classic Yellow Ford Pinto by Michael Dorausch (CC BY-SA)

Ford Pintos

Recall year: 1978
Deaths: As many as 500
The Ford Pinto may be a punchline today, but the car was a top seller in the early 1970s. But its poorly designed fuel system could cause the car to explode into flames during a rear-end collision, a scenario that played out all too often, leading to a number of deaths that are still in dispute but could be as high as 500, according to Mother Jones. Ford was forced to recall 1.5 million of the cars in 1978, and even faced criminal homicide charges the following year.