<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Liz Crenshaw]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcwashington.com/feature/liz-crenshawhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.pngNBC4 Washingtonhttps://www.nbcwashington.comen-usFri, 24 Nov 2017 21:27:36 -0500Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:27:36 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Best (and Worst) Fast Foods for You]]>Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:02:08 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-02_1308.jpgWondering how Five Guys, Chick Fil-A and Chipotle stack up? Consumer Reporter Erika Gonzalez has all the details on the best and worst fast food chains.]]><![CDATA[Double Stroller Poses Safety Risk: Report]]>Mon, 30 Jun 2014 08:47:47 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2014-06-30_0617.png

Consumer Report says a double stroller manufactured by Graco may pose a safety risk to children.

The brakes on Graco’s Ready2Grow Classic Connect LX can release without warning, the organization warns.

The problem was discovered during braking tests on a tilt table.

The stroller was loaded with 35 pounds in the front infant seat and 40 pounds in the back seat; the table was then slowly tilted up.

The brakes gave way, but fortunately, no injuries have been reported.

Graco says the Consumer Reports’ test “fails to replicate real world conditions” because of its steep angle. The company adds the stroller meets voluntary safety standards.

Out of 160 strollers tested, the Classic Connect LX is the only one where the brake released.

If you own this stroller, Consumer Reports suggests asking your retailer for a refund.

On the flip side, several other Graco strollers earn top scores, including the FastAction Fold Duo Click Connect.

<![CDATA[Wegmans Recalls Bags of Ice]]>Thu, 12 Jun 2014 05:56:48 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/wegmans051011.jpg

Wegmans is recalling 7 and 18 pound bags of ice because they may contain pieces of metal and could pose a choking hazard.

The metal fragments came from a broken part in the machine that produces the ice.

The bags were sold between January 1 and June 10 in several states, including Virginia and Maryland.

The problem was discovered during a routine maintenance check. Wegmans says 6,000 bags may have the metal pieces inside.

So far, there have been no reported injuries.

Customers can return the ice for a full refund.

For more information, please call Wegmans Consumer Affairs at 1-855-934-3663, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. - See more at: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductRecallDetailView?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=792797#sthash.GuWeRnLb.dpuf

For more information, call Wegmans Consumer Affairs at 1-855-934-3663.

<![CDATA[Unlicensed Contractors]]>Fri, 06 Jun 2014 17:13:11 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tree_trimming_schemejpg.jpg

Law enforcment from Maryland and Virginia are teaming up to share information about unlicensed contractors, who are defrauding homeowners around the D.C. metro area.

Unlicensed contractors typically victimize consumers by going door-to-door solciting payment in exchange for tree trimming or home repairs.

Here are ways  to protect yourself:

The Montgomery County Police Financial Crimes Section offers homeowners the following warning signs:

  • Contractors going door-to-door soliciting home improvement work;
  • Contractors driving vehicles with out-of-state license plates and without a business name and license number printed on the vehicle; and
  • Contractors who offer to drive a consumer to the bank or ATM in order to receive payment.

The Office of Consumer Protection urges consumers to follow these steps before entering a contract for any home improvement work:

  • Do not panic and hire someone because they are the only company that can come out to the house right away. Make sure the home improvement contractor is licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) by calling 410-230-6309 or check online. Also, make sure the contractor is familiar with and has expertise in repairing the type of damage that your house has sustained, such as roofing or foundation repair.
  • For tree service or removal, check to see if the business is a licensed tree expert with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Forestry Division, at 410-260-8521 or online at www.dnr.maryland.gov. If a licensed company is used, there is a complaint process through the Department of Natural Resources. If an unlicensed company is used, it is often impossible to track down the company, particularly if they have been paid in advance. In addition, consumers should ask to see written verification of the company’s insurance and workers compensation coverage.
  • Get estimates from three contractors. Some fraudulent contractors will capitalize on the situation and overcharge consumers or lead them to believe the damage is worse than it really is. State law requires a written contract for any work completed. A home improvement contract should include the terms and conditions of the warranty. The manufacturer’s warranty should be a separate, written document. The contract must also include: the contractor’s name, address and home improvement license number; the approximate starting and finishing dates; and a description of the work to be done and materials to be used.
  • State law prohibits home improvement contractors from collecting more than one-third of the contract amount as a deposit. If the contract is signed in your home, the contract must allow the consumer three days in which to cancel. Under emergency situations only, the consumer may waive this three-day right to cancel, but must sign a special form to do so.
  • Check the contractors’ complaint records with the Office of Consumer Protection at 240-777-3636 or online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/consumer and the Better Business Bureau at 202-393-8000 or online at www.dc.bbb.org, and with the MHIC and DNR.
  • OCP, the County’s consumer protection agency, investigates thousands of complaints each year involving automotive sales and repairs, new home purchases, home improvements, credit issues, retail sales, internet services and most other consumer transactions. OCP provides pre-purchase information to consumers, as well as speakers to the community on consumer issues.
  • For more information, call 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/consumer.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Reuters Report : GM Crashes]]>Tue, 03 Jun 2014 17:20:36 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/103360191.jpg

Reuters released a new report Tuesday about General Motors crashes based on government data.

To read the report, click here.

Below is a full statement from General Motors to News4:

The total number of deaths associated with the ignition switch recall condition stands at 13.

The Fatalities Analysis Reporting System (“FARS”) is a nationwide census providing NHTSA, Congress and the American public yearly data regarding fatal injuries suffered in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Although FARS contains information on fatalities within the recall population, GM does not have information on most of these crashes. GM arrived at the figure of 13 fatalities by assessing the detailed information in the claims data available to us. The criteria we used to make the determination was based on engineering expertise in both air bag deployment and electrical systems.
Airbags are supplemental restraints designed to deploy only in certain crashes. There are a number of factors that may contribute to an airbag deployment, such as severity of the cash, the angle of impact, occupant position and duration of the crash.

GM continues to monitor all claims we are made aware of in the recall population.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Latest Recalls ]]>Thu, 09 Apr 2015 08:08:15 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RECALL_CONSUMER.jpg

For all the latest recalls, follow Erika Gonzalez and Consumer Watch on Facebook & Twitter @Erika_News

April 9, 2015: Nationwide Sabra Hummus Recall

Sabra Dipping Co., LLC announced it's voluntarily recalling approximately 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall involves Classic Hummus sold nationwide. To date, no other Sabra product is affected by this recall, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

There have been no reports indicating that these products have caused any illness, said the FDA.

The products being recalled were distributed to retail outlets, including food service accounts and supermarkets.

The list of packages affected can be found here.

Consumers can find code and use by dates on the top of each package.

March 31, 2015: Blinds to Go Recall

Tuesday, the CPSC announced Blinds To Go voluntarily recalled about 200,000 custom-made window shades. Window coverings with cords pose a strangulation risk to children, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Click here for more information about the recall.

May 29, 2014: Ford Recall

Ford is recalling more than 1 million cars in North America due to problems that could result in the loss of electric power steering assist while driving, making it harder to turn the vehicle, NBC News reported. Six injuries and five crashes related to the issue have been reported to U.S. regulators. The models affected are Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner vehicles with model years 2008 to 2011 and Ford Explorers with model years 2011 to 2013.

Get More at NBC News

May 15, 2014: GM Recall

General Motors announced on Thursday it has issued five more recalls covering about 2.7 million vehicles in the United States, Reuters reported. Still dealing with the fallout from the recall of defective ignition switches, the company said, the largest of the latest recalls covers more than 2.4 million cars for tail lamp malfunctions. There are also recalls covering Chevrolet Malibu sedans, Chevy Corvette sports cars, Cadillac CTS sedans and full-size trucks and SUVs.

Get More at NBC News

April 29, 2014: NHTSA Announces BMW Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2010-2011 128i Coupe, 128i Convertible, 328i Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 328i Coupe, 328i Convertible, 328i Sports Wagon and Z4 sDrive 30i, 2011-2012 135i Coupe, 135i Convertible, 335i Sedan, X5 xDrive 35i, and X6 xDrive 35i, 2011 335i xDrive Sedan, 335i Coupe, 335i Convertible, 528i Sedan, 535i Sedan, 535i xDrive Sedan, X3 xDrive 28i, and X3 xDrive 35i, 2010 X3 xDrive 30i, and X5 xDrive 30i, 2012 640i Coupe, and 640i Convertible and 2010-2012 535i Gran Turismo vehicles.

In the affected vehicles, the engine can lose power or stall. The problem is with bolts that secure the housing for the variable camshaft timing adjustment (VANOS) unit can loosen over time and may possibly break, according to NHTSA.

BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the four VANOS housing bolts for both VANOS units (intake and exhaust), free of charge.

Click here to for more information about the recall.

April 29, 2014: NHTSA Announces Mercedes-Benz Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (Mercedes) is recalling certain model year 2008-2011 C300, C300 4Matic, C350, and C63 AMG vehicles. 

In the affected vehicles, a poor electrical ground connection may result in the dimming or failure of the tail lights, according to NHTSA.

NHTSA says Mercedes will notify owners, and dealers will replace the bulb holders if not previously updated and replace any corroded connectors, free of charge. Parts are not currently available, according to NHTSA.

Click here for more details of the recall.

April 29, 2014: GE Brand Dehumidifiers Sold at Walmart Recalled

About 15, 500 GE Brand Dehumidifiers sold exclusively at Walmart are being recalled according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The Commission says a component in the dehumidifier’s compressor can short circuit, and cause a fire.

This recall involves 30-pint portable GE brand dehumidifiers.

Click here to read more details of the recall.

April 29, 2014: IKEA Reannounces & Expands Children's Wall-Mounted Lamps Recall

This recall involves IKEA children’s wall-mounted lamps sold in various style names, shapes and colors, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The recall involves about 3.5 million in the United States, 1.4 million in Canada, 30.2 million worldwide (This includes IKEA children’s lamps in the firm’s previous recall in December 2013 and expands the number and types of lamps.), according to CPSC

The lamps have a cord, about 7 to 8 feet long with either a switch on the cord or a switch located on the lamp.

A 15-month-old baby became entangled in the TASSA NATT lamp’s cord and nearly strangled. This incident, and the death of a 16-month-old baby who died after getting entangled in the SMILA lamp’s cord, were reported in the previous recall. In both incidents, which occurred in Europe, the lamp cord was pulled into the crib by the infants, said the CPSC.

Click here for the style name and description of the lamps involved in the recall.

March 27, 2013: Alli Weight Loss Pills Recalled

GlaxoSmithKline is recalling its weight loss drug Alli after learning some of the bottles have been tampered with.

The real capsule is a turquoise blue color, but consumers have reported finding tablets and capsules of other shapes and colors inside the bottles.

There are also reports the tamper-resistant seals on some bottles are not authentic.

Some bottles are even missing their labels, according to GlaxoSmithKline.

The pharmaceutical company has received about 20 complaints of tampered Alli bottles so far.

There have been no reports of serious illness.

Alli's website reads: To date, some bottles bearing the following lot numbers and expiration dates on the carton have been reported to us by consumers as containing product other than alli®:
- Carton Lot 14372, Expiration: 02/28/2016
- Carton Lot 14395, Expiration: 02/28/2016
- Carton Lot 14124, Expiration: 09/30/2015
- Carton Lot 14267, Expiration: 01/31/2016
- Carton Lot 14442, Expiration: 04/30/2016

Click here to learn more about the recall.

March 26, 2014: Nissan Recalls 1M Cars, SUVs and Vans

Nissan is recalling about a million cars, SUVs and vans because the front passenger airbags might not work in a crash. It's the company's second recall to fix the same problem. Nissan says the computer system in the vehicles may not detect an adult in the front passenger seat: when that happens, the air bags will not inflate.

The recall applies to 2013 & 2014 model year Altimas, Leafs, Pathfinders, Sentras, as well as some other vans and SUVs. A free software upgrade at the dealership should fix the problem.
If you drive one of these cars, you'll most likely hear from your dealership in mid-April about when you can bring your car in for the fix.

Click here for more.

March 17, 2014: GM Announces 3 New Recalls

General Motors announced three new recalls seperate from its ignition switch recall.

The new recalls involve more than one million vehicles for multiple reasons:

-303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from the 2009-2014 model years with gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds

- 63,900 Cadillac XTS full-size sedan from the 2013 and 2014 model years

- 1.18 million Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia models from the 2008-2013 model years, Chevrolet Traverse from the 2009-2013 model years, and Saturn Outlook from the 2008-2010 model years

Click here for more details of this recall.

Click here for details about the ignition switch recall.

February 17, 2014: Hot Pockets Recalled

Giant Food announced the recall of Hot Pockets Philly Steak and Cheese because they were produced without all required inspections.

There have been no reports of illness, according to Giant Food.

Click here to find more information about the recall and batch numbers affected.

February 14, 2014: Toyota Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Toyota is recalling certain model year 2012 and 2013 Toyota Tacoma and Lexus RX350 vehicles and certain model year 2012 Toyota Rav4 vehicles.

The brake system contains a brake actuator that adjusts the fluid pressure of each wheel cylinder, said, NHTSA. An electrical component within the actuator may experience an increased resistance resulting in the illumination of various warning lights, including those for the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system, Antilock Brake System (ABS), and Traction Control system, according to NHTSA.

NHTSA warns these systems could become inoperative, reducing the directional control assistance, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners and the fix is free of charge.

Click here for more information about the recall.

February 13, 2014: GM Recalls Nearly 780,000 Compact Cars

General Motors is recalling nearly 780,000 older-model compact cars in North America. It says a faulty ignition switch can shut of the cars' engines without warning and cause crashes. GM says six people have been killed in 22 crashes related to the problem. All were at high speeds. The recall affects Chevrolet Cobalts from the 2005 through 2007 model years and Pontiac G5s from 2007.

General Motors is recalling nearly 780,000 compact cars in North America because the engines can shut down unexpectedly and cause crashes. The company says six people have been killed in crashes related to the problem.

The recall affects Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s from the 2005 through 2007 model years.

U.S. safety regulators say the weight of the key ring and rough roads can move the ignition switch out of the run position, cutting the engine and electricity. If that happens, air bags may not work.

GM says there have been 22 crashes from the problem. All were off the road and happened at high speeds.

Dealers will replace the ignition switch for free. GM says owners should remove nonessential items from key rings until the problem is fixed.

February 12, 2014: Toyota Recalls 1.9 Prius Cars

Toyota is recalling 1.9 Million Prius Cars.

Toyota says the recall involves all its newest, third generation Prius cars that have been in production since 2009.

The company says the cars have a programming glitch in the hybrid system. It could shut down and cause the car to stop, possibly while the car's being driven.

This is the third recall for the five-year Prius.

Click here to look up Toyota recalls.

February 12, 2014: Graco Recalls Toddler Car Seats

Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of nearly 3.8 million convertible toddler and booster child seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013.

Graco says the models affected include: Toddler Convertible Car Seats: Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat. Harnessed Booster Seats: Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

Click here for more information on the recall and learn how to get a replacement harness buckle.

February 09, 2014: Baby Walkers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced BebeLove is recalling some of its baby walkers because they fail to meet federal safety standards.

For example, some walkers are not designed to stop at the edge of a step as required by the federal safety standard and some have leg openings that allow the child to slip down until the child’s head can become entrapped at the neck, according to the CPSC.

The models involved in the recall are style numbers 358 and 368.

For more information on the recall, click here.

January 24, 2014: Expanded Recall of Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing System

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Flushmate has expanded its recall of Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing System because the system can burst. The pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, according to the CPSC.

This recall is for Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure Assist flushing systems installed inside toilet tanks that were manufactured from March 2008 through June 2009..

You can find more details of the recall here.

January 23, 2014: Pacifier Holder Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of a popular brand of pacifier holder. About 1.25 million Platex pacifier holders are being recalled because the holder clips can crack and a small part can break off, which poses a choking hazard to small children.

Visit the CPSC's website for more information.

December 31, 2013: Ford Recalls Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Vehicles

Ford Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid vehicles because the transmission range sensor may not function properly.

Without requiring the brake to be pressed, the vehicle may be unintentionally shifted out of Park, allowing it to roll which may result in a crash, said The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA).

For more information about this recall click here.

December 17, 2013: Google & HP Recall HP Chromebook 11 Chargers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of about 145,000 HP Chromebook 11 power supply/chargers.

Google has received nine reports of chargers overheating and melting during use, according to the CPSC.

The recall involves chargers that were sold with the HP Chromebook 11, said the CPSC. They were sold at Best Buy stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, bestbuy.com, Google Play at play.google.com, and HP Shopping at shopping.hp.com from October 2013 through November 2013 and included with the Chromebook 11 which sold for about $280.

For more information and pictures of the product, click here.


December 11, 2013: IKEA Recalls Children's Wall-Mounted Lamps After Death Reported

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with IKEA North America, of Conshohocken, Pa., recalled children’s wall-mounted lamps due to a strangulation hazard. A 16-month-old child in a crib died after getting entangled in the lamp’s cord, according to the CPSC. In a separate incident, the CPSC reports a 15-month-old child in a crib became entangled in the lamp’s cord and nearly strangled. In both incidents, which occurred in Europe, the lamp cord was pulled into the crib by the infants. There were 2.9 million of the recalled lamps sold in the United States.

The recalled IKEA children’s SMILA-series wall-mounted lamps were sold in eight designs, including a blue star, yellow moon, pink flower, white flower, red heart, green bug, blue seashell and an orange seahorse.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled lamp and contact IKEA for a free repair kit.

For pictures of the product and more information on this recall click here.


November 21, 2013: Cuisinart Recalls Food Processors

Cuisinart is recalling 7-cup food processors due to a laceration hazard. About 25,000 food processors are a part of this recall.

Click here to see if your Cuisinart was affected.

November 21, 2013: Baby Monitor Recall After Two Deaths

About 600,000 Angelcare Movement and Sound Baby Monitors are being recalled after two babies were strangled by the monitors' cords.

The recall involves the Movement and Sound Monitor which includes a sensor pad that is placed under the crib mattress. That pad is connected to an electrical cord, which is in reach of a baby inside the crib. The cord can be pulled up into the crib and can wrap around the baby's neck.

The recalled monitors were sold nationwide at stores like Babies R Us, Walmart, and Amazon.com from 1999 up until September 2013.

For more information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, click here.

November 19, 2013: Toy Wagons Sold at Toys R Us Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Step2 Whisper Ride Touring Wagons are being recalled because the removable blue seat backs can detach and allow the child in the wagon to fall out, posing a fall hazard.

Step2 has received 29 reports of the seat back detaching, 28 of which resulted in children falling out of the wagon, according to the CPSC. Fourteen of these resulted in bumped heads and nine resulted in bruises, scratches or lacerations.

The wagons are sold exclusively at Toys R Us.

To learn more about the recall Click Here.

October 31, 2013: Porch Light Recall

Now to a recall of hundreds of thousands of those motion-activated outdoor lights.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is reporting multiple Heath/Zenith porch lights can pose an electrical shock hazard due to a problem with the internal wiring. About 210,000 light fixtures are affected and were sold nation wide since 2006. No injuries have been reported.

Click here to find out if your light is part of this recall.

October 31, 2013: Expanded Dehumidifier Recall

An expanded dehumidifier recall now involves 2.2 million units that can overheat and catch fire, posing a serious safety hazard.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says four more models of dehumidifiers have been added to the recall after reports of at least 25 additional fires and millions of dollars in damage. We first reported the humidifier recall back in September.

Twelve brand names of dehumidifiers including Kenmore and Frigidaire are part of this recall.  CPSC says that in total more than 300 incidents have been reported because of these dehumidifiers including 71 fires more than $2.7 million in property damage.

October 29, 2013: Kraft Recalls String Cheese

Kraft Foods Group is voluntarily recalling some varieties of Kraft and Polly-O String Cheese and String Cheese Twists products. These products may spoil before their "Best When Used By" code dates, leading to product discoloration, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA).

The affected products all have code dates from October 25, 2013 through February 11, 2014.

Approximately 735,000 cases of the affected product were shipped to customers across the United States, according to the USDA.

Click here to see the varieties of cheese involved in the recall.


October 24, 2013: Crate and Barrel Recalls Finley Hanging Pendant Lamps

Crate and Barrel is recalling Hanging pendant lamps since the wires can be connected incorrectly because the wires’ polarity labels can fall off or be mislabeled, posing fire and shock hazards to consumers.

This recall includes Crate and Barrel Finley Collection pendant lamps with a white or wheat (off-white) linen large, small drum or rectangular lamp shades. They have a 9-inch long silver electrical wire with tandem metal support cables and chrome-plated steel ceiling plate.

Crate and Barrel has received four reports of lamps shorting out, including minor property damage and a minor burn, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For more details on the recall click here.

October 24, 2013: Tommy Bahama Outdoor Ceiling Fans Recalled

This recall involves Tommy Bahama brand 52-inch outdoor ceiling fans sold under the “The Copa Breeze” style name.

Emerson Air Comfort Products is recalling the fans because the brackets holding the fan blades can break and cause the blades to fall, posing a risk of injury to bystanders, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The fan has model number TB311DBZ and a distressed bronze color. Each of the five oval-shaped paddles/blades has a metal accent in the shape of an oval with a figure-8 inside the oval. The lower part of the motor housing has “Tommy Bahama” embossed on it. A date code is represented by three letters printed on the lower right corner of a label on the top of the motor housing.

Click here to learn more about the recall and for a complete list of the date codes (letter combinations).

October 18, 2013: Toyota Recalls 885,000 Camrys, Avalons & Venzas

Toyota is recalling 885,000 vehicles worldwide because of safety problems related to the airbags. The vast majority of the vehicles were sold in the United States.

The company has said the problem is due to water leaking out of the air conditioner condenser unit onto the airbag control module. In some cases, this disables the airbags themselves so that they might not deploy in an accident.

For more information about the recall, visit the Toyota website.

October 3, 2013: 15 Million Surge Protectors Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning that about 15 million surge protectors are being recalled due to a fire hazard.

There have been about 700 reports of the surge protectors overheating and melting, including 55 claims of property damage from smoke and fire.

Thirteen injuries have also been reported.

To get more information and see if your surge protector is on the list, click here.

September 27, 2013: Toyota Recalls Sienna Minivans

Toyota is recalling 615,000 Sienna minivans in the U.S. because they can inadvertently shift out of park and roll away.

The recall involves Siennas from the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 models years.

Toyota said the shift locking device can potentially be damaged. If that happens, the minivans can shift out of park even if the driver isn't depressing the brake pedal.

Toyota said it has gotten reports of 21 accidents and 2 injuries related to the problem.

Owners will be notified of the recall by mail. Dealers will replace the shift-lock device for free.

September 25, 2013: Bagged Salad Recall

The Food and Drug Administration announced a recall of dozens of types of Garden Fresh bagged salads due to possible listeria contamination. For a list of the affected products, click here.

September 19, 2013: Honda Recalls 374,000 Vehicles

Honda is recalling Hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the U.S. because of an airbag problem. 374,000 vehicles are affected.

The recall includes 2003 -2004 Honda Odyssey minivans and 2003 Acura MDX.

Honda says it has received an increasing number of complaints in recent months of airbags opening unnecessarily. It says the computer chip for airbag deployment was responding to electrical interference.

Honda says dealerships will repair the airbag defect for free.

September 10, 2013: Toyota Recall Redo

Toyota announced a recall redo.
The automaker is re-recalling more 780,584 vehicles in the U.S. because the safety problem in the suspension it tried to fix last year didn't work.
The recall includes Rav4 SUVs 2006 through 2011and 2010 Lexus HS 250H sedans.
Toyota says if rear suspension nuts aren't tightened properly, the arms can rust and separate from the vehicle.
At least nine crashes and three injuries have been reported as related to the problem.
You can find more information on the recall here.

September 6, 2013: Johnson & Johnson Recalls Motrin Infants Formula

Johnson & Johnson is recalling 200,000 bottles of Motrin Infants formula due to the risk that they contain tiny plastic particles, the Associated Press reported.

You can find more information about the recall here.

September 3, 2013: Target Recalls Threshold Floor Lamps

Target is recalling its Threshold floor lamps because the lamp can short when a standard one-way bulb is fully tightened in the lamp’s three-way socket, posing a fire and shock hazard to consumers, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The CPSC says consumers should stop using the White 2-bulb floor lamp and return it to any Target store for a full refund.

This recall includes white plastic, turned-spindle design floor lamps with white fabric drum lamp shades and two 3-way pull-chain switches. Lamp is illuminated by two 3-way 100-watt or 29-watt CFL bulbs and stands approximately 60 inches tall. The model number PL1071 is located on a sticker on the bottom of the lamp.

Target has received six reports of short circuiting which have resulted in fires, minor property damage and two consumers being shocked.

You can find more information on the recall here.

September 3, 2013: Ford Recalls Hundreds of Thousands of Cars

Ford is recalling 370,000 cars because of possible corrosion to their steering shaft that could cause the driver to lose control of the wheel.
The recall includes model years 2005 to 201 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars.
Owners can take the cars to the dealership where they will be inspected.

August 29, 2013: Vitamix Recalls 64-ounce Low-Profile Blender Container

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Vitamix is recalling its 64-ounce Low Profile Container because the blade can break.
The CPSC says it received 18 reports of blades breaking. No injuries have been reported.
The recall involves Vitamix 64-ounce Low-Profile containers with blade part number 103208 A and blade date codes 03-12 (March 2012) through 07-13 (July 2013). The blade part number and date code are laser etched onto the top of the blade at the bottom of the container. The clear, plastic, 64-ounce container with black plastic handle and lid was sold with Vitamix blender models 7500, Professional Series 300, Professional Series 750 and individually. Replacement blades with part number 104602 A are not affected.

The CPSC says consumers should stop using the recalled container immediately and contact Vitamix for instructions on how to send back the container (without the lid or any accessories) to the firm for a free repair.
You can find more details of the recall here.

August 21, 2013: Halo SleepSack Wearable Blankets Recalled

About 27,000 Halo SleepSack Wearable Blankets sold exclusively at Babies R US are being recalled because the petals from a pink satin flower on the garment can detach, posing a choking hazard to infants, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The CPSC has received six reports of the petals detaching from the blankets including an infant found gagging on a detached petal.
The recalled HALO SleepSack wearable blankets are 100% white cotton with pink-edged ruffles and a pink satin rose embellishment on the front. These sack-shaped wearable blankets have cut-outs for the baby’s arms, a zipper down the center, a sewn bottom and were sold in small and medium sizes. Only SleepSack products with GPU numbers 2701, 2781, 2886, 2887, 3007, 3035 and 3142 printed on a neck label under the primary neck label are included in the recall.
Consumers should immediately stop using the wearable blankets and contact HALO Innovations for a pre-paid envelope containing instructions to remove and return the flower and order a free replacement product, said the CPSC.
You can find pictures and more details of the recall here.

August 9, 2013: Playmat Sets Sold At Wegmans Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Holgate Toys is recalling Playmat Sets because of a chocking hazard. The Playmat Set is sold exclusively at Wegmans Food Stores and includes a 24-inch by 30-inch cotton canvas playmat and four toy wooden vehicles. The CPSC warns the wheels on the wooden vehicles can detach. Consumers should immediately take the wooden vehicles away from young children and return them to Wegmans Food Stores for a full refund.

UPC Code 0 7789028735 4 is printed on the back of the box.

You can find more information about the recall here.

August 8, 2013: Toyota Recalls 342,000 Tacoma Pickup Trucks

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 342,000 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab vehicles, produced from 2004 to 2011.

Toyota said there is a seatbelt flaw. The screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor within the seat belt assembly for the driver and front passenger can become loose over time due to repeatedly and forcefully closing the access door. Toyota warns if the screws loosen completely, the seat belt pre-tensioner and the retractor spring cover could detach from the seat belt retractor, which can affect retractor and pre-tensioner performance.

Owners of vehicles subject to this recall will receive a notification by first class mail.
You can find more information about the recall here.

August 1, 2013: Kansas Firm Recalls 50,000 Pounds of Ground Beef

A Kansas based company is recalling more than 50,000 pounds of ground beef that could be contaminated with E-coli.

The National Beef Packing Company issued the voluntary recall after a sample of its product tested positive for the bacteria.

The ground beef was shipped to retailers, wholesalers and food service distributors nationwide.

The recalled beef products all have the establishment number "Est. 208-A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers more details of the recall here.

July 31, 2013: Water-Absorbing Polymer Balls Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Monster Science and Super Star Science Colossal Water Balls are being recalled because the soft and colorful product can be easily mistaken by a child for candy. The toys absorb water and grow up to 400 times their original size, according to the CPSC.

If the marble-sized toy is ingested, it can expand inside a child’s body and cause intestinal obstructions, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and could be life threatening, said the CPSC.

CPSC is aware of one incident with a similar water-absorbing polymer ball product in which an 8-month-old girl ingested the ball and it had to be surgically removed.

You can find details of the recall here.

July 29, 2013 Ford Recalls C-Max Hybrids

Ford is recalling more than 33,000 C-Max Hybrids because the vehicle may not protect your head in the event of a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered the issue during safety tests.
The recall covers cars made between January 19, 2012 and June 25, 2013.
Ford will notify affected owners, and dealers will install additional energy absorbing material between the car’s headliner and roof.
Cars with a panoramic roof is not included in the recall.

July 25, 2013: Refrigerator Recall Expanded

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced an expanded recall of Viking built-in refrigerators with bottom freezers because the refrigerator's doors can detach. The refrigerators were previously recalled in 2009. Since then, Viking has received nearly 100 reports of injuries including broken bones.

This recall involves Viking built-in 36-inch wide refrigerators with bottom freezers with models and serial numbers/date codes listed below. The model and serial numbers are located on the ceiling of the interior of the refrigerators. The first six numbers in the serial number range are the manufacture date of the unit in (mm)(dd)(yy).


Model numbers starting with: Serial number/Date codes starting with:

Designer Series

DDBB363, DDBB536, DTBB363, 110105 - 081012

DFBB363, DFBB536, FDBB5361


Professional Series

VCBB363, VCBB536, VCBB5361, 110105 – 080512

VIBB363, VIBB536

You can find more information about the recall here.

July 24, 2013: Salsa Recall

The maker of salsas sold at Dollar Tree and Deals, Dollar Express and Dollar Bills stores nationwide is recalling its salsa after large glass pieces were found in some jars.

The recall includes Mild Chunky Salsa with best-by dates of June 2015 and October 2015, and Medium Chunky Salsa with a best by date of July 2015.

The company says the glass pieces got into the salsa during the beginning of the manufacturing process, when some of the glass jars were damaged.

The Fresno, California-based company says there have been no reports of injury.

July 23, 2013: Popular Baby Product Recalled

Hundreds of thousands of Einstein baby activity jumpers are being recalled.
More than 60 babies have been injured, including a seven-month-old who suffered a fractured skull.

The Consumer Financial Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says the recall involves about 400,000 baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumpers in the U.S. and about 8,500 in Canada.
The CPSC says one of the toys attached to the jumper can rebound with force and injure a child.
The model number involved in the recall is 90564.
The following manufacture date codes include:
OD0, OE0, OF0, OG0, OH0, OI0, OJ0, OK0, OL0, OA1, OB1, OC1, OD1, OE1, OF1, OG1, OH1, OI1, OJ1 and OK1.

The jumpers were sold at Target, Toys-R-Us and other stores nationwide.
You can find more information about the recall here.

July 17, 2013: Sears Re-announces Recall of Kenmore Dehumidifiers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says Sears has received additional reports of shorting and fires associated with certain Kenmore dehumidifiers. The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke, melt and catch on fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers, said the CPSC. There has been on report of a consumer severely burned, according to the CPSC.

This recall involves Kenmore brand 35, 50- and 70-pint dehumidifiers made by LG and sold exclusively at Sears and Kmart stores nationwide and Sears.com and Kmart.com from 2003 to 2009.

Consumers should immediately turn off and unplug the dehumidifiers and contact the Recall Fulfillment Center to receive a Sears gift card for either $75, $80, $90 or $100, which may be used at any Sears or Kmart store or at Sears.com or Kmart.com.

You can find details of the recall here.

July 16, 2013: Chrysler Recalls 2013 RAM Trucks

Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2013 RAM 1500 4x4 trucks because of a software issue with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) module, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A disabled ESC system may result in loss of directional control, increasing the risk of a crash, says NHTSA.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update the ESC module software, free of charge.

You can find more details of the recall here.

July 8, 2013: Chrysler Recalls Vehicles For Potential Airbag Flaw

Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2013 Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and RAM C/V Tradesman vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA says a software error may cause  the wrong side airbag to deploy in a crash, leaving a person with no airbag protection at the point of impact. (a left side impact would deploy the right side airbags and vice versa).

Owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753 for a free fix. Chrysler's recall campaign number is N44.

You can find details about the the recall here.

July 8, 2013: Whole Foods Market Recalls Cheese Following One Death

Whole Foods Market announced it is recalling Crave Brothers Les Frères cheese.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the cheese is being recalled because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

To date, one illness and one death have been reported, according to the FDA. The FDA says the company immediately ceased the production and distribution of the products.

The recalled Crave Brothers Les Frères cheese was cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap and sold with Whole Foods Market scale labels.

You can find the states where the cheese has been recalled and how the cheese was labeled including the PLU code here.

July 4, 2013: Toys R Us Recalls Remote-Controlled Helicopters

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Toys R Us is recalling its remote-controlled 3 channel helicopters.

The CPSC says the rechargeable battery inside the helicopters can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers or anything nearby.

The recall involves the Fast Lane FA-005 Radio Control 3-Channel Helicopter with Gyro Stabilizer and Charger, model number 5F5F2F5.

Consumers should immediately stop using the remote-controlled helicopter and return all components to a Toys R Us store for a full refund or store credit.

You can find more information about the recall here.

July 2, 2013: Emergency Recall of Portable Propane Tanks

There is an emergency recall involving commonly used portable propane tanks.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued the emergency recall of 55,000 propane tanks manufactured by the Lite Cylinder Company.
The recall was issued after a PHMSA investigation revealed the product was unsafe.
PHMSA says the cylinders may leak flammable gas or suddenly rupture and explode.
PHMSA has ordered the two-piece, fully wrapped fire composite cylinders be removed from service.
The propane tanks are often used with recreational vehicles, propane grills and other outdoor equipment.
You can find details of the recall here.

June 21, 2013: Light Chandeliers Sold Exclusively at Lowe's Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of Aztec nine-light chandeliers sold at Lowe’s stores under the PORTFOLIO brand name.

The recall comes after the manufacturer received six reports of the chandeliers falling from the ceiling. No injuries have been reported.

CPSC says the chandeliers are metal with an olde bronze finish. They come with etched amber glass shades and a decorative faux marble ball in the center. The upper arms of the fixture are single long curves and the lower arms of the fixture are “S” shaped. “Aztec” and model number 34330 are printed on a sticker located inside the ceiling canopy at the top of the chandelier.
Consumers can contact Kitchler for information on how to receive a free repair kit.

You can find more information about the recall here.

June 20, 2013: Nearly 100,000 Strollers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Kolcraft is recalling certain Jeep Liberty branded strollers.
The CPSC says the inner tube of the tire on the three-wheeled strollers can rupture and cause the wheel rim to break and fly off.
The strollers involved in the recall were manufactured between June 2010 and September 2011.
The manufacturer and the CPSC have received 39 reports of inner tube ruptures which resulted in more than a dozen injuries.
Consumers should contact the company for a free replacement wheels.
You can find more information about the recall here.

June 18, 2013: Three Types of Baby Bath Seats Recalled Due to Drowning Risk

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that more than 41,000 baby bath seats have been recalled under the names Buy Buy Baby Idea Baby Brand infant bath seats, One Step Ahead Idea Baby infant bath seats and BeBe Love E-Zee Bath Seats.
All three of the seat brands failed to meet federal safety standards and can tip over, posing a drowning risk for babies.
Consumers should stop using these recalled bath seats immediately and contact the manufacturer for a full refund.

Find more information on each individual recall by clicking the links above.

June 18, 2013: Honda Recalls Vehicles Because Of Brake Problem

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Honda is recalling 18,352 vehicles from 2006 - 2007 for potential loss of braking power. The recall includes certain model year 2006 Acura RSX vehicles and model year 2006-2007 Honda S2000 vehicles.

NHTSA says with reduced braking assistance, the vehicle may require additional brake pedal force, increasing the risk of a crash.

NHTSA says Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the brake booster assembly. If necessary, the dealers will replace the booster assembly free of charge.

You can find more information on the recall here.

June 17, 2013: GM Recalls Nearly 200,000 Vehicles Because Of Fire Risk

General Motors (GM) has expanded a recall to include certain model year 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL and 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, SAAB 9-7x, and Isuzu Ascender vehicles. The recall involves 193,652 vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a short in the circuit board could lead to a fire. NHTSA says a fire could occur even while the vehicle is not in use. As a precaution, owners are advised to park the vehicle outside.
Owners will be contacted and repairs will be done free of charge. GM will notify Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC owners, Isuzu and Saab will contact their respective owners.

You can find more information on the recall here.

June 14, 2013: Nap Nanny & Chill Infant Recliners Recalled Following Five Infant Deaths

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., is voluntarily recalling all models of its Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners and covers. The recall is announced as part of the settlement of an administrative case filed by CPSC in December 2012, which sought a mandatory recall of the Nap Nanny and Chill products.

From 2009 to the present, the Commission staff has received at least 92 incident reports involving the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill products, including five infant deaths. CPSC is aware of four infants who died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and a fifth death involved in the Chill model. In the incident reports received by CPSC, there were 92 reports of infants hanging or falling over the side of the products, including some infants who were restrained in the product’s harness.

CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using all Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill recliners. Baby Matters LLC is no longer in business and is not accepting returns. In December 2012, four major retailers—Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com, and Toys R Us/Babies R Us—announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny and Chill models sold in their stores. Consumers who purchased a Nap Nanny from one of these retailers should contact the retailer for instructions on how to obtain a refund for the product.

CPSC alleged that the products contain a design defect, their use presents a risk of injury to infants, and the instructions and warnings are inadequate. Baby Matters disputed these allegations but has agreed to the recall in consideration for dismissal of the CPSC lawsuit.

You can find more information about the recall here.

June 5, 2013: Yakima Recalls Certain Whispbar Racks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 1,369 Yakima Whispbar rack systems used for various vehicles, including the Toyota Matrix and Mitsubishi Outlander.

The racks are being recalled for not properly fitting the roofline or raised rail on vehicles, causing it to detach from the roof while in transit which could result in a crash.

Yamika will notify owners and instruct them to return the parts for a replacement.

You can find more information about the recall here.

June 5, 2013:Toyota recalls 242,000 Prius, Lexus hybrid cars

Toyota Motor Corp. says it is recalling about 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles due to problems with their braking systems.

The company says the recall applies to about 233,000 Prius vehicles made between March and October 2009 and about 9,000 Lexus HS250h models made between June and October 2009.

Toyota says the Prius vehicles affected are sold worldwide. The Lexus sedans are sold in the U.S. and Japan.

The automaker says brake pressure parts in the vehicles could crack due to vibration, slowing response times. It says there've been no accidents or injuries caused by the problem so far.

June 4, 2013: Ford Recalls Certain 2013 Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the recall includes certain 2013 Ford Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion, Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles; and certain model year 2013 Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ vehicles.

NHTSA says the fuel delivery module may develop a crack, and allow fuel to leak.
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire.
NHTSA says Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel delivery module, free of charge.

You can find more information about the recall here.

June 3, 2013: Pottery Barn Kids Recalls Sweet Lambie Crib Bumpers

This recall involves Pottery Barn Kids Sweet Lambie Bumpers manufactured from April 2009 through July 2012. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the thread in the decorative stitching on the bumper can loosen, posing an entanglement hazard to infants. Lambs in grass and lambs with trees are embroidered on the interior and exterior of the bumpers. They were available in the colors pink, blue and ivory/oatmeal. Model number “708859,” “708917” or “7988348” and “Sweet Lambie Bumper” appear on a tag fastened to the bottom edge of the bumpers. The date of manufacture in MM/YYYY format is printed on a tag attached to the bumper near the model number tag.

The CPSC says there have been two reports of the decorative stitching coming loose and entangling children, including reports of the thread wrapping around a child’s neck. No serious injuries have been reported.

You can find more information about the recall here.


May 31, 2013: Teavana Glass Tea Tumblers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is reporting that Teavana glass tea tumblers are being recalled as they can break or shatter unexpectedly. CPSC says Teavana has received 302 reports of the glass breaking or shattering, and injuries have been reported. Consumers are told to immediately stop using the glass tea tumblers and return them to a Teavana store location for a free replacement tumbler and a complimentary 2 oz. package of Opus Rouge Rooibos Tea.

More information on this recall here.

May 24, 2013: NHTSA Announces Recall of Cadillac SRX Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 18,871 Cadillac SRX vehicles from 2013 equipped with 18 inch wheels. NHTSA says the recall was issued for possible loosening of the wheel lug nuts, causing the wheel to separate from the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.

You can see details of the recall here.

May 23, 2013: Area Rug Sold Exclusively at Home Depot Recalled

This recall involves Nourison-branded I-CANDI collection polyester shag rugs.

The rugs are being recalled because they failed to meet federal flammability standards, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The rugs were sold in one color, denim, consisting of a mix of dark blue, light blue and gray shades. The rugs measure 5-by 7-feet and 7-feet 6-inches by 9-feet 6-inches. “ICANDI COLLECTION” and “Nourison” are printed in black on a label affixed to the back of the rug.

You can find more information about the recall here.

May 3, 2013: Certain California Pizza Kitchen & DiGiorno Frozen Pizzas Recalled

Nestlé USA announced its recalling select varieties/production codes of California Pizza Kitchen and DiGiorno Frozen Pizzas because the pizza may contain fragments of clear plastic.

Here is a list of pizzas included in the recall:

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Crispy Thin Crust White, UPC 71921 98745; production codes are 3062525951, 3062525952 and 3063525951.
California Pizza Kitchen Limited Edition Grilled Chicken with Cabernet Sauce, UPC 71921 00781; production code is 3059525952.
DiGiorno Crispy Flatbread Pizza Tuscan Style Chicken, UPC 71921 02663; production codes are 3057525922 and 3058525921.
DiGiorno pizzeria!™ Bianca/White Pizza, UPC 71921 91484; production code is 3068525951.

Nestle USA says the voluntary recall is limited to frozen pizzas with these specific production codes, which were distributed nationwide. No other production codes/dates, sizes or varieties of CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN or DIGIORNO pizzas are affected by this recall.

Nestle says since it delivers directly to retailer freezer cases, it has instructed stores to remove the pizzas.

You can find more information here.

Apr. 29, 2013: Certain 2013 BMW motorcycles recalled

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of certain 2013 BMW R1200 GS motorcycles. NHTSA says a front fork tube may loosen due to insufficient torque of a locking bolt. This could reduce the ability to control the motorcycle and possibly cause a crash.

BMW will notify owners and dealers and fix the problem free of charge.

You can find details of the recall here.


Apr. 12, 2013: Retailers recall desktop magnets after reports of children swallowing them

Six retailers have agreed to recall a brand of potentially dangerous high-powered magnet sets after the manufacturer refused to participate.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday that Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond and four other stores are recalling "Buckyballs'' and "Buckycubes'' after the CPSC received 54 reports of children and teens ingesting the product.

The tiny, powerful magnets are sold as a desktop toy that can be molded into different shapes. They can be dangerous or deadly if accidentally swallowed or inhaled.

The CPSC filed a rare legal complaint against the company that manufactured the sets, New York-based Maxfield & Oberton, in July after recall negotiations failed. The company has since gone out of business but the products are likely still in homes and offices.

More information & pictures here

Apr. 12, 2013: Wegmans recalls fruit juice because of a potential byproduct of mold

Wegmans Food Markets says it's recalling two fruit juice products because they may contain unacceptable levels of a byproduct of mold.

The grocery chain says some 64 oz. containers of Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Apple Juice and Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Cranberry Juice Blend may contain patulin. It says the substance is unlikely to cause illness, but shouldn't be consumed.

The apple juice has expiration dates of Jan. 28, 2014 through March 19, 2014. The blend has an expiration date of Nov. 5, 2013.

It says consumers should dump the juice and return the containers to stores for refunds.

Wegmans has 81 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

Apr. 11, 2013: Toyota, Honda and Nissan recall 3 million vehicles for air bag problems

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are recalling more than 3 million vehicles globally for an identical problem with air bags on the passenger side whose inflator may burst, sending plastic pieces flying.

No injuries have been reported related to the problem.

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.7 million vehicles, with some 580,000 in North America, another 490,000 in Europe and 320,000 in Japan. Affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000 and March 2004.

Toyota said it had received five reports of air bag problems, three in the U.S. and two in Japan, but there have been no injuries.

Honda Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. The models include the Civic, CR-V and Odyssey.

The recall extends to Latin America, China, other Asian nations, the Middle East and Africa.

Nissan Motor Co. recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan, for the air bag problem.

The Yokohama-based automaker said vehicles in North America and Europe are affected, but did not immediately have other details on its 343,000 overseas recalls.

Recalled models in Japan include the Cube, X-Trail, Maxima and Teana, made from August 2000 to January 2004, spokesman Chris Keeffe said.

Also affected under the same recall were the RX-8 and Mazda 6 at Mazda Motor Corp.

The Hiroshima-based automaker said 45,000 vehicles were recalled, including 4,000 in Japan. It did not give numbers for other regions, but said recalls will be announced in North America, Europe, China and other nations.

April 2, 2013: Haier America recalls chest freezers

Haier America has expanded its recall of some chest freezers. A capacitor in the freezer’s circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Consumers should stop using the products immediately.

The recall involves the Haier® models HNCM070E with 7.0 cubic foot capacity and ESNCM053E with 5.3 cubic foot capacity, and Black & Decker® model BFE53 with 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers. “Haier” is printed on the upper-left corner of the freezer, or “Black & Decker” is printed on the front upper-right corner of the freezer.

More information: Contact Haier America toll-free at (877) 878-7579 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or online at www.haieramerica.com and click on Product Recalls.


April 2, 2013: Midwest Trading Group recalls remote-controlled helicopters

Midwest Trading said the rechargeable battery inside the helicopters can overheat and ignite the helicopter, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers or nearby items.

The recall involves the Radio Controlled Banshee Helicopter with lights, series 3CH-777. The plastic helicopters were sold in black and red or black and yellow color combinations and measure about 19 inches long and 6 inches high.  The helicopters have a rounded front yellow cockpit with bee decals and a narrow black plastic tail assembly. They were sold with a remote-control unit and a separate charger. "Fly Dragonfly" and SKU #51727 are printed on the product packaging.

More information: Contact Midwest Trading Group toll-free at (866) 815-4714 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time Monday through Friday, or go online to www.mtradinggroup.com and click on the recall page for more information.

<![CDATA[Ford Recalls More Than 1 Million Cars]]>Thu, 29 May 2014 18:55:31 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/drew+ford+car+dealership+.jpg
View Full Story]]>
<![CDATA[Liz Crenshaw Signs Off From News4]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 19:16:31 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/205*120/0520-liz-personal-finance.jpg

News4 Consumer Watch reporter Liz Crenshaw signed off after more than 30 years on air May 21.


Want to bid Liz good-bye? Use #FarewellLiz on Facebook and Twitter.

<![CDATA[Wendy Rieger's Goodbye to Liz Crenshaw]]>Fri, 30 May 2014 15:29:58 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006565724_1200x675_262702147595.jpg

Wendy Rieger's heartfelt goodbye to Consumer Watch reporter Liz Crenshaw, who is retiring after more than 30 years with News4.


Want to bid Liz good-bye? Use #FarewellLiz on Facebook and Twitter.

<![CDATA[Liz Crenshaw Tells All: The Interview by Pat Collins]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 17:50:26 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/190*120/ask-liz.jpg

As Liz Crenshaw prepares to retire...

...Pat Collins only has a few questions.


<![CDATA[Top 14 Pieces of Advice From Liz Crenshaw]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 17:33:51 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/188*120/0516-liz.jpg

As Liz Crenshaw plans to retire May 21, she wants to help you navigate your biggest consumer questions even after she's gone. After 33 years with News4, Liz shares her top 14 pieces of consumer advice.

1. Forget trying to get a good deal on a mattress. You can't be sure what's the best price -- because the makers purposefully name their mattresses differently from store to store so you can't comparison shop.

2. Don't call your homeowners insurance company unless you have a large claim that you cannot afford. Every call and inquiry can be used against you, and you can be dropped without ever filing a big claim.

3. Never use your debit card for these things: gasoline, restaurant food or hotel rooms, because of the hold placed on your checking account.

4. Always check your credit report for errors. Check each of the three major credit bureaus once a year.

5. Clean out your dryer vent.

6. Leave the door open on front loading washers when not in use. It helps prevent mold.

7. Don't waste moneyon duct-cleaning services.

8. Keep children away from window screens.

9. Check your phone bill and credit card statement for mystery charges. It's called cramming.

10. Don't buy used children's products like cribs or car seats. They may have been recalled or may not comply with the latest safety standards.

11. Don't microwave food in plastic containers that aren't designed for heat.

12. Don't give anyone personal financial information over the phone unless you placed the call.

13. Don't panic about germs.Liz has swabbed everything from the handrails on Metro to bathrooms at the airport. The dirtiest thing with most dangerous germs: kitchen sponges.

14. Most important piece of advice: Speak up when you think you are being ripped off.



Want to bid Liz good-bye? Use #FarewellLiz on Facebook and Twitter.

<![CDATA[Liz Looks Back: Personal Finance]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 19:12:22 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/205*120/0520-liz-personal-finance.jpg

After more than three decades helping you save money on everything from mattresses to paper towels to gift cards, News4's Liz Crenshaw is retiring.

Wednesday, she looked back on all the personal finance stories she has covered.


Want to bid Liz good-bye? Use #FarewellLiz on Facebook and Twitter.

<![CDATA[Liz Looks Back: Nutrition Labels]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 17:35:11 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/187591470.jpg

Liz Crenshaw is looking back at how consumers' lives have changed.

Tuesday, she took a look at food labels and the fight to get good nutrition information.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/fStop]]>
<![CDATA[Liz Looks Back: Child Safety]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 11:26:52 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20140519+Liz+Looks+Back.jpg

News4 Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw is retiring, and she's looking back on her career.

For the first "Liz Looks Back," she looked at child safety and all the changes that came over her more than 30 years at NBC4.

Need more of Liz's tips before she heads out the door? Click here for her Top 14 pieces of consumer advice.

And share your memories of Liz on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #FarewellLiz -- we're collecting your stories!

<![CDATA[10 Ways Liz Crenshaw Made Your Life Better]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 17:33:15 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/195*120/liz_transfats_thumbnail1.jpg

Do something for more than 30 years, and you'll see a whole lot of change.

After covering the consumer beat for many years, Liz Crenshaw is retiring -- but first, she takes a look back at changing and improving standards, especially in child safety, nutrition and personal finance.

Read on to see Liz's Top 10 ways that life has improved since she's been on the consumer beat.

Child safety seats:

  • THEN: When Liz started reporting on the dangers kids faced while riding in cars, almost every child safety seat was buckled incorrectly. That's because seat belts and safety seats weren't designed to work together. One family even had to use pool noodles under their child's carseat to get it to rest evenly on in the back seat.
  • NOW: After report after report, the federal government issued new standards requiring a compatible latching system for child seats in cars.


  • THEN: Liz warned parents about the dangers of unsafe cribs were still being offered at hotels and thrift stores.
  • NOW: All hotels must provide cribs that meet federal standards and it's illegal to sell/resell cribs that don't comply with standards

Liquid laundry packets:

  • THEN: Children were eating them because they look like candy and were sold in containers that looked like cookie jars.
  • NOW: The government is working with the industry to make containers more secure.

Food labels:

  • THEN: 20 years ago, food labels were a free-for-all of claims, and the only way you could try to figure out what was in the box was to read an ingredient list in tiny print. There were no regulated listings of fat, calories, sodium, or grams of sugar, and no policing of claims.
  • NOW: Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, and by 1994, all packaged food was required to have nutrition food labels. In 2012, labels also became required on meat and poultry.


Payday lenders:

  • THEN: Liz got an insider to share how payday lenders in the District trapped borrowers with massive interest rates and fees, hooking unsuspecting consumers into a cycle of debt.
  • NOW: After her stories aired, storefront payday lenders were outlawed in D.C.

In-app purchases:

  • THEN: Liz warned parents that in-app purchases in childrens' games on phones and tablets were anything but child's play -- they were losing money when their children made purchases without their permission.
  • NOW: A federal investigation prompted Apple to refund customers $32 million.


  • THEN: Liz reported on the dangers of transfats, which contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol, and which weren't initially included on nutrition labels. Experts say you should eat no more than two grams of transfats per day.
  • NOW: Laws passed to have transfats on label in 2006; today, there has been a 75-percent drop in transfats in all foods.

Chain restaurant calories:

  • THEN: Liz looked into calories at chain restaurants, since none were printed on menus. She also reported on the high fat and sodium content in much fast food, focusing on serving size and hidden calories.
  • NOW: Those high numbers surprised legislators. Now chain restaurants are required to post nutritional information.


Gift cards:

  • THEN: Liz reported that fees could eat up the value of your gift card in less than a year.
  • NOW: Gift cards must maintain their full value for a minimum of five years.


Credit reports:

  • THEN: When Liz first reported the high incidence of errors on credit reports, the only recourse was to pay to look at your credit reports to check for mistakes.
  • NOW: Every consumer is entitled to a free report each year from each of the three credit bureaus.


Want to bid Liz good-bye? Use #FarewellLiz on Facebook and Twitter.

<![CDATA[What We've Learned From Liz]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 17:50:25 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/195*120/liz_transfats_thumbnail1.jpg

As Liz Crenshaw retires after 33 years at News4, some of her colleagues share what they've learned from her, and offer their best wishes.


<![CDATA[The Last "Ask Liz"]]>Mon, 19 May 2014 16:09:58 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/188*120/0516-liz.jpg

On the last "Ask Liz" segments before her retirement, News4 Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw reveals which questions she has been asked most often and explains what her favorite part of her job has been.

<![CDATA[GM Recalls More Than 2.4M Cars in U.S.]]>Tue, 20 May 2014 13:31:50 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP5025849384102.jpgGeneral Motors has issued four separate, new recalls covering more than 2.4 million vehicles in the U.S., NBC News reported.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Wipes in the Pipes]]>Mon, 12 May 2014 17:59:31 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/generic+wipes+cleaning+disposable+jcjgphotography+shutterstock_68280004.jpg

A billion dollar convenience product is costing millions of dollars in problems.

There is a wipe for just about every cleaning problem in your home, but as Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw found, the popularity of wipes is a growing problem for the sewer system.

Photo Credit: jcjgphotography/shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Ask About "Ask Liz"]]>Mon, 12 May 2014 10:55:31 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/liz-crenshaw-640.jpg

This Friday marks the last Ask Liz segment at NBC4, as Liz Crenshaw prepares for retirement next week.

This is your chance to ask about Ask Liz -- ask your questions about the segment or about Liz's career.

Submit your questions by commenting below. You can also email AskLiz@nbcwashington.com, tweet twitter.com/lizcrenshaw or post on Liz's Facebook page by searching: Liz Crenshaw's Consumer Watch.

We'll try to answer as many questions as we can come Friday.

<![CDATA[Ask Liz: Avoid Ticket Scams and Day-Old Coffee]]>Fri, 09 May 2014 19:10:43 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006429091_1200x675_251641923975.jpgConsumer reporter Liz Crenshaw answers questions about how long is safe to leave coffee out, identifying ticket scams, how Mother's Day started and more.]]><![CDATA[Air Travel Changes]]>Mon, 05 May 2014 18:12:37 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*160/331cbc6a0b3f11e3982122000a1f8c327.jpg

It’s another summer of high fares and packed planes for air travelers. But there are five things you can do to save time and money at the airport- before you book that summer vacation.

1. Sign up for fare alerts from your favorite airlines. Follow the airline that you might fly on Twitter and see if there’s a sale for the route that you’re going to be on.

2. While you're booking, use up those frequent flier miles. Airlines like Delta and United are moving from a distanced-based to a price-based model, meaning miles will soon be calculated on how much you spend, not how far you go.

3. Prepare ahead for extra fees. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine says you're going to be nickled-and-dimed for everything from checking a bag to buying food on the flight to getting a better seat. Save some cash by by bringing a snack and pack a carry-on instead of checking. If you want a good seat, check into your flight exactly one day, to the minute, before takeoff.

4. If you plan to travel abroad, consider applying for Global Entry: a government program similar to Precheck. Both let you go through the TSA screening line faster, but Global Entry lets you go through the customs line faster as well. It costs $100 for five years, but some airlines and credit card companies will pay for it for you. Examples: American Express Platinum and United Airlines Global Services, Premier 1K and Premier Platinum members.

5. Look for more airlines and flight options at Reagan National Airport. The American/U.S. Airways merger will mean more open slots for other airlines. Look for more Southwest, Jet Blue and Virgin America flights at DCA in the coming months, which could mean cheaper fares.

Photo Credit: mashallah_g/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Wearable Tech]]>Tue, 29 Apr 2014 19:23:03 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006303257_1200x675_241214531941.jpg

The latest wearable technology this spring can put you on the fast track to getting fit.

Jim Barry with the Consumer Electronics Association joined NBC4's Liz Crenshaw to explain how it works.

<![CDATA[Debt Collector Rules]]>Mon, 28 Apr 2014 17:23:23 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hundred+cash+generic.jpg

If you're being contacted by a debt collector, federal debt collection rules are in place to protect consumers. The rules are in place whether you owe the money, the debt is not yours or if the collector is running a scam.

Rule #1: no threats. A legitimate collector will not be threatening you with arrest, will not be threatening you to lose your job.

Rule #2: no immediate financial information. If the collector is right away pressing you for sensitive financial information that’s another big red flag.

Rule #3: get it in writing. Ask for a validation notice. The collector must send you a letter within 5 business days of that first call detailing the debt.

Rule #4: check the debt out. Call the original creditor – see if the debt is in fact legitimate. See if that collector has the right to collect it.

Rule #5: write back. If the debt isn't yours, within 30 days, inform the collector in writing. Also, state that he or she must stop contacting you.

For more information and if you think a collector has broken the law, tell the Federal Trade Commission.

<![CDATA[What We've Learned From Liz Crenshaw]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 16:36:00 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/liz-what-weve-learned.jpgAs Liz Crenshaw retires after 33 years at News4, some of her colleagues share what they've learned from her, and offer their best wishes.]]><![CDATA[Liz Crenshaw Tells All: The Interview by Pat Collins]]>Tue, 20 May 2014 20:54:59 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/190*120/ask-liz.jpgIt's the Ultimate "Ask Liz." As Liz Crenshaw prepares to retire, Pat Collins subjects her to the interview we never thought we'd see. Prepare to be amazed. Prepare to be stunned. Prepare to be amused.]]><![CDATA[Baby Monitor Battery Recall]]>Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:55:34 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*160/Summer+Infant+LARGE.jpg

The Consumer Protect Safety Commission announced Wednesday the recall of about 800,000 batteries in a popular video monitor for infants.

The batteries in Summer Infant video monitors can overheat, causing burns. The company has received 22 reports of overheated and ruptured batteries. The monitors were sold nationwide between 2010 and 2012, click here for a full list of models and more information from the CPSC.

<![CDATA[Spruce Up Your Green Space for Almost Nothing]]>Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:07:28 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Lawn+Tractor+Generic.jpg

April 22 is Earth Day, the perfect time to think about sprucing up your green space.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance shared with us inexpensive ways to get trees, mulch, seeds and gardening advice.

First, ask about free mulch from your local government. We checked Prince George's, Montgomery, and Charles counties in Maryland, as well as Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia and D.C. All offer free mulch or compost while supplies last. It's made from recycled leaves, wood trimmings and tree removals.

Looking to plant a tree? You can join the Arbor Day Foundation for $10. It gives you a 33 percent discount on trees when you buy online from the foundation.

Need seeds to plant? The National Gardening Association has a free seed swap that allows people to find seeds they want or share extra seeds with others.

Need gardening tools? Kiplinger says you can get free tools at Freecycle.org. It's a nonprofit network of people offering items, like gardening tools, they no longer want -- for free.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[AOL Email "Spoofed"]]>Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:00:37 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP080109164766.jpg

AOL confirmed to News4 Tuesday its email system was hacked.

AOL says it's working to resolve an issue of "account spoofing".

Spoofing is when a spammer sends out emails using your email address. The message appears to be from you in order to trick people into opening it.

AOL says it's immediately changing its policy to help mail providers reject spoofed AOL emails.

Twitter is filled with users complaining their AOL accounts were hacked.

Below is AOL's complete company statement:

"AOL takes the safety and security of consumers very seriously, and we are actively addressing consumer complaints.We are working to resolve the issue of account spoofing to keep users and their respective accounts running smoothly and securely.Users can find the latest updates on our AOL Help site, and should contact us if they believe their account is being spoofed."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Default After Death: What Can Happen With Private Student Loans]]>Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:41:16 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/generic-money.gif

Tuesday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report that highlights an important complaint about student loans.

Most private student loans require a cosigner.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found a big area of concern is when a cosigner dies or goes bankrupt.

That’s when some lenders demand immediate full repayment.

Students often rely on parents or grandparents to cosign private loans.

The CFPB says borrowers don't realize when something happens to the cosigner the loan goes into default and has to be paid in full.

The CFPB shares ways borrowers can remove cosigners from their loans to avoid a default:

Photo Credit: Stock Image]]>
<![CDATA[Heartbleed Help]]>Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:41:15 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/heartbleed1.jpg

If you're worried about your personal information being exposed by the Heartbleed bug, not all hope is lost.

It’s not a data breach or a computer virus. This time, a flaw in encryption software online put personal information at risk.

“Heartbleed took advantage of a vulnerability in that authentication system, encryption system,” said J.P. Auffret, technology management professor at George Mason University.

The Heartbleed bug is a serious concern when it comes to security online. Five hundred thousand websites are vulnerable. But there are steps you can take to stay safe.

“Awareness and checking out the services you use I think is a very important first step,” Auffret said.

So, how do you know if a website you use has been hit by Heartbleed? There is a way to check. Sites like McAfee Security have set up a free Heartbleed screener. Type in a site, like your bank, to see if it was affected or has been fixed.

And it's not just websites that have been exposed by Heartbleed.

“There’s one version of the Android phone operating system that’s potentially at risk,” Auffret said.

To check your operating system, go to settings on your phone. If you have the 4.1.1 version, that is the version hit by Heartbleed. So don't use that phone to visit websites that have your bank or credit card info.

Another piece of technology at risk from Heartbleed is your home router. Some Cisco and Juniper brand routers may be compromised. Check with your manufacturer to be sure.

As websites start repairing this Heartbleed issue, beware of scams. Phishing emails -- pretending to be from sites like your bank about the Heartbleed bug -- may contain links that could compromise your information. A safer bet is to go directly to websites you use and change your passwords there.

As you're changing those passwords, if you feel like you can’t keep them all straight, tech website c-net recommends a password manager like Last Pass or Robo Form. A password manager won't help protect you from bugs like Heartbleed, but it will make the cleanup a whole lot easier, storing all your usernames and passwords in the same place.

Auffret also warned against using public Wi-Fi when banking or shopping online. He advised checking your credit report periodically to make sure it’s accurate.

Photo Credit: Heartbleed.com]]>
<![CDATA[It's Tax Day And Time Is Running Out]]>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:39:29 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/110786789.jpg

Time to file your taxes is running out.

People who wait until the last minute to file their tax returns likely owe money.

The Internal Revenue Service expects about 12 million people to request extensions.

Penalties for late filing apply only to people who owe money. The penalty for failing to file will cost a taxpayer about five percent of the person’s tax bill for every month late. The maximum penalty is 25 percent of a person’s original tax bill.

If you need more time, you can file an extension. An extension gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file a return, but remember, it's an extension to file, not to pay if you owe money. If you owe money, you must send a check or pay online by April 15, Tax Day.

Learn more on how to file for an extension by clicking here.

If you have a big tax bill, the IRS accepts credit and debit cards, but there is a processing fee charged by the payment processor, not the IRS.

Learn more about paying by credit or debit card by clicking here.

Can't afford to pay all at once? The IRS offers payment plans. The government accepts monthly payments through an installment agreement online for anyone who owes $50,000 or less. Fees for setting up an installment agreement range from $43 to $120.

Learn more about setting up a payment plan by clicking here.

Some good news for taxpayers this year, you’re chances of getting audited are the lowest in years because budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the IRS's ability to police tax returns.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Car Frenzy]]>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:55:39 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/KNTV_Bay_Area_Car_Dealerships_Feel_D_022409_76_mezzn_448x336.jpg

For a complete buying guide from Consumer Reports, click here.

<![CDATA[New Crash Test Video]]>Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:40:42 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/iihscrashtestsuv.jpg

New crash test results out Tuesday show many midsized SUVs are failing to perform.

In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, only two out of nine midsize SUVs rated "good" in small overlap front crash tests. The test simulates what happens when the front corner of an SUV going 40 miles an hour crashes into an object.

The two top performers were the Chevy Equinox and the GMC Terrain. Both earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2014. The Toyota Highlander game in third, rating "acceptable" in the small overlap crash test. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer all performed marginally overall: not good enough to get a top safety rating from the institute. Poor performers were the Kia Sorento, Mazda C-X-9 and in last place, the Honda Pilot.

These new test results from the Insurance Institute have caused Consumer Reports to change its ratings. The magazine has decided to pull its recommendations of the three S-U-Vs that performed poorly in these crash tests.

Click here for the full ratings from IIHS.

Click here for more information about recommendations from Consumer Reports.

<![CDATA[Couponing Apps]]>Sun, 13 Apr 2014 06:57:14 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/Coupons_Generic_640x480.jpg

We heard from dozens of you about the different apps you use to save money when you shop. Here are just the few mentioned in the story.

Coupons.com App: This app was recommended by Consumer Reports. Jennifer DeVore of Falls Church, VA tried the Coupons.com app and got big savings off items like yogurt, pasta sauce and lunch meat. Click here to see other Consumer Reports’ recommended apps.

RetailMeNot App: Maria Peterson in Olney, Maryland uses the Retail Me Not app when she shops at places like Michaels, Kohls, Boston Market, and more. She estimated she’s saved $150 in 4 months while using the app.

Safeway Just For U App: Michael Scott in Alexandria, VA uses Safeway’s Just for U app to save at the grocery store.

All of these apps are free to download, and work for both Apple and Android devices. Some do require a username and password, or to link the app with a loyalty card.

If you use a couponing app that has saved you money, tell us about it in the comments.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[1 Million Baby Car Seats Recalled]]>Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:36:37 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/car_seat_recall_evenflo.jpg
View Full Story]]>
<![CDATA[Ask Liz: Car Insurance, Recalls and Cherry Blossoms]]>Fri, 04 Apr 2014 18:25:39 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006019363_1200x675_216641091850.jpg

News4 consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw took on everything from cameras to cherry blossoms in Friday's Ask Liz segment.

Q: What should you do if your camera or photos are still at the closed Calumet Camera shop?

A: Calumet Camera, formerly Penn Camera, has filed for bankruptcy. If you have a camera in the shop for repair, the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection advises that you file a complaint with its office. At this point, there is no eviction order, so the office cannot enter the store to reclaim customers' goods.

If you have an unused store credit, contact a bankruptcy attorney to see if you can file a claim as a creditor.

Q: Can your car insurance rate go up if you're involved in an accident that's not your fault?

A: Turns out the answer depends on where you live. The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking says that an insurer cannot raise rates because of an accident unless the accident was caused by the insured party.

The Virginia Bureau of Insurance also says insurance companies can only increase your rates if you or a member of your household was at least partially at fault for an accident.

But the Maryland Insurance Administration does allow a tiered rating structure for drivers, including higher rates for drivers who have made claims. So your policy can go up simply if you are involved in an accident.

Q: How did the Cherry Blossom tradition begin here in Washington?

A: The National Park Service says the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin came here in 1912. They were originally given as a gift of friendship to the United States from the people of Japan.

The blossoming trees proved to be a popular sight, and 23 years later that grew into the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

Today, that tradition continues, as more than a million people are expected to make their way down to the Mall to see the nearly 4,000 trees in bloom.

Q: How is it determined that a car recall is needed?

A: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that since 1966, more than 390 million cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles have been recalled to correct safety defects. Most of the time, manufacturers voluntarily initiate these recalls, while others are ordered by NHTSA after an investigation.

Recalls are deemed necessary when a vehicle does not comply with a federal motor safety standard or when there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.

Q: How do you check to see if the car you’re driving has ever been recalled?

There is an easy way to check this, and you should -- CarFax estimates that in 2013 in the D.C. metro area more than 150,000 used cars for sale online had an unfixed safety recall.

Go to SaferCar.gov and click on the tab called "Vehicle Owners" and search safety issues for the make and model of car you're currently driving.

That will show any recalls, investigations and complaints NHTSA has received about that particular vehicle.

<![CDATA[GM Recalls Top 6 Million Since February]]>Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:21:55 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/103360191.jpg

General Motors announced on Monday that it will recall more than 1.3 million vehicles due to issues with power steering. With this announcement, the list of recalled vehicles now tops 6 million since just February of this year. Here is the full list of recalled vehicles, listed by problem contributing to the recall in order of greatest number of vehicles impacted:

More than 2.6 million vehicles were recalled due to an ignition switch problem. This recall is also linked to at least 13 deaths, and was the focal point of the General Motors hearing on Capitol Hill this Tuesday. Here are the vehicles associated with this recall, including model years:

  • Chevrolet Cobalt 2005-2010
  • Pontiac G5 2005-2010
  • Saturn Ion 2003-2007
  • Chevrolet HHR 2006-2011
  • Pontiac Solstice 2006-2010
  • Saturn Sky 2007-2010

About 1.5 million vehicles were recalled due to power steering issues. These vehicles could experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist. Some makes and models were also part of previous General Motors recalls, involving ignition switch problems. Recalled models are:

  • Chevrolet Malibu: 2004-2006 & 2008-2009
  • Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: 2004-2006
  • Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): 2009-2010
  • Chevrolet Cobalt: 2010
  • Saturn Aura: 2008-2009
  • Saturn ION: 2004-2007
  • Pontiac G6: 2005-2006, 2008-2009
  • Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall

 Another roughly 1.2 million vehicles were recalled due to airbag problems:

  • Buick Enclave 2008-2013
  • GMC Acadia 2008-2013
  • Chevrolet Traverse 2009-2013
  • Saturn Outlook 2008-2010

Nearly 500,000 vehicles were also recalled due to a transmission oil cooler line that is not securely "seated in its fitting." These vehicles include:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck 2014
  • GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck 2014
  • Chevrolet Suburban 2015
  • Chevy Tahoe 2015
  • GMC Yukon 2015
  • Yukon XL 2015

About 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from the 2009-2014 model years were recalled to get reworked instrument panel material to meet compliance for unbelted passengers.

63,900 Cadillac XTS full-size sedan from the 2013 and 2014 model years to be repaired to prevent possible brake booster corrosion that may result in overheating.

Click here for more on the General Motors recall from NBCNews.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Get Help With High Heating Bills]]>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 18:39:12 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000005957005_1200x675_212677699641.jpg

This winter's freezing temperatures have many people frantic now that the heating bills are coming in.

Below you will find contact information for energy assistance around the D.C. Metro area.


District of Columbia:


Baltimore Gas and Electric:


Dominion Virginia Power:

Wasington Gas:

<![CDATA[Over-The-Counter Diet Pill Recalled]]>Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:20:27 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20140328+Alli.jpg

GlaxoSmithKline is recalling its weight loss drug Alli after learning some of the bottles have been tampered with.

The real capsule is a turquoise blue color, but consumers have reported finding tablets and capsules of other shapes and colors inside the bottles.

There are also reports the tamper-resistant seals on some bottles are not authentic.

Some bottles are even missing their labels, according to GlaxoSmithKline.

The pharmaceutical company has received about 20 complaints of tampered Alli bottles so far.

There have been no reports of serious illness.

Alli's website reads: "To date, some bottles bearing the following lot numbers and expiration dates on the carton have been reported to us by consumers as containing product other than alli:"

  • Carton Lot 14372, Expiration: 02/28/2016
  • Carton Lot 14395, Expiration: 02/28/2016
  • Carton Lot 14124, Expiration: 09/30/2015
  • Carton Lot 14267, Expiration: 01/31/2016
  • Carton Lot 14442, Expiration: 04/30/2016

Click here to learn more about the recall.

<![CDATA[No Contract Cell]]>Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:55:29 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/CR-smart-phone-050913.jpg

If you have a two-year contract on your cell phone, you're probably dishing out more than a hundred dollars a month for service.

Now, Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, has us looking at no-contract cell phone options in a new way. If you’re considering making the switch, here are some things to consider:

  • PRO TO SWITCHING: No more termination fees. Since you’re not in a contract, there shouldn’t be a fee if you try to get a new phone or move to another service. Also, if you’re stuck in a two-year contract,some carriers like T-Mobile say they’ll pay early termination fees, up to $350 per line.
  • CON TO SWITCHING: You might have to pay full price for a new smartphone. For example, a 16-gig iPhone 5S will set you back $649. Most contract carriers subsidize the cost of new phones. For some consumers, that alone is reason to stick to a contract plan, according to Consumers Union.
  • PRO TO SWITCHING: You could save more money over time. Consumer Reports tracked the cost of 4 different wireless carriers over the course of two years. While the two no-contract carriers, Straight Talk and Cricket, charged hundreds of dollars more up front for the phone, after two years they cost about $1,000 less than contract phone plans from Verizon and AT&T.
  • (POTENTIAL) CON TO SWITCHING: Quality of coverage and service. Some no-contract companies buy space on the same networks as the biggest wireless providers. Yet, some base coverage on the type of phone you have.

BOTTOM LINE: There’s no guarantee you’ll save money unless you sit down and crunch numbers for your individual needs when it comes to a cell phone carrier.

<![CDATA[RECALL: Nearly 3 Million Children's Bed Canopies]]>Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:55:36 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*370/ikea11.jpg

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today the recall of nearly 3 million children's bed canopies from Ikea.  An infant or child can get entangled at the neck in the canopy’s fabric.. posing a strangulation hazard. There have been nine reports of children getting entangled in the bed canopies. The canopies have been sold at Ikea stores nationwide and online since 1996.

Click here to see the names of the affected bed canopies.

<![CDATA[Top Uses for Tax Refunds]]>Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:15:47 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/taxes3.jpg

That April 15 tax deadline is looming, and if you're planning to get a refund, there's a decent chance you'll spend it on a car. According to a new CarMax survey, one in six people expecting a tax refund plan to use the money toward buying a car.

That number goes up for people under the age of 35 (29 percent) and parents (26 percent).

About half of those surveyed say they plan to save the money or pay back debt. About 30 percent of people are not expecting a refund at all this year.

<![CDATA[The Perfect Bacon Bowl: Does It Really Do That?]]>Sat, 22 Mar 2014 08:41:42 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20140317+Perfect+Bacon+Bowl.jpg

Many of us are addicted to bacon -- so addicted that we want to turn it into a dish: A bacon bowl.

The commercials for the Perfect Bacon Bowl say that it is the "easy way to make delicious edible bowls out of bacon" in "just minutes," and that "the unique design allows the bacon to crisp up evenly, while grease collects in the channel so you can pour it out of your diet."

But does the Perfect Bacon Bowl, which is widely advertised on TV, really do that?

Viewers asked News4 Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw to find out.

"I love crisp bacon. I thought it would be really fun to make this bowl that they show on TV," said Cliff Gilbert of Bethesda, Md.

News4 bought the Perfect Bacon Bowl for $23. It came with four bacon bowl molds -- or pans -- and a recipe guide.

Gilbert gave it a try. He followed the directions, using three strips of bacon to construct each of his bacon bowls. After building several, he put the first batch in the oven, and meanwhile cooked two other bacon bowls, one at a time, in the microwave.

In the microwave, he first cooked the bacon bowls for the initially recommended time of two minutes and thirty seconds. The directions indicate you might need to add more time.

"I hope it's ready," Gilbert said as he took the bowls out of the microwave -- and then, he said, "Oh no, that's not crispy enough."

After a total of four minutes in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds, Gilbert was satisfied with the bacon's crispiness. And as the Perfect Bacon Bowl claimed, it collected a lot of grease.

In the meantime, the bowls in the oven cooked for 35 minutes and looked done enough to take out of the oven. But once they were out, Gilbert said, "That is definitely undercooked."

As directed, Cliff put them back in for additional time, for a total of 44 minutes. Even then, Gilbert said, "This bacon bowl is still undercooked."

In the end, after lots of trial and error with timing, one out of five bacon bowls turned out crispy enough for Gilbert. "In the microwave we got one winner and it was excellent," Gilbert said.

But Gilbert called the process "time consuming."

News4 reached out to the makers of the Perfect Bacon Bowl. They said:

"Complete customer satisfaction is our goal. Perfect Bacon Bowl product went under extensive testing, and has gotten high marks from consumers across the U.S.


"Our testing found that the type of bacon used affects cooking time and as demonstrated through that research and noted in the instruction booklet that comes in every package, size and structure of the bacon bowl may vary depending on the type of bacon or cooking method used. Also worth noting are that cook time may vary depending on the specific appliance model used and elevation.
We have millions of satisfied Perfect Bacon Bowl consumers, with more than two million units sold to date."

So the Perfect Bacon Bowl: does it really do that? "We had no perfect bacon bowls," Gilbert said. "There was one pretty close, and I was very happy with that."

For $23, would Gilbert buy them? "No," he said. "If they were ten dollars, yes I'd give it a shot."

<![CDATA[GM Announces New Recalls]]>Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:30:35 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/175*120/97618442.jpg

General Motors announced Monday that it's recalling nearly 1.2 million SUVs for defective side airbags.

The automaker also issued less widespread recalls involving about 364,000 commercial vans and Cadillac sedans for separate problems.

Here is a list of the recalled vehicles:

  • 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, to get reworked instrument panel material to meet compliance for unbelted passengers
  • 2013 and some 2014 Cadillac XTS models, to be repaired to prevent possible brake booster corrosion that may result in overheating
  • Some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclaves and GMC Acadias, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverse SUVs, and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlooks, to repair the wiring harness of seat-mounted side airbags

Monday's recall comes as GM faces multiple investigations over its handling of an ignition switch recall involving more than 1.6 million compact cars.

Click here to learn more about the latest recalls.

Click here to learn more about the ignition switch recall.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ask Liz: GM's Recall and D.C. Mailboxes]]>Sat, 15 Mar 2014 01:56:36 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20140314+Ask+Liz.jpg

If it's Friday, it must be time for Ask Liz! In this weekly feature, News4 Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw answers your questions.

If you'd like to submit a question to Ask Liz, send it to her email address, or Tweet her, or connect with her on Facebook.

Tonight's Ask Liz questions:

What's going on with mailboxes being taken out of certain intersections in D.C.?

The U.S. Postal Service says that they have noticed a sharp drop in mail being collected at about 15 public mailboxes in D.C., and they have put signs on those boxes indicating that they will be removed.

The USPS says the locations have other boxes nearby that people can use.

What do you do if you have made a mistake on your tax refund?

Math errors are likely to be caught in the processing of your return, the IRS says. But if you have not claimed all the tax credits you are eligible for, or if you have not acknowledged all your income, you should file a corrected return using form 1040X. All corrections must be made within three years of filing your initial return.

What is the defect that led GM to recall some cars after reports of deadly accidents?

The defect has to do with the ignition switch. The switch could turn from on to off or the accessory position while driving. This can make the car stall, turns off the power steering and makes the air bags inoperable.

The recall includes 1.5 million cars:

  • 2005-2007 Chevy Cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2006-2007: Chevrolet HHR & Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007: Saturn Sky

What should I do to get my recall-affected car fixed?

Wait until you get your recall notice -- that means your dealership has the parts it needs to get your car fixed. While you are waiting, take all other keys, fobs and key chains off your key ring; GM suspects that overloaded or heavy key rings may be more susceptible to the ignition problem.

GM does allow consumers affected to get a loaner car from their dealer, but ask for it. Dealers won't offer a loaner unless the consumer asks.

GM is also offering affected drivers a $500 discount on the purchase or lease of a new GM car.

<![CDATA['Most Overlooked' Cars List Released]]>Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:16:57 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/11am-liz-crenshaw.jpgMike Quincy from Consumer Reports shared five cars that are often under-hyped, but great buys for their money.]]><![CDATA[Keep Up With 2013 Tax Changes]]>Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:40:24 -0500https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000005712875_1200x675_190390339657.jpg

Changes are part of life, and with changes come new taxes.

The government shutdown, same-sex marriages, a home office -- each will change how much you owe the goverment.