Consumer News Archive - February 2018

We're committed to providing the latest and best news and information in order to help you become a better, more informed consumer.

Whether it's a safety recall affecting your vehicle, a recall for a product in your home, or a new scam that's making the rounds, we feature it here.

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February 2018

Daylight Saving Time clock

Get Your Kids Ready for Daylight Saving Time by Following These Simple Tips

Most of your digital clocks will automatically change when Daylight Saving Time kicks in on March 11, but your child's internal clock won't make the change so easily—unless you prepare them beforehand.

Consumer Confidence

U.S. Consumer Confidence in February Reaches High Not Seen in More Than 17 Years

Consumer confidence in the Unites States is at its highest level in more than 17 years. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index reached a level of 130.8 in February—up from the 124.3 seen in January.

Stargaze Recliner camping chair

Stargaze Recliner Camping Chairs Sold at REI Pose a Fall Hazard to Consumers

NEMO Equipment is recalling 15,500 Stargaze Recliner camping chairs that were sold exclusively at REI from October 2017 through December 2017. The straps on the chair seats can fail, posing a fall hazard.

2018 Toyota Camry

Toyota Recalling Thousands of Camrys Due to Risk of Fuel Leak, Fire

Around 11,800 model year 2018 Toyota Camry vehicles equipped with V6 engines are being recalled by the automaker. Improperly connected hoses may leak fuel, which could lead to a fire.

Refresh iPhone memory

Slow iPhone? How to Refresh iPhone Memory Without Having to Reboot

Have you noticed your iPhone slowing down at all since its last update? If it's slow to respond, crashing, or freezing on random screens, it may be a problem with the device's memory. Here's how to fix the problem.

Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight dog treats

TruPet Implements Recall for Dog Treats That May Be Contaminated with Salmonella

TruPet says that a limited amount of its 'Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight' dog treats have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. The affected dog treats come in a 2.5 oz. package.

Yamaha golf car

Yamaha Recalls 161,000 Golf Cars and Personal Transportation Vehicles with Brakes That Can Fail

Yamaha has initiated a safety recall affecting about 161,000 golf cars, personal transportation vehicles (PTVs), and utility vehicles. The brake cables on these vehicles can fail, posing a crash hazard.

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

Steering Wheels Could Detach While Driving Recalled Hyundai Santa Fe Vehicles

Hyundai Motor America has announced the recall of approximately 44,000 model year 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport vehicles. The steering wheel assembly on these vehicles may break.

car dealership

Can a Car Dealer Deny a Warranty Claim If Someone Else Works on Your Car? What About If You Have Aftermarket Parts?

Can a dealer void your car's warranty if you have someone else do routine maintenance on the vehicle? What if you use aftermarket parts? What if you have had upgrades done to the car? Yes and no.

senior citizens

Phony Grandchild Scam Continues to Target Senior Citizens Nationwide

Scam artists are continuing to target senior citizens all across the country with modified versions of a familiar scheme. The con artist uses a common technique—playing on the emotions of a potential victim.

Britax B.O.B. jogging stroller

Consumer Product Safety Commission Sues Britax over Hazardous Jogging Strollers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has filed an administrative complaint against Britax Child Safety, Inc. due to a serious product safety concern with the Britax B.O.B. jogging stroller.

Gold Kist Farms Chicken Patties

Contamination Risk Prompts Recall of More Than 100,000 Pounds of Ready-to-Eat Chicken Patties

Pilgrim's Pride has issued a recall for around 101,310 pounds of ready-to-eat Gold Kist Farms Fully Cooked Whole Grain Home-Style Breaded Chicken Patties that may be contaminated with rubber.

2018 Toyota Tundra

Recall from Toyota Affects Nearly 65,000 Tundra and Sequoia Vehicles

Toyota is recalling nearly 65,000 2018 Toyota Tundra and Sequoia vehicles. Electrical interference within the power supply circuit may cause the vehicle's electronic stability control system to be deactivated.

driving a rental car

Avoiding Charges for Damage to Rental Cars That You Didn't Cause

It sometimes happens to the best of us. You pick up a rental car, sign the paperwork and drive off only to notice that there was some damage that you didn't see. Will you be charged for it? Sometimes you might.


A Sign of the Times: The FCC Says Goodbye to Outdated Rules for Payphones

When was the last time you used a payphone? The answer for most people is quite some time ago—if ever. As a result, the FCC has eliminated outdated rules that have governed the payphone industry.

Emerald Glazed Walnuts

Nationwide Recall Announced for Emerald Glazed Walnuts That Pose an Allergy Risk

Emerald Nuts has initiated a nationwide recall for certain 6.5 oz. packages of Glazed Walnuts that may be contaminated with other nuts that are not listed on the label, posing an allergy risk.

Hampton Bay Outdoor Gas Fire Pit Patio Heater

Recall Issued for Hampton Bay Outdoor Gas Fire Pits Sold Exclusively at Home Depot

Approximately 58,000 Hampton Bay Outdoor Gas Table Patio Heaters that were sold exclusively at Home Depot stores nationwide have been recalled. The heaters pose a burn hazard to users.

tax perparation and filing tips

Tax Time Tips: Avoid Common Errors When Preparing Your Tax Returns

The 2018 tax filing season is well underway. The IRS says that it expects to receive more than 155 million individual tax returns by the filing deadline, which falls this year on Tuesday, April 17.

Buying a new car

How to Buy a New Car: Evaluate Your Trade-In Before the Dealer Does

When you are haggling with a dealer on a new car, most people are blind when it comes to the trade in value. That's a mistake. If you don't know the value of your trade, you'll end up losing money.

phone in hands scam warning

SCAM WARNING: The Federal Trade Commission Will NEVER Ask You to Send Money

Imposters are calling, emailing, texting, and even faxing unsuspecting consumers and pretending to be a representative of the FTC—all in an effort to gain your trust and to steal your money!

Whole Foods Cary NC

Allergy Alert: Whole Foods Market Vegan Buffalo Chicken Bites Recalled

Sunneen Health Foods has issued a recall for mislabeled Whole Foods Market Vegan Buffalo Chicken Bites. The affected product contains pecans that are not listed on the ingredient label.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Windshield Wipers on Some Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Vehicles May Stop Working

Mitsubishi says that certain model year 2011-2016 Outlander Sport vehicles are equipped with windshield wipers that may suddenly become inoperative. Approximately 158,650 vehicles are affected.

credit card

SCAM ALERT: Beware of Phony Credit and Debit Card Cancellation Phone Calls

Consumers across North Carolina and beyond are continuing to receive automated telephone calls saying that their credit or debit card has been cancelled or deactivated. Don't fall for it!

KitchenAid electric kettle

Whirlpool Recalls 89,000 KitchenAid Electric Kettles That Present a Burn Hazard

Whirlpool has issued a recall affecting approximately 89,000 KitchenAid electric kettles. The handle on the recalled kettles can loosen and separate, causing the hot contents to spill.

2018 Ford Escape

Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC Vehicles Recalled Due to Issue with Brakes

Ford is recalling certain model year 2018 Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC vehicles that may be equipped with brake hoses that could chafe against other components, possibly resulting in a brake fluid leak.

booking cheap airfare

Low Cost Airline Tickets: Book the Cheapest Airfare for Your Next Flight

If you want low cost airline tickets, you'd better plan ahead. Travelers who book airline tickets at least six weeks in advance typically pay less than those who book closer to the time of their flights.

wrecked car

Do You Know What To Do To Stay Safe If Your Vehicle Breaks Down?

Whether you've been involved in a collision, have a flat tire, are waiting for an overheating engine to cool, or you've simply run out of gas, your personal safety should always be your first priority.

Vermillion Painted OPP Floral Romper

RECALL: Snaps That Can Detach on Children's Rompers Pose a Choking Hazard

Tea Collection is recalling around 3,800 children's rompers sold in sizes 0-3 months and 18-24 months. The snaps near the collar can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

RAM truck front

Chrysler Issues Recall for 180,000 RAM Trucks at Risk of Unintended Rollaway

Chrysler has announced the recall of approximately 180,000 model year 2017-2018 RAM 1500, 2500, 3500, 3500 Cab Chassis, 4500 Cab Chassis, and 5500 Cab Chassis vehicles.

cars keys / rental car insurance

Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Coverage Can Pick Up Where Traditional Insurance Coverage Stops

Credit cards typically offer perks to get you to sign up, like cash back and rewards. But you, like many people, probably don't know that many credit cards also offer free rental car insurance.

Payday advance loans

Consumers Cheated out of Money in Elaborate Payday Loan Scheme to Receive Refunds

Consumers who were victimized by a massive payday loan scheme can soon expect a refund check. The FTC is mailing 72,836 checks totaling more than $2.9 million to those who lost money.

Smokehouse Beefy Munchies Dog Treats

Potential for Salmonella Leads to Recall of All Smokehouse Beefy Munchies Dog Treats

Smokehouse Pet Products is now recalling ALL sizes and package types of Beefy Munchies dog treats that have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. They were sold nationwide.

Rural King electric blanket

Rural King Electric Blankets and Throws Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

Rural King has recalled an estimated 9,600 electric heated blankets and throws that could overheat and catch fire. The affected blankets were sold in cream and brown colors and in two sizes.

Scam Alert

Scam Alert: Don't Pay Anyone to Get Your Refund from Western Union

The FTC is warning those waiting for a refund from the Western Union settlement not to pay anyone claiming to be able to get their refund for them faster in exchange for money. It's a scam.


Raws for Paws Recalls 4,000 Pounds of Turkey Pet Food Because of Possible Salmonella

Approximately 4,000 pounds of Ground Turkey Pet Food is being recalled by Raws for Paws because it has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella, posing a health risk.

ISO Beauty Ionic Pro hair dryer

RECALL ALERT: ISO Beauty and Proliss Brand Ionic Pro Hair Dryers Could Burn User

ISO Beauty has issued a recall for 74,000 Ionic Pro hair dryers sold through Groupon, Target, and Amazon. The cord can become brittle near the dryer's base, posing a burn hazard to the user.

Jaguar recall

Jaguar Recall Affects More Than 10,000 Vehicles That May Leak Fuel

Jaguar has initiated a recall involving more than 10,000 model year 2018 Jaguar XE, XF, E-PACE, F-PACE and F-TYPE vehicles with fuel rail end caps that could leak fuel vapor or liquid fuel.

behind on car loan

Behind on Your Auto Loan: Tips to Get You on the Road to On-Time Payments Again

Are you behind on your loan payments? You're not alone. According to the CFPB, about 6 million people in the U.S. were at least 90 days behind on their auto loan payments near the end of 2016.

West Elm Jensen dining table

West Elm Recalling Rectangular Glass Tables That Could Shatter Without Warning

West Elm is recalling around 5,400 tempered glass Jensen dining tables sold nationwide that can shatter unexpectedly, posing a laceration and injury hazard to the user or bystanders.

Fujitsu notebook computer

Panasonic Battery Packs for Fujitsu Notebook Computers and Workstations Pose Fire and Burn Hazards

Fujitsu has announced a recall affecting approximately 6,400 Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs used in Fujitsu notebook computers and workstations that can overheat and catch fire.

Jeep Wrangler

Close to 40,000 Dodge Caravan and Jeep Wrangler Vehicles Recalled

Chrysler says that approximately 39,460 model year 2017 Dodge Caravan and Jeep Wrangler vehicles have brake switches that could malfunction. These vehicles have been recalled.

flu season

Antibiotics are Not Always the Answer During Cold and Flu Season

Most infections that circulate during cold and flu season are viral, not bacterial. Though sometimes it can be difficult to determine which is which, or the best means of treating your symptoms.

Ford Ranger Takata air bag recall

Immediate Risk to Safety Leads Ford to Expand 'Do Not Drive Warning' for Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series Trucks

Ford and Mazda have expanded their 'do not drive warning' to include additional model year 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks. These vehicles are equipped with defective Takata air bags.

Penne pasta

Weis Markets Issues Recall for Pre-Made Pasta Meal Due to Undeclared Milk Allergen

Weis Markets has issued a recall for its pre-made Penne Pasta with Asiago Sauce and Grilled Chicken single serving meal because it does not list milk on its ingredient label, posing an allergy risk.

Audi front grill logo

More Than 97,000 Audi Q5, A5, and S5 Vehicles Equipped with Air Bag Inflators That Could Explode

More than 97,000 model year 2009-2012 Audi Q5 and 2010-2012 Audi A5 Cabriolet and S5 Cabriolet vehicles have been recalled. Excessive internal pressure may cause the air bag inflator to explode.

busiest airport

How to Make Sure Your Luggage Goes Wherever You Go on Your Next Vacation

If you've ever lost a bag when flying, you know how frustrating it is trying to get it back. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take beforehand to make it less likely that your bag will get lost.

auto emissions

Federal Emissions Warranties Are Often Forgotten or Overlooked

Many consumers pay for or put off needed auto repairs because they don't realize the problem is covered by this warranty. So what is the federal emissions warranty and what exactly does it cover?

Smokehouse Beefy Munchies dog treats

Potential for Salmonella Leads to Recall of Smokehouse Beefy Munchies Dog Treats

Smokehouse Pet is recalling Beefy Munchies dog treats that could be contaminated with salmonella. The dog treats were distributed in Washington, Michigan, North Carolina, and Colorado.

Meijer Greek and Low-Fat yogurt

Meijer Greek and Low-Fat Yogurt Recalled Due to Risk of Contamination with Glass

Meijer branded Greek and Low-fat yogurt is being recalled because it may contain small glass particles. The yogurt sold at Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.

Home sold sign

Selling Your Home: Stand Out With Tips to Sell Quickly and for Top Dollar

Have you finally made the decision to sell your home? Is it ready for the market? You can make your home stand out from the others, sell quickly and sell for the highest dollar with some simple tweaks.

students in library

Student Loan Debt Relief Scheme Charged with Cheating Thousands of Consumers out of Millions of Dollars

A student loan debt relief operation has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with cheating thousands of consumers from across the country out of more than $28 million.

Alstyle infant bodysuits

Choking Hazard Prompts Recall of Nearly 300,000 Infant Bodysuits by Alstyle

A choking risk has prompted the recall of nearly 300,000 Alstyle infant bodysuits. The snaps located at the crotch of the bodysuit can detach and potentially be ingested young children.

Toyota Lexus air bag recall

More Than 48,000 Toyota Prius and Lexus RX and NX Vehicles Have Air Bags That May Not Deploy

Toyota Motor Engineering has announced the recall of more than 48,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles with air bags that may not deploy during a crash, increasing the risk of injury to vehicle occupants.

USPS postage rates

USPS Issues New Postage Rates; Cost of Mailing First Class Letter Increases

The cost of mailing a first-class letter has gone up yet again. The United States Postal Service (USPS) placed the increase into effect on January 21, 2018. See the full list of rate increases.

Western Union refunds

If You Paid a Scammer Via Western Union, You Can Now File a Claim to Get Money Back

Consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union's money transfer system can now file a claim to get their money back. Claims must be submitted by May 31.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop

Damage to the Battery Could Cause Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops to Overheat and Catch Fire

RECALL ALERT: Lenovo says that approximately 83,000 ThinkPad Laptops are at risk of overheating and catching fire due to an unfastened screw that can damage the battery.

Nissan Juke Nismo

Flaw in Brake Cylinder of Nissan Juke Vehicles May Cause Reduced Braking Performance

Certain model year 2015-2017 Nissan Juke Nismo RS vehicles are being recalled because of an issue with the brakes. A problem within the brake master cylinder could cause brake fluid to leak.

IRS Tax Scams

Income Tax Professionals Beware: IRS Warns of Tax Scams Targeting Your Network and Data

The IRS is warning tax return preparers and other tax professionals about scams that seek to steal personal and professional information or that allow cybercriminals to obtain remote control.


RECALL: Almonds Sold at ALDI Stores in 12 States May Contain Undeclared Allergens

Southern Grove Unsalted Almonds sold at ALDI stores in 12 states may contain undeclared soy and wheat. People who have an allergy to wheat or soy run the risk of a serious allergic reaction.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The Sunroof Glass May Detach on Recalled Mitsubishi Lancer and Outlander Vehicles

A new recall from Mitsubishi affects certain Outlander and Lancer vehicles equipped with sunroofs. The sunroof glass may detach from the sunroof assembly while the vehicle is in motion.

Valentine's Day flowers

Protect Your Heart and Your Wallet from Scammers This Valentine's Day

As Valentine's Day approaches, consumers are urged to be cautious while using online dating websites. These sites have become a top vehicle for online scammers to find potential victims.

white pills and bottle

If You Have a Problem with a Food, Drug, or Health Product, Report it to the FDA

The FDA is urging the public to report potential problems with foods, drugs, and other health products to its MedWatch program. Voluntary consumer complaints are often the first line of defense!

Hunter Douglas Luminette privacy sheer blinds

Hunter Douglas Recalls Privacy Sheer Blinds That Pose a Strangulation Hazard to Children

Hunter Douglas has announced an urgent recall affecting privacy sheer blinds sold under various brand names. The cord restraints on the combination wand/cord of the blinds can break.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi Issues Recall for 170,000 Outlander Vehicles at Risk of Rolling Away

Mitsubishi is recalling approximately 170,000 Outlander and Outlander Sport vehicles. Water may enter the rear brake calipers and cause the parking brake actuator shafts to corrode.

Super Bowl party drinks

Planning a Party for Super Bowl Sunday? Remember, Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk

Planning a Super Bowl party for Sunday? As you get ready to host friends and family to watch the big game, don't forget the most important part of the night: a plan to prevent drunk driving.

buying a new car

Low Interest Auto Financing Might Not Be The Best Deal If There Are Other Incentives Available

Buying a car? Don't fall for low interest 'teaser' rates. Most low interest auto loan rates are nothing more than gimmicks to get you into the dealership, where you get hit with high pressure sales tactics.

Sunny CS nursery space heater

Vornado Air Recalls 5,000 Cribside Nursery Space Heaters That Pose Fire and Burn Hazards

Vornado Air says that around 5,000 Sunny cribside nursery space heaters pose fire and burn hazards to consumers. As a result, these space heaters are being recalled by the company.

wet road

Cold, Wet Winter Weather Brings Potholes. Spot One on a State-Maintained Road? Report it!

The recent cold, wet weather we have experienced means that more potholes will be popping up over the coming months. Motorists can help by reporting potholes as soon as they are spotted.

Well at Walgreens pain and itch relief cream

Walgreens Pain and Itch Relief Cream Does Not Meet Child Resistant Closure Requirement

Natureplex has announced the recall of 74,000 tubes of Well at Walgreens pain and itch relief cream. The packaging is not child resistant as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.


Mitsubishi Recall Affects More Than 141,000 Lancer and Outlander Vehicles

The latest recall from Mitsubishi Motors affects more than 141,000 model year 2009-2012 Lancer, 2008-2012 Outlander, 2010-2012 Lancer Sportback, and 2011-2012 Outlander Sport vehicles.