Today's Consumer: News you can use

By United Press International  |  Jan. 28, 2002 at 4:45 AM
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General Motors is recalling model year 2000 and 2001 Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Jimmy, and Oldsmobile Bravada sport utility vehicles because a defective steering column switch may prevent the brake lights and emergency flashers from working.

The recall involves about 546,000 SUVs built between September 1999 and August 2001. There have been two reported accidents that may have been related to this condition. No injuries were reported.

"The stop lamps in these vehicles may not illuminate when the brakes are engaged and the hazard lamps may not flash when the flasher button is pressed," said Michael Ableson, chief engineer of the S/T Blazer, Jimmy, and Bravada. "An open circuit in a switch located in the steering column renders stop lamps and hazard lamps inoperative."

Ableson said the rear lights, the center high-mounted stop lamps (CHMSL), and the turn signals operate properly.

Right now, GM is testing the replacement parts. When this is concluded, these parts will be produced and shipped to the dealers. Concurrently, GM will mail notification letters to owners indicating that Chevrolet, GMC, and Oldsmobile dealers will inspect the vehicles that are part of this recall and, if necessary, repair them at no cost to the customers.

This recall does not include the all-new 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada sport utility vehicles.


Jimmy Dean Foods Inc. of Newbern, Tenn., has recalled 3,600 pounds of frozen pork sausage products because they contain monosodium glutamate, which is not declared on the ingredient label and may pose the chance of an adverse reaction in some people.

The recalled sausage links were packaged in 12-pound bulk cases with product codes 3139-1, 3209-1, 3289-1 or 1120-2 and establishment code 8080 inside the USDA seal. They were produced on Dec. 13, 20 and 28 and on Jan. 12, and distributed to food service establishments in North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, South Carolina, New York, Georgia and Minnesota.

Jimmy Dean uncovered the problem and reported it to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

For more information, consumers may call 901-758-6662.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has upheld a $100,000 penalty against Shelton Wholesale Inc., of Eagleton, Mo., for importing fireworks that violated CPSC regulations.

Greg Shelton and his fireworks companies, including Shelton Wholesale, unsuccessfully appealed the district court's finding that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction to regulate consumer fireworks, according to CPSC officials. Shelton and his companies also failed to convince the appellate court that the CPSC denied them their due process rights, that the CPSC's evidence had been improperly admitted in court, and that the Shelton companies were entitled to a jury trial.

The appellate court agreed with the district court -- and with the CPSC -- on all of these legal issues.

"We're extremely gratified that the federal courts have endorsed CPSC's fireworks program," said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. "Our statutory authority and the validity of our enforcement methods can no longer be questioned."

The CPSC had charged Shelton with importing fireworks that violated federal regulations because they could malfunction or explode unexpectedly while people are standing nearby, causing injury or death.

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