Category Archives: Safety

Airbag recall

See if your car is covered by any recall by putting in your vehicle identification number (VIN) at

Generally see

Takata hires NY lawyer to handle air bag scandal.

Reuters (11/18) reports Takata Corp has retained prominent New York defense lawyer Andrew Levander of Dechert LLP to oversee legal issues including the criminal probe on its defective airbags, the source of over 17 million car recalls since 2008. Last week a Federal grand jury subpoenaed Takata’s US Unit to produce documents on the defects, this while multiple class-action law suits, a probe by the US auto safety regulator, and a Senate hearing await Takata and its executives. Another partner at Dechert, David Bernick, will also represent Takata.

Defective Takata airbag grows into global problem for manufacturer. The New York Times (11/19, Gough, Soble, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports that “What began as a largely American problem for Takata is taking on ever-wider proportions, confronting drivers and regulators in multiple countries with differing legal systems and attitudes toward automobile safety.” Last week, the first fatality of a non-US driver was linked to the Japanese airbag manufacturer’s defects thus confirming that faulty inflaters, made at North American plants, ended up in overseas vehicles. “The problem is that nobody knows how far it’s going to go — how many millions more vehicles,” said Koji Endo, an expert on the Japanese automobile industry at Advanced Research Japan. Adding to the company’s troubles, Federal regulators in the US on Tuesday urged automakers to recall cars nationwide that contain driver’s-side airbags made by Takata. Takata executives are scheduled to testify on Thursday at a Senate hearing on auto safety.

Airbag safety check

The NTHSA published the article below on the airbag safety recall and the NHTSA also has a link to a website where one can input one’s VIN to see if a vehicle is effected by any recall, including the airbag one  -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Media-only contact: Karen Aldana, 202-366-9550,
(Note: Corrects vehicle list provided with advisories of Oct. 20-21)

Vehicle owners can call our Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. Over seven million vehicles are involved in these recalls, which have occurred as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as Monday. The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

“Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.

Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed. Owners that have been contacted by their manufacturer should contact their dealer’s service department and make arrangements for the repair. In addition, consumers can sign up for NHTSA recall alerts, which go out before recall letters are mailed by the manufacturers to the affected owners.

7.8 Million Affected U.S. Vehicles, by Manufacturer, Impacted by CY 2013 and 2014 Recalls Involving Takata Airbags

Note: The list below corrects the list that accompanied our October 20 advisory, which incorrectly included certain vehicles. The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from, or will receive one by U.S. mail and are advised to carefully follow the enclosed instructions.

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
2008 – Dodge Ram 5500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota
2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – Ranger
2005 – 2006 GT
2005 – 2007 Mustang

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
2005 – Saab 9-2X

Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
2005 – Acura RL

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2007 Mazda6
2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8
2004 – 2005 MPV
2004 – B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – 2005 Lancer
2006 – 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Baja
2003 – 2005 Legacy
2003 – 2005 Outback
2004 – 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2005 Lexus SC
2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

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TTOR to town – bear it

The letter below from the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) President and CEO tells Medfield residents that we have to just put up with more mosquitoes because TTOR has decided to not allow spraying on its properties.

Norfolk County Mosquito Control (NCMC) is telling the town that without the larvicide spraying early in the summer, that there will be no effective way to control the large numbers of mosquitoes that we can expect to get later in the summer if there is a flood and the many eggs hatch into mosquitoes.  NCMC also tells the town that teh larvicide they use is some sort of thing that acts only on the mosquito larva, and is bonded to corn I believe it is, so that there is really no risk.

Norfolk County Mosquito Control tried to have its scientists speak to the TTOR scientists, but that does not seem to have resolved things so as to allow spraying on TTOR lands.

Dear Medfield residents,


For those of you who frequent our local properties, Rocky Woods, Noon Hill, Rocky Narrows or others in the Charles River Valley area, you may know us and may even be a member.  For those of you not familiar with us, The Trustees of Reservations is the world’s first regional land trust and one of Massachusetts largest conservation organizations with over 113 properties spread across more than 26,000 acres statewide. Our mission is to “hold in trust” (preserve and protect) “reservations” (properties) of scenic, cultural and natural significance for public use and enjoyment.


Recently, we have received several requests from Medfield town officials to allow preventive mosquito control on The Trustees of Reservations’ Medfield properties. We have considered these requests seriously since the health and safety of our visitors is of utmost importance to us, as are the fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats located on our many reservations. We acknowledge that mosquitos are a nuisance and that there may be health risks associated with them in certain areas of the state, including Medfield.


In our recent conversations with selectmen, public health officials, and county mosquito control agencies we discussed our decision to opt-out of the town’s chemically-based control measures.  This decision is guided by our own science-based mosquito control policy as well as the guidelines of the Mass Department of Public Health and the Norfolk County Mosquito Control District.  We understand that chemically-based measures may become important in the case of a public health emergency declared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and our policy supports this action should it be necessary.


In summary, we are concerned about the potential health risks associated with the mosquito population and will continue to be in dialogue with public health officials and review available data that might inform our policy going forward. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evaluate next steps.


In the meantime, we hope you have a healthy, safe and active summer and remember to use necessary precautions and protective measures when enjoying our properties and being outdoors in general.  Outdoor places contribute to the overall quality of life in our communities and we remain committed to caring for our special places so that they are safe and enjoyable for everyone. For more information on upcoming area events, programs and fun family activities please visit:

Thank you,


Barbara Erickson

Trustees of Reservations President and CEO

Assisted Living Not Always Safe

To see this in a browser click here.

Taking Care of Mom and Dad

Advertising for assisted living paints a glorious picture for seniors: “Enjoy your golden years in bright, polished, independent communities while licensed medical professionals monitor your every need.”

Reality can be a different story. As the baby boomer generation ages, assisted living has become a big business – and for too many residents and their families, a big problem. Uneven regulation has created a dangerous situation where some facilities are not properly equipped or staffed to care for an increasingly ill population. Before you check in your loved one, you should know how to find quality assisted living.

Start Your Search Here. >>>

There are 750,000 Americans living in assisted-living facilities. And as baby boomers age, that number is expected to grow.

Source: A Starter Guide for Assisted Living, Next Avenue

Per Month
The average cost for a private, one-bedroom apartment in an assisted-living residence averaged $3,450 per month in 2013 – nearly 5 percent more than in 2012.

Source: 2013 Cost of Care Survey, Genworth

Years Old
The minimum age for assisted-living caregivers in some states is just 16. Facility administrators aren’t required to have a high school diploma in 14 states.

Source: Elderly, At Risk and Haphazardly Protected, ProPublica


Resources for Residents, Families, Caregivers

Search for quality assisted living in your community with links and resources from the Administration for Community Living.

ProPublica and PBS Frontline Fight for Rights of Seniors

ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” have teamed up to investigate and highlight the loose regulations and increased risks to seniors in assisted living.

Service Rates Assisted-Living Facilities in All 50 States

Personalized help finding the right assisted-living facility is available through Compare costs, learn about ratings and read reviews of different facilities in your state.

Safer bike helmets

Bicycling magazine recently ran an article discussing new cycling helmets and standards that provide better protection against concussions and TBI.  Here is a link to an on-line version:

Tips for Pool, Bike, Playground Safety

Injuries Spike During Summer

Summertime fun shouldn’t be derailed by a trip to the hospital. But unfortunately, more than 3 million kids in America under 14 will be rushed to the emergency room with serious injuries this summer, and 2,000 will die. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that the children in your life enjoy their favorite summertime activities safely:

Secure the Pool

1) Install a four-sided fence: Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children between one and four years of age, and many of those tragedies occur when children wander away from parental supervision. Install a four-sided fence around your pool instead of a three-sided fence with the house forming the fourth side. Also note that pool covers are often hard to see through and can conceal a drowning child.

2) Stock rescue equipment: Keep a shepherd’s crook — a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preservers by the pool at all times. An important note: Water floaties are NOT a suitable alternative to life jackets or life preservers. Instead, use life jackets and exercise arm’s-length parental supervision. In addition, designate a “water watcher” during any pool event at home. Download a water watcher card and other teaching resources from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

3) Encourage swimming lessons: Studies have shown that swimming lessons for children one to four years of age drastically reduces the risk of drowning — by up to 88 percent.

Click here for more tips on water safety at home.

Follow the Two-Wheeled Rules of the Road

1) Properly fit helmets: Wearing a helmet is a no-brainer, but many children don’t properly adjust theirs. See this guide from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration on how to properly fit and adjust a bike helmet for kids.

2) Adjust bike seats: There are obvious dangers involved in riding a bike, like traffic or potholes, but crashes often happen because of a poorly maintained bike. Adjust a child’s bike seat so it’s two to four inches above the top bar. This guarantees that the child’s legs never fully straighten out and lock in the down-pedal motion. Also check the tires and brakes before sending a child out on a ride.

3) Brush up on traffic laws: In most states, bikes are expected to follow the same basic traffic laws as automobiles. Educate your kids on the basics of bike traffic laws.

Click here for more tips on bike safety for kids.

Limit the Risk of Monkey Bar Mayhem

1) Use age-appropriate equipment: Some equipment is only meant for older kids, but most playgrounds don’t differentiate between separate play areas for tots and tweens. Supervise children to make sure they are using equipment appropriate to their age group.

2) Look for soft ground: It can be hazardous when soft playground turf deteriorates and isn’t replaced promptly. A fresh layer of wood chips, rubber, sand or other shock-absorbing material can dramatically decrease the risk of injury due to a fall from the equipment.

3) Find a certified playground inspector: The National Recreation and Park Association has launched a major initiative to train local citizens on playground equipment inspection and standards. To find a trained certified playground safety inspector in your area, search the CPSI registry.

Click here for a complete summer safety checklist for playgrounds.

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Keyless car hack

Hackers learn how to get into your keyless entry car….

Besides the criminal implications, the civil law will have to adapt to this new problem, as  there is no sign of forced entry, so can the insurance company deny a theft claim by saying you failed to lock your car ?

And, leaving your garage door opener in the car will make getting into your house even easier.