Consumer Protection

At Center for Auto Safety, a New Leader for a New Era

At Center for Auto Safety, a New Leader for a New Era

Since 1970 the tiny Center for Auto Safety has wielded enormous influence through its campaigns to recall vehicles for safety-related defects and to push states to enact consumer protections such as lemon laws. But consumer advocates say the Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit is entering a new and perhaps more challenging environment under the Trump administration. And,…

Unbelted Rider in the Back Could Kill Someone in the Front FairWarining Reports

Unbelted Rider in the Back Could Kill Someone in the Front

Editor's note: See update at bottom of story.

People who don’t buckle up when they ride in the rear seat because they think it’s safer back there are wrong. Instead, they pose a serious danger to themselves and those riding up front, according to a new study and crash test video by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The video of that crash…

Despite Hazards, Push to Open Public Roads to Off-Road Vehicles in High Gear FairWarining Reports

Despite Hazards, Push to Open Public Roads to Off-Road Vehicles in High Gear

More than 14,000 people, including roughly 3,200 children age 15 or younger, have been killed in crashes of all-terrain vehicles since federal safety officials began keeping track in the early 1980s. Studies have shown (here and here) that over half of the deaths occur on public or private roads — even though ATVs are required…

New Lookup to Tell You What's in Your Water FairWarining Reports

New Lookup to Tell You What’s in Your Water

Want to know what hazards might be lurking in your local water supply? An updated online database launched today by the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization, provides some answers. The online resource is known as the EWG’s Tap Water Database. It lists contaminants as well as their levels and likely sources, and…

Feds Reject Insurance Hike for Big-Rigs, Pleasing Independent Truckers, Rankling Safety Advocates FairWarining Reports

Feds Reject Insurance Hike for Big-Rigs, Pleasing Independent Truckers, Rankling Safety Advocates

Graham Brown was headed to his job as a computer technician when a drowsy big-rig driver swerved into his path and struck his car, sending it flying off a rural Illinois road and into a field. Brown was airlifted to a hospital for a six-hour surgery that saved his life. He suffered collapsed lungs, broken…

Scientists Urge Tighter Scrutiny of Germ-Fighting Chemicals FairWarining Reports

Scientists Urge Tighter Scrutiny of Germ-Fighting Chemicals

More than 200 scientists and public health advocates are urging regulators to take a closer look at the potential dangers of antimicrobial chemicals including triclosan, an additive that has been banned from hand soaps but remains an active ingredient in products ranging from building materials to Colgate’s Total toothpaste. The call for better labeling and…

Tax Break for High-Alcohol Wine Sours Health Advocates FairWarining Reports

Tax Break for High-Alcohol Wine Sours Health Advocates

Winemakers could soon receive a tax break that would spur production of higher-alcohol wines, a move that would pad their bottom lines but that has health advocates seeing red. The proposal, which has strong bipartisan support in Congress, would cut taxes by 50 cents per gallon on wines with high alcohol content. Wineries that now take…

Headlight Recall Turns High Beams on GM's Safety Vow FairWarining Reports

Headlight Recall Turns High Beams on GM’s Safety Vow

Three years ago, General Motors chief executive Mary Barra admitted that for years the automaker had concealed an ignition-switch defect, which has now been linked to at least 124 deaths. And she assured federal regulators that there would be a new pro-safety and pro-consumer attitude at the company. But federal safety regulators are now investigating…

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates FairWarining Investigates

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates

After a long downward trend, U.S. traffic deaths are on the rise again, and a key factor is the stubbornly high fatality toll among some of the most exposed people on the road: motorcyclists. Nevertheless, federal regulators have balked at requiring a safety measure that, many experts say, could save hundreds of bikers’ lives every year.

Johnson & Johnson Wins Its First Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case FairWarining Reports

Johnson & Johnson Wins Its First Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Editor's note: See update at bottom of story.

Breaking a string of lopsided courtroom defeats, Johnson & Johnson scored a legal victory Friday when a St. Louis jury rejected the claim of an ovarian cancer victim that her use of talc powders for feminine hygiene caused the disease. The defense verdict in St. Louis Circuit Court followed three plaintiffs’ victories last year with…