Samsung’s global recall of 2.5 million Note 7 smartphones and the decision to cease production ranks among the largest product failures in recent memory. The explosion-prone phone joins a long list of fiery, exploding or unstable consumer products that have endangered users.
Samsung is closing out a year of notable product fumbles that ranged from flaming hoverboards to tumbling furniture.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most notorious recalls of the year, and those that preceded them in years past.
BIGGEST AUTOMOTIVE RECALL IN U.S. HISTORY
About 69 million vehicles in the U.S. and about 100 million worldwide have been recalled because of faulty air bag inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp. The driver and passenger-side air bags can inflate with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and sending shards flying at drivers and passengers. The defect has caused at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Investigators are still trying to pinpoint the cause of the problem, but are prioritizing repairs in humid climates, because Takata believes longtime exposure to high humidity can be a factor.
More than 500,000 hoverboards were recalled this year after dozens of the two-wheeled toys overheated, burned riders and set property on fire. There were 99 reports of exploding or fiery battery packs with 18 reported injuries at the time of the recall. Swagway led all 10 hoverboard makers ordered to recall their products with 267,000 pulled from the market.
Also this year, Ikea recalled 29 million chests and dressers that could easily tip over and trap children underneath. Six children were killed and three dozen others injured in incidents dating back to 1989. The recall included a number of Ikea models.
Sony Corp. recalled more than 58,000 battery packs made by Panasonic Corp. this year because they had the potential to catch fire. Fujitsu Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. also recalled Panasonic battery packs installed in their computers.
CUTTING THE CORD
Microsoft recalled about 2.44 million AC power cords because of a potential fire hazard. Users reported 56 incidents of the cords overheating and emitting flames, and five incidents where the cords gave users an electric shock.
FATAL BEAN BAG CHAIRS
In 2015, Ace Bayou Corp. recalled about 2.2 million bean bag chairs because of entrapment and suffocation risks for the young. The chairs featured zippers that could easily be opened by children who could then crawl inside where the could get trapped and choke on the foam beads or suffocate. Two children did.
SCALDING CUP OF JOE
Keurig recalled about 7 million of single-serve coffee brewing machines in 2014 because of reported burns. The Mini Plus Brewing Systems could overheat and spray scorching water during brewing. Keurig received about 200 reports of steaming water escaping from the brewer and 90 reports of burn-related injuries.
HIGH-RISK HIGH CHAIR
Graco recalled more than 1 million high chairs in 2010 because they were prone to tipping. There were at least 24 reports of injuries.
EASY BAKE PROBLEMS
Hasbro recalled a million Easy Bake Ovens in 2007 after reports started rolling in of children being burned.
About 6.5 million Firestone tires were recalled in 2000 because the tires could shred, blow out or fail. Most of the tires were used in Ford SUVs and light pickup trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in 2001 that it received 271 reports of deaths and 800 injuries related to the faulty tires.
In one of the most notorious recalls of the modern era, Johnson & Johnson recalled more than 20 million bottles of Tylenol capsules about 35 years ago after someone laced the painkillers with cyanide and put them on store shelves in the Chicago area. Seven people were killed. Johnson & Johnson repackaged Tylenol with tamper-resistant packaging, setting a new standard in how a company could emerge from a disaster and improve an industry as a whole.
THE FORD PINTO
Ford recalled more than 1.5 million Pintos in 1978 due to the faulty position of fuel tanks. In some cases, the fuel tank burst into flames after a rear-end collisions. At least 27 people died as a result