Shared posts

26 Nov 17:15

How Do You Ship A Turducken?

by Laura Northrup

When 31-year-old Danny Catullo took over the butcher shop started by his grandfather, he had the same thought that many digitally savvy young adults do when taking charge of a family business: how can I take this online and really rake in sales?

Bloomberg Businessweek explains that the company found its niche in selling things that you can’t find in every local supermarket: regional specialties like the turducken. Yes, the turducken, the holiday dish of meat-stuffed meat that everyone jokes about but that you probably haven’t tried. At this butcher, it consists of a deboned chicken and duck stuffed inside a turkey, which has its breastbone removed in order to make space for the other animals.

Once you’ve managed to sell a turducken to someone across the country, how do you get it to them? A 15-pound stuffed turducken sells for about $80, and ships packed in about 8 pounds of dry ice. Sales took off a few years later, after Pepto-Bismol aired a turducken-related commercial.

The butcher shop used a $5,000 prize from a contest held by FedEx to work on shipping solutions for sending meat all over the country, including to Alaska and Hawaii.

26 Nov 16:44

Restaurant Sorry It Offended People With “Roofie Colada” Drink

by Chris Morran

There was no flunitrazepam in the Roofie Colada, but some customers were less than thrilled about the reference to the date rape drug.

There was no flunitrazepam in the Roofie Colada, but some customers were less than thrilled about the reference to the date rape drug.

Here’s a suggestion for anyone running a business: When naming a product, you might want to think about not cracking a date-rape joke, as — amazingly — not everyone is amused by references to non-consensual forced intercourse.

This is a lesson that is begrudgingly being learned by a gastropub in Staten Island, which recently came under fire for a drink called a “Roofie Colada.”

While the cocktail obviously does not include the powerful sedative Rohypnol (or its generic form, flunitrazepam) that has long been associated with predators who use it to spike victims’ drinks for illicit, illegal purposes, not everyone thought the name was amusing and let the restaurant know about it.

And when someone did complain about it on Facebook, the restaurant’s response wasn’t exactly one of empathy or apology. Instead, the eatery told the customer that the name was a reference to a bit from an episode of Family Guy, and then chastised the person for daring to register their complaint in a public forum.

“You could have said something to management or even sent us a private message about how you felt, wrote the restaurant, according to DNAinfo.com, “which we would have respectfully considered and maybe even changed.”

The restaurant eventually did pull the cocktail — some ridiculously sweet concoction involving coffee ice cream, doughnuts, Kahlua, vanilla vodka, caramel, chocolate syrup and whipped cream — and wrote an apology on Facebook.

“We treat our guests with the utmost respect and we are always open to feedback to make our restaurant a welcoming and comfortable place with a touch of humor and quirkiness,” reads the note. “We certainly did not intend to create an impression of reckless or negligent behavior by presenting the desert [sic] at question to our guests nor did we mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable or insulted. This desert [sic] name was simply a homage to an adult cartoon and there was no malice. We obviously do not support date rape or any sort of violence for that matter. We humbly apologize if we have offended anyone and we appreciate the community around us and its awareness toward the cause. Please be advised that the dessert is currently off the menu until it is appropriately renamed.”

The Staten Island eatery is just the latest to think it could crack a joke about sexual assault. Earlier this year, there was the Montreal restaurant with an outdoor sign that read (originally in French) “Pick-up line of the day: does this tissue smell like chloroform?”

In that case, the owners also pointed to Family Guy as their inspiration.

Just a few weeks earlier, a bar in Washington state used Urban Dictionary as its defense of a drink dubbed “Date Grape Kool-Aid,” which not only drew criticism from people who don’t find date rape all that hilarious and from Kraft, the maker of Kool-Aid, which was “appalled” at the drink and its unauthorized association with the family friendly beverage brand.

26 Nov 14:53

Prince William County community calendar, Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2014 - Washington Post


Prince William County community calendar, Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2014
Washington Post
“War and Peace” tintypes An exhibit of portraits by Melissa Cacciola depicting men and women from various backgrounds in the armed forces. Through Monday, National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Triangle. 877-635-1775.

and more »
26 Nov 04:38

Manassas moves power lines underground - Washington Post


Manassas moves power lines underground
Washington Post
Driving a golden spike marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Placing the last beam is a big event in building construction. Last week the city of Manassas, Va., held a celebration along those lines. On Nov. 19, a utility pole was ...

26 Nov 14:02

Humane Society offers reward in Alaska dog hanging

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward for information about the death of a dog in Alaska that was found hanging from a tree with its throat slashed, the organization said Wednesday.
26 Nov 12:20

Passengers in Russia's Arctic give airliner a push

In other countries, you may be asked to give a push to a car stuck in the mud. In Russia, passengers in the Arctic came out of an airliner to the bitter cold to help it move to the runway.
26 Nov 10:19

In Britain, US turkey dinner is big for business

Plump turkeys in butcher shop windows. Harvest displays of pumpkin and corn. Sandwich boards describing groaning feasts.
24 Nov 09:46

Mom charged with trying to kill baby left in drain

A 30-year-old Australian has been charged with trying to kill her newborn son by abandoning him in a roadside drain for five days before passers-by heard his cries, police said Monday.
22 Nov 11:02

Clock ticks down on Iran nuke talks' deadline

Three days ahead of deadline, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is consulting with allies on how to overcome deep obstacles to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.
26 Nov 12:26

Turkey's great escape foils my Thanksgiving plans

Two Sundays before Thanksgiving, my farming partner and I brought a live turkey in a burlap sack to our urban farm on the outskirts of Portland. The lanky brown-feathered bird quietly took her place in our chicken coop.
26 Nov 12:10

Christie tells what goes into his mashed potatoes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has long boasted about his mashed potatoes, which he'll be whipping up Thursday for his family's Thanksgiving feast.
23 Nov 10:40

DA to dismiss ticket in wreck that killed family

A prosecutor says he is dismissing the ticket issued to a Texas teenager who apparently fell asleep at the wheel and caused a wreck that killed five members of his family as they were headed to Disney World.
23 Nov 17:32

Dozens of horses die in stable fire near Chicago

Authorities say as many as 32 horses died in a fire that destroyed a stable near Chicago.
22 Nov 12:26

Bighorn sheep escapes from LA Zoo, struck by car

A bighorn sheep escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday and was struck by a hit-and-run driver before it could be corralled, police said.
21 Nov 15:40

Texas OKs most new history textbooks amid outcry

Texas' school board approved new history textbooks Friday for use across the nation's second-largest state, but only after defeating six and seeing a top publisher withdraw a seventh -- capping months of outcry over lessons some academics say exaggerate the influence of Moses in American democracy and negatively portray Muslims.
25 Nov 18:40

Yes, People Will Strip To Their Underwear And Wait Outside In The Cold For Free Stuff

by Chris Morran

(photo: @RenSip)

(photo: @RenSip)

What would you do for the promise of a couple pieces of free clothing? Just think of all the college freshmen who signed away their financial futures by applying for credit cards at orientation (before such marketing was outlawed). A line of 100 or so shoppers in San Francisco may not have to worry about ruining their credit score, but photos of them shivering in their skivvies will probably follow them forever.

SFGate.com reports on a pre-Black Friday promotion run earlier today at the San Francisco store of Barcelona-based retailer Desigual, which offered free shirts and tops to the first 100 people who lined up sporting only their undies.

People began showing up around 9 a.m. this morning, when the temperature was around 50 degrees.

“They don’t allow jackets, but they allow accessories,” said one lingerie-clad woman. “So I brought a hot-water bottle.”

25 Nov 16:31

Check Out Consumer Reports’ Interactive Gift Guide

by Chris Morran

Still don’t know what to get the people on your shopping list? Or maybe you haven’t decided what you should ask your loved ones to get you to demonstrate that they don’t hate you. Our colleagues at Consumer Reports have put together a fully interactive guide to this year’s most sought-after electronics, cars, exercise equipment, and more.

It’s pretty easy to use, just play the video above, and then click on the glowing tabs and boxes you want to check out. Follow the CR testers from lab to lab and get info on everything from TV and headphones to grills and generators to blenders and treadmills.

Neither Consumer Reports nor Consumerist accepts any outside advertising and all products tested by CR are purchased at retail instead of using test samples provided by the manufacturers.

25 Nov 16:21

Fairfax County Animal Watch - Washington Post


Fairfax County Animal Watch
Washington Post
No incidents were reported by the Animal Control Division of the Fairfax County Police Department. For information, call 703-246-2253. FAIRFAX CITY. The following incidents were reported by the animal control section of the Fairfax City Police Department.

and more »
24 Nov 22:04

7-Year-Old Girl Questions ‘Fun Gifts For Boys’ Sign At Tesco

by Laura Northrup

tesco_giftsTesco is a supermarket/superstore based in the United Kingdom. They sell just about everything, including toys. However, one member of the toy-buying public was not thrilled with their holiday marketing. A 7-year-old girl noticed a “Fun gifts for boys” sign on a photo of an alarm clock featuring Marvel superheroes. Wait a minute: she likes superheroes. Why is that only a gift for boys?

They came across this sign at a store in Dorset, England. The girl, Maggie, spotted it first. Her mother recounts to Buzzfeed News that she said something along the lines of, “Well that’s wrong! Anybody can like superheroes, they’re being stupid aren’t they?” The girl’s mother took a photo of her making a grouchy face next to the sign, and posted it to Twitter.

My superhero loving 7yo daughter not impressed when she spotted this sign in @Tesco today @LetToysBeToys pic.twitter.com/8F3bsRv6PK

— Karen Cole (@karlou) November 22, 2014

We all know what happens next: global outrage, then an apology from Tesco, the disappearance of the signs, and continuing global outrage as the original photo gets re-tweeted, but not the update. You know, the normal way that the Internet Outrage Machine works.

Meanwhile, Tesco responded, saying that they would take down the sign, telling Buzzfeed that it would be taken down in all stores.

@karlou I'll have this escalated to our Store Manager, and have this sign pulled immediately. Thanks, Nisha 2/2

— Tesco (@Tesco) November 23, 2014

They could just revise it to say “Fun gifts for humans,” because I don’t know anyone of any age who doesn’t like superheroes.

This Little Girl Just Schooled Tesco Over A Sexist Sign Because “Anybody Can Like Superheroes” [Buzzfeed]

RELATED:
Mash Up Gender-Targeted Toy Advertisements For Your Amusement
Customers Revolt, Make U.K. Pharmacy Chain Stop Sorting Toys By Gender
Eighth Grader To Hasbro: Your Purple Easy-Bake Oven Is Too Girly For My Little Brother

24 Nov 21:17

Tourist Fined $25K For Scratching His Initial On Wall Of Roman Colosseum

by Mary Beth Quirk

(athrog)

(athrog)

The thing about the world’s archaeological treasures is that they’re awe-inspiring enough without any kind of extra embellishments. And just in case you are tempted to deface ancient history, perhaps the $24,865 fine one tourist will be paying for carving his initial into the wall of Rome’s Colosseum will change your mind.

A Russian visitor to the ancient amphitheater has been hit with a €20,000 fine for carving the letter “K” into a wall outside the building, reports The Guardian.

His act of vandalism might’ve been chalked up to some anonymous visitor, except for the fact that he was allegedly caught in the act by a guard and subsequently arrested by Roman police.

The director of the Colosseum said the high fine should serve as a lesson for others who might want to do damage to “a magnificent and symbolic monument.”

“You cannot write on a historic wall, it’s absolutely forbidden,” she said.

Of the six million annual visitors to the Colosseum, she says only five have been stopped by cops for vandalism this year.

Tourist fined €20,000 for carving initial on Rome’s Colosseum [The Guardian]

24 Nov 16:33

City Is No Charlie Brown, Kicks Ugly Christmas Tree To The Curb

by Mary Beth Quirk

The opportunity to play the sad Christmas tree music from Charlie Brown in the context of an actual sad, ugly Christmas tree story doesn’t come around too often, but today is that day: The town of Reading, PA is ditching a tree deemed too pathetic and unseemly for the public eye in favor of a newer, more pleasing to the eye specimen.

The scrawny 50-foot spruce soured holiday feelings, reports WFMZ.com with residents complaining that the tree just looks pitiful.

“I know Reading is not doing too great,” one man who works near the tree told the news station. “But facing this tree up here is making it even worse.”

“If I were a squirrel looking for a home for the winter, I wouldn’t even go in that tree,” said another.

To revive the town’s holiday jollity, the city council president is leading a group to raise funds for a two new, prettier trees and the money to decorate them.

Apparently the current tree was a last-minute replacement from a city park — the city was supposed to get a tree from a farm but the owner wouldn’t workers drive on wet ground when it came time to fetch it.

The council president says the group has already raised $1,000 in donations for the new, un-sad trees, and he’ll go shopping for them this weekend.

“So hopefully we’ll be able to have a beautiful Penn Street appropriate tree here by Monday night,” he said.

It’s not all sad music for the ugly tree, however, as WFMZ said it received an email from a local auto dealership, expressing interested in adopting it, in true Charlie Brown fashion.

On that note, take it away, Charlie:

City’s “ugly” Christmas tree causes controversy [WFMZ.com]

24 Nov 02:42

Meth Motel Bust, Manassas Job Openings, and Police Dog Assaulted: Top This ... - Patch.com


Meth Motel Bust, Manassas Job Openings, and Police Dog Assaulted: Top This ...
Patch.com
Top posts at Patch include restaurant inspections, a finish for the underground power line project, and what's closed on Thanksgiving. By Greg Hambrick (Patch Staff) Updated November 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm. Meth Motel Bust, Manassas Job Openings, and ...

and more »
23 Nov 21:40

Prince William County community calendar, Nov. 23-29, 2014 - Washington Post


Prince William County community calendar, Nov. 23-29, 2014
Washington Post
Dale City Farmers Market 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Dale City Commuter Lot, (behind Center Plaza Shopping Center), Dale Boulevard. 703-670-7112, Ext. 227. www.pwcparks.org. Free. Ice skating The outdoor rink is open for the season. Noon-5 p.m. Sundays, 3-8 p.m. ...

and more »
22 Nov 16:01

'Manassas Station' Would Replace old ABC Photo Building - PotomacLocal.com


PotomacLocal.com

'Manassas Station' Would Replace old ABC Photo Building
PotomacLocal.com
A proposal calls for 140 new condos to be built at Manassas Station, a new four-story housing development that would replace the old ABC Photo Processing Center on Prince William Street, originally built in 1953 and modified in 1985. If approved, the ...

23 Nov 11:03

Cabela's expected to open Gainesville store in 2017 - Inside NoVA


Cabela's expected to open Gainesville store in 2017
Inside NoVA
Cabela's Incorporated, an outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, plans to open a store in Gainesville. Cabela's anticipates a spring 2017 opening for the 79,000-square-foot store. It will be built at the intersection of Linton-Hall Road and ...

21 Nov 23:04

Why You Should Rethink Buying Gift Cards This Year

by Laura Northrup

(Patrick Carlson)

Yeah, about that Borders gift card… (Patrick Carlson)

Giving people gift cards has many advantages: you can take a loved one out to dinner from hundreds or thousands of miles away, or you can buy someone new clothes or shoes without guessing at their size. However, gift cards and prepaid debit cards aren’t always the one-size-fits-all gift option that they seem to be, since they can have some serious drawbacks.

Our merry elf colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports put together a list of reasons why you should reconsider giving gift cards this holiday season, and here we’ve combined their advice with some of our own.

People don’t want ‘em. In a poll, only 37% of Americans said that they really want to receive gift cards this year. Me, I like gift cards, but that’s because I feel obligated to spend cash gifts on useful things, and a gift card to Sephora is, by definition, permission to go buy something frivolous. Maybe it depends on the retailer: a card to your favorite local sandwich shop is more personal than a card to, say, Subway or Walmart.

The funds aren’t protected. If a company goes out of business, you’re left with a nice scraper to remove frost from the outside of your car, and that’s about it. Readers holding KB Toys gift cards, for example, failed to notice that the company was going out of business, and lost their money. Your Borders, Circuit City, and Sharper Image cards? Useless. Also, if a store employee fails to activate a card correctly, you could be stuck with the blame, or at least in for an embarrassing gift-giving experience and a fight with Walmart.

They’re limited. Even if a company is still in business, do your research and make sure that a store is actually available where the recipient lives. Drugstores where I live sell AMC gift cards even though there isn’t an AMC movie theater within 150 miles, because gift card selections are standardized.

There are fees. This applies to prepaid debit cards more than store gift cards, but beware of loading fees for prepaid gift cards, and dormancy fees on all types of cards.

No dispute protection. Credit cards and many debit cards offer you extra warranty protection and the right to dispute a charge within two months if something goes wrong with your purchase. Gift cards do not.

Why gift cards shouldn’t top your holiday shopping list [Consumer Reports]

21 Nov 21:42

Kitten Escapes New Mexico Home On Halloween, Shows Up 2,300 Miles Away In Maine

by Mary Beth Quirk

(Portland Press Herald)

(Portland Press Herald)

There is nothing more suited for a Friday afternoon than a heartwarming tale involving a lost kitten finding her way home against all odds, so I will go ahead and accept your thanks in advance. The starring cat of today’s story escaped her home in New Mexico during Halloween trick-or-treating, only to reappear in Maine a few weeks later.

Because cats can’t talk, it’ll likely forever remain a mystery how six-month-old Spice traversed the 2,300 miles between her home and Portland, ME, where she was found in a duffel bag outside a thrift shop, reports the Portland Press Herald.

She’s now safe at a Portland animal refuge after her three-week odyssey, after she was identified by her microchip. A passerby helping a man lift furniture he was dropping off at the thrift store noticed the duffel bag on the street. He brought it inside and set it down, and saw that the bag moved.

When he opened it, Spice popped out, as well as kitty litter and cans of food. He didn’t know what to do so he took her home on Nov. 5. Spice acted up, and her adoptive family brought him to a local shelter, where her microchip revealed her true home.

The shelter says the woman was confused when they called her to let her know Spice had been found in Maine.

“She said, ‘I don’t know anyone in Maine. I haven’t visited Maine,’ ” a shelter rep explained.

Spice is in fine health after whatever ordeals she may have gone through, but it’s unclear when she’ll go home, if at all — her owner wants her, but can’t afford to have her flown across the country. The shelter can’t afford to foot the bill, either, so Spice will stay put for now.

“We’re going to do everything we can to reunite her with her owner,” the shelter rep says.

Furry mystery pops out of duffel bag: A feline from (far) away [Portland Press Herald]

21 Nov 21:39

FCC Proposes Some Consumer Protections As They Inch Closer To Killing Off Copper Landlines

by Kate Cox

Phones are wireless, consumers are cutting back, and copper is expensive: all are reasons why the big phone companies want permission from the FCC to walk away from old-fashioned landline networks and to keep moving toward an internet-based future. The FCC tentatively agrees, and voted 3-2 today to take another baby step in the process that will end up making the nation’s century-old copper landline network obsolete.

Formally, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that sets down the broad strokes of the commission’s requirements for the next steps in what’s known as the IP transition (where voice service moves from copper wires to internet protocol). The key areas the FCC’s proposal addresses are:

  • Protecting consumers’ ability to call 911 from their home phones in a power outage
  • Requiring transparency to consumers about the transition to new tech
  • Making sure new tech actually works before old tech is allowed to be discontinued
  • Preserving competition among services that use and rely on copper networks when those networks are shut down

The commission also clarified that carriers will need to seek approval to discontinue “legacy” service based on “the practical impact of its actions,” rather than based on existing regulatory fine print. The declaratory ruling “ensures that there will be a public process to evaluate a proposed discontinuance,” or, in English, guarantees that companies like Verizon and AT&T can’t just disappear landline phone service overnight all at once because they said so.

The specifics of the proposed rule put forward today address several areas of consumer concern. Verizon in particular has been accused in the past of permitting their copper-wire networks to degrade in order to push consumers into adopting VoIP services whether they want to or not.

The FCC and consumer advocates have also voiced concern about the ability to contact emergency services in a power outage. Copper-wire landline phones still work in most outages, but internet-based phones need to rely on a backup battery with a much shorter lifespan.

Today’s vote was the latest step in a long process that the FCC has been moving through for some time. In January of this year, the commission approve limited regional tests replacing old-fashioned landlines with new tech to see how they went. That process is still underway.

The NPRM adopted today doesn’t change anything yet. First, like every FCC rulemaking, it has a pleading and public comment period to go through. Then the commission gets to work crafting and voting on a final version of the rule.

Commissioner Ajit Pai, one of the two dissenting votes against the NPRM, said that “The commission has no business micromanaging each change a carrier makes to its network,” and argued that concerns about consumer harm are a “Chicken Little” baseless, unproven claim that the sky is falling.

However, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler disagreed, pointing to Verizon’s response to rebuilding — or rather, not rebuilding — damaged service in New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“This is not a hypothetical issue,” said Wheeler. He added, “Technology transitions will be speeded up by technology neutral rules that promote, preserve and protect … the set of values that consumers have rightly come to expect from their networks.”

21 Nov 20:48

New DoD Protections Aim To Keep Shady Businesses From Taking Advantage of Military Members

by Ashlee Kieler

military

Members of the military — particularly younger members from lower-income backgrounds — are too often the target of shady, predatory businesses looking to take advantage of their youth and inexperience with finances. The Military Lending Act offers some protections, but these operators find ways to get around the law. On Friday, the U.S. Dept. of Defense took steps to eliminate some of those exploitations by creating reforms to the current military discretionary allotment system.

According to the Department of Defense, the policy changes [PDF] will prohibit servicemembers from using new allotments to purchase, lease or rent personal property, including vehicles, appliances and consumers electronics, effective January 1, 2015.

Currently, the military discretionary allotment system allows servicemembers to automatically direct a portion of their paycheck to financial institutions or people of their choosing. But often military personnel using the allotment system instead of other automatic payment options end up losing out on certain legal protections.

Existing allotments and those made for the purpose of savings, insurance premiums, mortgage or rent payments, support for dependents, or investments will not be affected. The changes do not apply to military retirees or Department of Defense civilian employees.

The new regulations are intended to eliminate the aspect of the allotment system most prone to abuse by unscrupulous lenders that prey on servicemembers.

Consumerist reported on one such company earlier this year, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action to stop USA Discounters from taking advantage of underpaid soldiers by charging exorbitant fees, suing them when they feel behind on payments and skirting the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which gives active duty servicemembers the right to defend themselves but does not specify where lawsuits must be filed.

The retailer, which has locations near 11 military bases, advertised its always-approved credit offers to members of the military with bad credit or no credit history as a way to entice them to purchase items such as computers and televisions.

Officials with the Department of Defense say the new rules will significantly improve protections for all servicemembers and their families, while not significantly reducing the flexibility to use allotments for a number of legitimate purposes.

The changes were directed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel following an interagency review conducted in response to major enforcement by the CFPB, the Dept. of Defense says in a new release.

Officials with the CFPB called the reforms a “critical new protection” for military personnel.

“In recent years, the allotment system has been used by unscrupulous companies that prey on servicemembers as a quick and secure way to get paid. Many of them have even required payment by allotment,” explains Holly Petraeus, CFPB director for servicemember affairs. “Today’s announcement will help prevent future abuses by addressing the problem at its source.”

Since its creation after the recession, the CFPB has recovered more than $98 million for thousands of consumers through multiple enforcement actions against entities whose businesses were largely premised on receiving payments from servicemembers, often through the military allotment system.

Earlier this week, the CFPB issued a reminder to service veterans of their rights to have some of their student debt forgiven, but warned that if they pursue the option they must be vigilant in checking their credit reports for inaccurate information.

Under federal law, veterans can seek federal student loan forgiveness if they receive a 100-percent disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the CFPB reported.

“We are concerned that, in some circumstances, when veterans are able to discharge their student loans due to their disability, they may experience damage to their credit report if their student loan servicer provides incorrect information to the credit bureaus,” the blog post warned. “These mistakes, if uncorrected, can result in a negative entry on their credit report that makes it harder and more expensive for these disabled veterans to get credit, buy a car or take out a mortgage.”

21 Nov 15:47

Lexus Recalls Nearly 423,000 Sedans Because Fuel Leaks Can Lead To Fires

by Ashlee Kieler

The only time most consumers want to see a car catch on fire is during a high-action movie. So it’s probably for the best that Toyota issued a recall of nearly 423,000 Lexus vehicles for a fuel leak issue that increases the risk of fire.

The Associated Press reports that the latest recall covers 422,509 model year 2006 to 2011 Lexus GS sedans, model year 2007 to 2010 LS sedans and the 2006 to 2011 IS sedan.

Officials with Toyota say the vehicles’ fuel lines, which have nickel phosphate plating to protect against corrosion, may have been built with particles coming into contact with a gasket.

If that’s the case, the sealing property can deteriorate and trigger a fuel leak where the fuel pressure sensor is attached to the fuel delivery pipe. If a spark were to occur a fire could start.

Toyota reports it is unaware of any fires or injuries related to the issue.

The AP reports that Toyota began looking into the matter in June 2010 after getting a report of a gasoline odor coming from an owner’s engine compartment.

During the investigation, the company received six reports from the field and 238 warranty claims about the issue. However they didn’t find the cause until last year.

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified of the issue starting next month, and dealers will repair the issue.

Toyota Recalls Over 420,000 Lexus Cars to Fix Fuel Leaks [The Associated Press]