Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "Consumer safety" ...

  • Exploding Gas Cans

    Our report alerted consumers to a danger that sits in almost every garage and sparked action at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Red plastic gas cans, the kind used to do things like fill up lawn equipment, are exploding while people use them and some experts say the explosions could be prevented if manufacturers would include a device called a flame arrestor in their product design. Our series warned viewers about what could happen, exposed lawsuits where companies were sued for making faulty products, and asked manufacturers why they haven’t included this life saving product modification.

    Tags: gas; explosions; manufacturers

    By Clark Fouraker; Marybeth Jacoby; Steven Dial; Neel Dhere

    WLTX

    2013

  • The Prescribers

    We found that Medicare’s massive prescription drug program, in its drive to get drugs into patients' hands, failed to properly monitor safety. An analysis of four years of Medicare prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribed large quantities of drugs that were potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive. One Florida doctor gave hundreds of dementia patients antipsychotic medications despite a black box warning that it increases the risk of death. And more than half the top prescribers of Oxycontin, the most-abused painkiller, faced criminal charges or discipline against their professional licenses, or had been terminated from state Medicaid programs -- but retained their ability to prescribe in Medicare. Federal officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns. A subsequent story found that many of the top prescribers of highly advertised drugs within Medicare’s drug program had financial ties to the makers of the drugs. We also built an interactive news application that lets consumers to look up their physicians and see how their prescribing patterns compare to those of their peers. The news application, which has had more than 800,000 page views, allows users to personalize the story for themselves and see their personal stake in this national story.

    Tags: drugs; prescriptions; medicare

    By Tracy Weber; Charles Ornstein; Jennifer LaFleur; Jeff Larson; Lena Groeger

    ProPublica

    2013

  • Dishwasher Fires

    Whirlpool and Kitchenaid dishwashers are spontaneously catching fire across the country. There have been dozens of reports in the state of Connecticut alone. Despite numerous reports of flames and smoke, Whirlpool has refused to issue a recall. The company had also refused to replace any of these dishwashers. Hundreds of “victims” have taken to the internet to report their problems on kitchenaidfire.com. A class action lawsuit is also underway against the dishwasher maker. The problem appears to stem from the electronic keypad overheating and shorting out. A few months after our story aired, our 3 “victims” were contacted by Whirlpool and offered compensation to buy a new dishwasher. The class action lawsuit however is still pending and the consumer product safety commission is also investigating.

    Tags: Fire; Recall; lawsuit; Whirpool

    By Sabina Kuriakose

    NBC (Connecticut)

    2012

  • A Dangerous Shortcut

    The story details how medical device companies have benefited, and many consumers have been injured, because of a 25-year-old loophole, repeatedly expanded by Congress despite sharp criticism from health safety advocates, that allowed medical devices never tested on humans to be put directly into use. The reporters show that dozens of different devices approved through this loophole have malfunctioned over the years, injuring tens of thousands of patients. Doctors, health advocates and the General Accounting Office have called for changes to the law. But, in part because of heavy donations to members of a key House committee, the loophole remains – and some members of Congress are trying to expand it.

    Tags: medical device; Congress

    By Tony Saavedra

    Orange County Register (Santa Ana

    2012

  • Shattered Bakeware

    Consumer Reports conducted a year-long fight to win three Freedom of Information requests and uncover product safety information about a common kitchen item, glass bakeware, which had been reported to shatter violently in consumers' kitchens. As a result of the story, we unearthed information, which companies fought fiercely to keep secret, that showed there was real cause for concern. We also did real-life testing in our labs. And now the CPSC is investigating.

    Tags: kitchens; CPSC; bakeware

    By Andrea Rock; Bob Tiernan; Dylan Chang

    Consumer Reports

    2011

  • Deception of the Desperate

    The WSMV investigation "exposed how a Nashville-based company was deceiving people all across the country who were desperate for insurance. Many of these customers had serious illnesses, like AIDS and cancer, and could not get full coverage insurance. They found the company was telling consumers they were getting full coverage insurance, when in fact they were buying basic discount cards that barely paid any of their expenses. "

    Tags: insurance; fraud; consumer safety; medical insurance; health insurance

    By Jeremy Finley

    WSMV-TV (Nashville, Tenn.)

    2010

  • Food and Supplement Safety

    "Consumer Reports used its extensive testing and investigative resources to shine the light of foods, drugs and supplements consumed by tens of millions of Americans that account for significant safety risks, yet which consumers and government officials knew little about."

    Tags: consumer safety; supplements; poultry; drugs; salmonella; campylobacter; FDA; Food and Drug Administration; protien drinks; Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database

    By Doug Podolsky; Leslie Ware; Andrea Rock; Nancy Metcalf; Robert Tiernan

    Consumer Reports

    2010

  • "Crib Recall"

    A child is supposed to be safe in his or her own crib; however, cribs with drop down sides proved to be dangerous, even life-threatening to children. In 2009, CBS correspondent Susan Koeppen revealed the nation's largest crib recall ever recorded. It involved two million cribs. In the past two years, the "government has recalled nearly 5 million cribs."

    Tags: Consumer Product Safety Commission; Stork Craft; drop down side crib

    By Susan Koeppen; Audrey Gruber; Elizabeth Bohnel; Laura Berger; Lindsey Pritzlaff; Zev Shalev

    CBS News West 57th Street

    2009

  • Company's Choice Made Cars Less Safe

    General Motors removed the side airbags, at request of fleet customers, from the standard package Impalas to save money for these fleet customers. In doing so, they risked the safety of thousands of people. Enterprise Rent-A-Car was one of these fleet customers, who bought “65,000 vehicles” knowing that the airbags had been removed. Enterprise not only rented these out, but also sold them online using false advertising. After this was revealed, Enterprise and many car dealerships issued apologies and bought back these vehicles above book value.

    Tags: automobiles; cars; Chevy; used cars; safety feature; consumers; transportation; restraint system; build sheet; auto safety

    By Rick Montgomery; Dan Margolies

    Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

    2009

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Investigation

    Currently, there are “three million Jeep Grand Cherokees on the road today”. Furthermore, they have been involved in “hundreds of fatal fire accidents in the past 11 years”. The investigation revealed a flaw in the vehicle; the fuel tank is located in the rear of the vehicle. This flaw is the main cause of these fatal deaths. After these accidents had occurred, the automaker has relocated the gas tank in a more secure location and since then zero accidents have occurred.

    Tags: Chrysler; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; SUVs; consumers; automobiles; crash; damage; defect; auto safety; transportation

    By Steve Daniels; Silvia Gambardella; Paul Furr; Tres Bruce

    WTVD-TV (Durham, N.C.)

    2009