Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "consumer product safety" ...

  • ABC News 20/20 Brian Ross Investigates: Recall Roulette

    Our ABC News investigation, “Recall Roulette,” found that most recalled products are not turned in or fixed, remaining in homes or listed for sale. Under current federal law, there is no minimum effort that manufacturers have to make, or money they have to spend, to get the word out about the safety recalls. It is illegal to sell a recalled product, but in a joint investigation with 17 ABC News affiliates across the country, reporters found a wide range of recalled products easily available for resale. And in his first major interview, the new head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission called out Craigslist for not doing enough to thwart recalled products from being posted on the site, calling it “morally irresponsible.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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."
  • A Sudden Explosion

    Millions of red, consumer gas cans are sold each year and stored in homes across America. Most people know that gas can be dangerous, but they don't think of the cans as ticking time bombs. The report looks at several gas can explosion and the children who were severely burned.
  • Nail Gun Safety Under Fire

    There were years of warnings about dangerous nail gun models that went ignored as injuries using the tool soared, especially when using the automatic firing mode.
  • Undetected Danger

    Four brands of carbon monoxide alarms have been recalled since 1999, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Research published in 2002 claimed six of 10 brands performed inconsistently, while only three met the standards set by Underwriters Laboratories, the certification firm that ensures their reliability.
  • Toxic Trinkets

    After national coverage of toy recalls in the United States, KVOA wanted to localize the story. Using an X-ray gun to examine toys, they found some with lead content over 600 parts per million. They then took all the toys back and did lab testing. "By using lab testing, the entire toy's paint is scraped off and dissolved in acid- then an overall reading is obtained." This resulted in some toys having different lead levels. They found that for some toys, certain parts had over the 600 ppm, but overall the toy was under the amount.
  • Hidden Hazards

    This investigation exposed how the Consumer Product Safety Commission fails to protect American children from injury and death. This series examines the dangers of certain kinds of products such as cribs, magnetic toys and jewelry and spinning tops to show what specific dangers they might cause and why they are still on the market. The seriest also examined the production chain of Chinese jewelry that had been recalled, and showed how some products slip through gaps and are still on the market.
  • Burning Laptops

    Dallas' KVTV investigates overheating laptop batteries, eventually leading to a Consumer Product Safety Commission recall of nearly 10 million batteries due to fire hazards. The station received a tip after a consumer's laptop burst into flames, and the subsequent investigation found that lithium ion laptop batteries were susceptible. Experts asserted that the attempt to pack too much power into such a small device was leading to the overheating. Because there had been relatively few fires, this issue was not widely known, nor were the manufacturers taking steps to improve it. The story is ongoing, as technology continues to evolve.