1. Archive

Finally, grandson can scoot again

On Nov. 25, I bought my grandson a Noucar IV scooter. On Jan. 5, my daughter called and told me the base of the handle had broken. I called the store and was given a phone number in Minneapolis. I left two messages that were never returned. On my third attempt, I reached a man who gave me a number for Sports One Inc. in Kansas. I made a number of calls to that number and eventually reached the man who was supposed to be able to help me. He said I would be sent another handle. When it did not arrive, I called again, but no one returned my calls. It is very hard to work out a problem when no one will talk to you. I hope you can help me. Betty Ratsch

Response: We were glad to get your note letting us know that your grandson received a brand-new scooter. We were glad we could help.

Recent recalls

The following products, distributed nationwide and in Florida, were recalled between March 9 and 15:

Walk-behind, 21-inch, gas-powered lawn mowers sold under the Ariens, Scotts and Husqvarna brand names by Ariens Co.; the piece attaching the blade to the mower can crack and break off, or the blade can be propelled from underneath the mower, possibly injuring the operator or a bystander. Call toll-free 1-877-740-7060 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. weekdays. Web sites: or


Meatless corn dogs sold under the Morningstar Farms, Loma Linda and Natural Touch names by Worthington Foods, a subsidiary of Kellogg Co.; may contain StarLink, which has not been approved for human consumption. Call toll-free 1-877-924-4247. Web site: http://www.morningstarfarms.


Play TV Baseball, virtual reality video games that plug into a television, by Radica USA Ltd.; the bats can separate during a swing, and broken pieces can hit a bystander and cause injury. Return bat for free replacement and postage costs to: Radica USA Ltd., 13628-A Beta Road, Dallas, TX 75244-4510. Call toll-free 1-800-803-9611 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

Water bottles included in the handle bags of girls' Mongoose Heart Breaker bicycles by Pacific Cycle LLC; the drinking valve on the cap can detach, presenting a potential choking hazard. Call toll-free 1-800-626-2811 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

About 400,000 "Rattling, Paddling Riverboat" toddler toys (red plastic boats about 2 to 3 inches in diameter with a captain figure that squeaks when it is pushed down) distributed in January and February in Burger King Kid's Meals by Burger King Corp. and Alcone Marketing Group; metal pins with plastic caps that attach the paddle wheel to the riverboat toy can come out and pose a choking hazard. Call toll-free 1-800-661-9173. Web site:

About 1.4-million bottles of Zep Commercial cleaner sold in 32 oz. bottles by National Service Industries Inc.; some of these bottles can leak through the cap when turned on their side, allowing the cleaner to come into contact with consumers, possibly causing irritation and burns to the skin and eyes. Affected are four types of cleaner sold at Home Depot stores: Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Calcium Lime & Rust Stain Remover, Grout Cleaner & Whitener and Driveway, Concrete & Masonry Cleaner. Call toll-free 1-888-805-4357 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Web site: http://www.

Infant garments by Levi Strauss & Co.; some parts from the metal inseam snaps could separate and pose a potential choking risk. Recalled clothing includes two styles of snap jeans, seven styles of Koveralls and four styles of Shortalls (12- to 24-month Infant Metal Inseam Snap Jeans and 12- to 24-month and 2T to 4T Koveralls and Shortalls with metal inseam snaps). Call toll-free 1-800-872-5384. Web site:

About 2.8-million candles sold in glass containers by Xanadu Candle Co.; the candles can burn with a high flame, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers. Affected candles have labels on the bottom reading "Nature's Preserves" (not all styles), "Home Fragrance Filled" or "Spring Hydrangea." Return candles to any Bath & Body Works or White Barn Candle Co. store for store credit for the price of the candle and a $5 coupon, or for a cash refund. Call toll-free 1-800-395-1001 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays.

Sources: SafetyAlerts at; Consumer Product Safety Commission at, toll-free 1-800-638-2772; Food and Drug Administration at; Associated Press.

If you have a question for Action, or your attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, (727) 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request for Action. Names will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.