Defective Floor Mat Causes Toyota Recall of Millions of Vehicles

Toyota has announced that it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. due to a product defect in which the floor mat can interfere with the accelerator and cause an auto accident. This is the company’s largest recall in its history, according to the Miami Herald. Previously, its largest recall was about 90,000 vehicles in 2005 due to a problem with the steering wheel.

This recall will have an impact on South Florida drivers. With so many Toyota dealerships in the Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, 2,217,662 in Toyota vehicle sales, and with the Prius and Camry being very popular vehicles, Florida drivers are likely to feel the affects of the recall.

The vehicles being recalled are: the 2007-2010 Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and the 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.

Toyota is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to find a solution to this product defect. Toyota expects owners to be notified as early as next week, but advises that, as a safety measure, owners should remove the floor mat from the driver’s side and not replace it. The NHTSA has already reported 102 incidents of owners claiming that the accelerator may have become stuck, although the NHSTA is unsure as to how many incidents involved a crash.

A report of a crash involving a Lexus in San Diego prompted the investigation into the vehicles. In August, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and three others were killed in an auto accident. The NHSTA noted that the all-weather mat found in vehicle was longer than the mat the one belonged in it, which could have caused the mat to get caught under the pedal.
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Worker Severely Injured in Miami Gas Station Explosion

A worker was injured on Tuesday morning from an explosion when he and other workers were cleaning and dismantling gas tanks at a convenience store in Miami, Florida.

The explosion occurred at the Quik Stop Market at 350 NW 79th St. The man was taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. According to the Sun Sentinel, a spokesperson for the Miami Fire Rescue said that the accident severed the man’s leg just below the knee. It was brought to the hospital to be reattached; however, there is no word yet on the man’s condition.


The man and another worker were cleaning and dismantling old tanks which were dug up from underground. While cutting through a tank, a spark flew from the circular saw and ignited the gas fumes. The end of a tank then blew off, severing the man’s leg. Thankfully, neither the other worker nor anyone else was injured.

Officials are continuing to investigate the incident. Crews found many empty beer bottles in the tank and believe that there was gas inside the bottles.

Workers should always follow safety protocols and take precautionary measures when performing tasks that involve high risk elements such as gasoline tanks and flammable objects. At the same time, employers should always ensure that effective training of proper techniques is being done to promote the well-being and safety of their workers.

Broward County Officer Victim of Hit-and-Run Injury

On Sunday, September 28, Officer Elijah Rodgers of Lauderhill, Florida was released from Broward General Medical Center after suffering injuries from a hit-and-run driver, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Officer Rodgers has worked with the Lauderhill Police for four years. He was conducting a routine traffic stop on Thursday around 3:40 in the afternoon at NW 25th Court and 52nd Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, however, took off, striking and injuring Rodgers. Luckily, Rodgers suffered no broken bones and is recovering at home. Rodgers got a look at the driver’s tag number while on the ground, memorized it, and gave the information to other officers. The driver was found and arrested an hour later.

The driver, Charles Anderson, of North Miami, will face charges, including failing to stop or yield at an intersection, aggravated battery on an officer and driving with an invalid license.

A hit-and-run accident in Florida is a serious offense, punishable by very strict explicit laws. Florida’s laws create a duty to drivers involved in an accident to stop at the scene, among other requirements. Violation of these laws may result in criminal charges and civil suit, a jail sentence, and community service. Some of the Florida statutes on hit-and-run accidents can be found on, a website dedicated to victims of hit-and-run deaths and injuries.

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South Florida Parents Concerned Over Tylenol Recall of Defective Products

Tylenol has announced a recall of some of their children’s and infants products due to test results showing possible bacteria in an ingredient used in its products. As WPTV NewsChannel 25 reported, many South Florida parents are concerned about the recent recall due to the defect, including Kameca Richards of West Palm Beach, who uses Tylenol when treating her three-year-old daughter’s illnesses.

According to the Sun Sentinel, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Tylenol, is voluntarily recalling 21 lots of pain, cold and cough medications for children and infants. The affected medications were produced between April and June. Purchasers of the recalled Tylenol products will receive a free coupon for a replacement.

McNiell said that it has not received any complaints so far and that it is considering this a low risk recall. However, while McNiell stated that it believes that none of the affected products were put out on retail, it encouraged concerned parents to contact their health care providers.

If you believe your child may have ingested the affected products, you should consult with your physician immediately. You can also take measures to prevent your children from being affected by these recalled products. For a list of affected products and for more information, go to the website and click on “Children’s Tylenol News.”

Parents Sue for Wrongful Death of Teen While Under General Anesthesia

In March 2008, 18-year old Stephanie Kuleba of Boca Raton, Florida went in for breast augmentation surgery. However, during surgery she suffered and died from malignant hyperthermia, a condition in which a person goes into cardiac arrest from a reaction to certain drugs used for general anesthesia.

On Wednesday, September 23, according to the Palm Beach Post, Joanne and Thomas Kuleba, parents of Stephanie, have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Steven Schuster and other doctors for failure to properly treat their daughter. The Kulebas are seeking damages and calling for a ban on general anesthesia being administered at outpatient centers because they believe that outpatient centers are ill-equipped to deal with emergencies.


The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that there were 1,669,026 plastic procedures performed in 2008, of which 307,230 were procedures for breast augmentation; by far the most popular plastic surgery procedure. Moreover, teenagers 18-19 years old accounted for 8,983 of these procedures, about three percent of total patients. An ASPS story cited a 2004 study showing that less than one fourth percent of office-based surgeries resulted in death. Though this number seems small, the fact that kids are now electing to have plastic surgery at a young age shows that this is a matter of growing concern.

There is no doubt that advances in technology and developments in plastic procedures in recent years have made it safer, less expensive, and in some cases less invasive and with a shorter recovery time. However, as this story shows, even surgeries which by today’s standards are considered “routine” can have severe consequences. Despite the fact that Florida is filled with professional, reputable and distinguished doctors, things can go wrong and there are always risks involved when you go under the knife.

There are many precautions you can take before undergoing surgery. The most important step is to talk to your doctor about risks involved, learn as much as you can about the procedure, and be sure to notify the doctor of any conditions or health risks you have before undergoing any kind of surgery.

Plane Crash in South Florida Everglades Claims Family

Bruce Barber, a money manager based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and his wife and child were identified as passengers aboard a plane which crashed in the Everglades, south of the Palm Beach County line and west of Highway 27, according to WPTV NewsChannel 5. The plane was reportedly returning from Gainesville back to Fort Lauderdale when the accident occurred on Sunday evening.

There is speculation that the plane was heading back from the Florida-Tennessee game, as Barber was a known fan of the Florida Gators. The pilot reported some trouble on the Piper A32 single-engine plane before the crash.

Earlier, WPTV reported that two bodies were found and that there had been no confirmation as to whether Barber was on board. The names of the victims had not been announced, although the plane was registered to Barber. However, according to a WPTV update, a family friend stated that Barber, his wife Karen and son Payton were all on board. Phil Marsh, a friend of the family, was also on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the plane accident to identify the cause, using airboats to conduct their search.

An NTSB table shows that there were 1,559 General Aviation Accidents last year, of which 275 were fatal. This is only a small decrease from the 1,650 accidents in 2007. However, the trend shows an overall steady decline in general aviation accidents since 1989, which reported 2,242 accidents, of which 432 were fatal.

South Florida Auto Accident Kills Man, Injures Three

On Saturday, September 19, three people were injured and a man was killed in an auto accident near Boyton Beach, Florida. The accident occurred at about 11:15 a.m., according to the Palm Beach Post.

According to the Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office, which overseas 14 districts in one of South Florida’s largest counties, the man, whose name was not released, was driving his Hyundai Sonata westbound on Le Chalet Boulevard near Military Trail when his car veered to the left and ran into a palm tree in the median. The crash is still under investigation.

The three other three passengers in the car, two women and one man, were injured and taken to the JFK Medical Center in Lake Worth. So far, no updates have been available as to their condition. The man who died was taken to Delray Medical Center.

South Florida Worker Injured In Sewer Vault

On Friday, September 11, a South Florida water and sewer worker was injured when he fell into a sewer vault. The man, Andre Brown, was backing his truck up on the 1800 block of NE 150th street in Miami when he stepped outside to see if he had enough room. Upon heading out, he stepped onto a sewage vault valve box. The vault was covered with rotted plywood and he fell 10 feet into the vault through, injuring his leg, the Miami Herald reported.

Members of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were brought in to rescue Brown from the sewage vault. The hazardous materials and rescue teams led the rescue, which involved providing oxygen to Brown while monitoring the vault for any dangerous gases. The teams were able to pull Brown to safety after about a half hour. He was then taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami in serious condition.

The Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial, which treats resuscitation, emergency surgical intervention, treats about 5,000 patients a year. In the 2007-2008 year, Jackson Memorial had 49,389 hospital admissions for inpatient services.

Auto Accident with Tanker Causes Florida Turnpike Closure

On Monday, September 14, a gas tanker on the Florida Turnpike crashed with a van near Okeechobee Road, causing the tanker to overturn. The auto accident occurred on the southbound lanes at about 2:30 a.m. The Turnpike was closed for about nine hours.

According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the van was pulled over on the side of the road due to a flat tire, reported. The tanker tried to swerve to avoid the vehicle, but in doing so jackknifed, causing the tanker to overturn.

Both the driver of the van, Emilio Martinez-Rodriguez, and tanker’s driver were taken to the hospital. Due to the accident, Martinez-Rodriguez was launched out of the vehicle and suffered serious injury. The tanker contained 9,000 gallons of gas, so fire rescue sprayed foam on the spill to prevent ignition. The truck was finally moved from the road at about noon, after fire crews emptied the gasoline from the tanker.

According to the Miami Herald, because the valves which are normally used to empty the tanker were damaged, the emptying process was more difficult. Crews had to drill through metal while pouring water on the site to prevent fire or sparks from causing an explosion.

The area had to be inspected by environmental experts to determine the safety of the road. If the gas cannot evaporate quickly and soil needs to be dug up, further delays on the Turnpike will be required.