5 Dangerous Products With A Killer Instinct

photo by Austin Kirk via Flickr 

As consumers, we all know that sometimes products aren’t exactly what they’re cracked up to be. That can mean disappointment, regret, and sometimes even bodily harm.

Every year, thousands of products are pulled from shelves (some defective and some not) for being hazardous to consumers. Below are five surprisingly dangerous products that made it to market.

1.) Easy Bake Ovens


Nothing is more benign than a cupcake, right? Apparently not if it was made with Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven.

In 2007, Hasbro received 249 reports of children getting their hands or fingers caught in the device, resulting in 77 burns – 16 of which were second or third degree.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), one was so severe that a 5-year-old required a partial finger amputation. In the end, Hasbro recalled around 2 million units with an estimated retail value of about $50 million.

2.) “Three-Wheeler” ATVs


While today’s four wheel ATVs already present consumers ample danger – in 2011 well over 100,000 ATV related injuries were reported – “three wheelers” proved to be even more harrowing.

Before the three wheeled variety of ATV was officially banned by the US Justice Department following a slew of injuries in 1987, the recreational vehicle was the impetus for nearly almost 800 recorded deaths.

3.)  “Jarts” Recreational Law Darts

dangerous products with a killer instinct

For those born after 1980, the term Jarts probably doesn’t mean much. But those growing up in the 70s or 80s might recollect some memories – possibly even painful ones.

These recreational darts were designed as a backyard game wherein a player would toss the metal tipped darts underhand through a hoop in order to score points.

The problem, if you didn’t already imagine, was that throwing sharpened darts is extremely dangerous – especially for children.

Between 1970 and 1988 these toys resulted in three lawn dart related deaths and were subsequently banned for sale by the CSPC in 1988.

4.) Tylenol

dangerous products with a killer instinct

Perhaps one of the most surprising dangerous products (considering the fact that it is sold specifically to cure ailments, not cause them) is Tylenol – or at least, defective Tylenol.

More than once, Tylenol has been the subject of major recalls. This includes one of the biggest US recalls in 1982, which removed 31 million bottles from shelves after seven deaths after bottles were poisoned with cyanide by a murderer.

(Bonus recall: in 2015, Children’s Tylenol was at the center of a $25 million lawsuit for selling metal-tainted drugs.)

Today, the 1982 Tylenol recall – because of actions taken by the manufacturer and regulators –  is regarded as a pivotal step towards proper consumer protection against defective drugs.

5.) Firestone tires

dangerous products with a killer instinct

In the 1990s Ford Motor Company and Firestone were at the center of a massive tire recall (14 million in total) which to this day has only been outdone only by Firestone themselves when they recalled 14.5 million tires in 1978.

In the end, faulty tires which were at risk of spontaneously coming apart at the treads, resulted in at least 200 deaths and at least 700 more serious injuries.

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James Pero