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Latest consumer news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified

consumer

Thermostat communication modules recalled

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Converge communication modules for thermostats due to a risk of fire.

About 6,300 communication modules installed in TXU energy thermostats were imported from Mexico by Converge Inc., of Norcross, Ga., and sold to TXU Energy customers in North Texas.

Converge has received 10 reports of the communication modules inside the thermostats overheating, posing a risk of fire.

The recalled modules were sold inside of programmable thermostats with serial numbers 1015857 and 1022518.

Consumers were advised to contact Converge for a replacement communication module, which the company will install for free.

Consumers can call 866-277-7001 for information.

Consumer credit up slightly in April

Washington -- U.S. consumer borrowing rose by $1 billion in April, climbing 0.5 percent after dropping in the prior two months, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.

Economists had expected a $2 billion decline in credit activity. The Fed, however, revised its March figure from a $2 billion increase to a drop of $5.4 billion.

The Fed said credit rose 0.5 percent on an annual basis with revolving credit -- generally credit cards and lines of credit -- down 12 percent on an annual basis to $838 billion, while non-revolving credit rose 7 percent to $1.6 trillion compared with March.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Maytag recalls 1.7 million dishwashers

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Maytag dishwashers due to a fire hazard.

About 1.7 million dishwashers are involved in the recall, the commission said Thursday.

The company has received 12 reports of dishwashers with heating elements that failed, resulting in fires, one causing extensive damage to a kitchen. No injuries have been reported.

The recall involves Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air, Admiral, Magic Chef, and Performa dishwashers sold as Maytag or Crosley brands from February 2006 through April 2010 for between $250 and $900.

Consumers were advised to disconnect the recalled dishwashers from power sources or switch off the circuit breaker controlling it.

Buckyballs high- powered magnets recalled

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Buckyballs High Powered Magnet Sets due to high risk of injury.

About 175,000 magnet sets were imported from China by Maxfield and Oberton, LLC, of New York and sold nationwide from March 2009 through March 2010.

The firm has received two reports of children swallowing one or more of the magnets, which can cause internal blockages. The magnets are also more powerful than allowed by federal standards for sale as a children's toy, the commission said.

Consumers were advised to take the magnets away from children under 14 years of age and contact Maxfield and Oberton for instructions on how to receive a refund.

Buckyballs high- powered magnets recalled

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Buckyballs High Powered Magnet Sets due to high risk of injury.

About 175,000 magnet sets were imported from China by Maxfield and Oberton, LLC, of New York and sold nationwide from March 2009 through March 2010.

The firm has received two reports of children swallowing one or more of the magnets, which can cause internal blockages. The magnets are also more powerful than allowed by federal standards for sale as a children's toy, the commission said.

Consumers were advised to take the magnets away from children under 14 years of age and contact Maxfield and Oberton for instructions on how to receive a refund.

BRP snowmobiles recalled

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of BRP Ski-Doo Snowmobiles due to a fire hazard.

About 37 BRP Ski-Doo Snowmobiles were imported from Finland by BRP US Inc., of Sturtevant, Wis., and sold nationwide at Ski-Doo dealerships from March 2009 through April 2010 for between $8,000 and $9,000.

The commission said the friction between a fuel hose and an electronic control unit can result in a fuel leak, which creates the risk of a fire.

The recall involves model year 2010 Expedition TUV 1200 and model year 2010 Expedition TUV SE 1200 snowmobiles.

Consumers were advised to stop using the snowmobiles and contact a Ski-Doo dealership to schedule a free repair.

Cost Plus tea glasses recalled

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Cost Plus Moroccan tea glasses due to risk of lead exposure.

About 14,000 Moroccan tea glasses were imported by Cost Plus Inc. of Oakland, Calif., and sold nationwide from June 2009 through November 2009 for about $5.

The glasses contain high levels of lead in the exterior coloring, the commission said.

The glasses were sold in 7-ounce and 11.25-ounce sizes. They have etched designs on the exterior and were sold in a variety of colors.

Consumers were advised to stop using the tea glasses and return them to any Cost Plus/World market for a full refund.

Consumers can call 877-967-5362 for information.

Hoover upright vacuum cleaners recalled

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Hoover upright vacuum cleaners due to shock and fire hazards.

About 108,000 Hoover WindTunnel Series Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaners with Cord Rewind Feature were imported from Mexico by Hoover Inc. of Glenwillow, Ohio, and sold nationwide from August 2009 through May 2010 for between $100 and $160.

The power cords are not properly routed and not securely seated in the rewind assembly, the commission said.

The recall involves vacuum cleaners with model numbers UH70110, UH70120, UH70200, UH70205, and UH70210.

Consumers were advised to stop using the recalled vacuum cleaners and contact Hoover for a free repair.

Consumer Corner: Sweets getting healthier?

Chicago -- Healthier candy may seem like an oxymoron but manufacturers look like they just may be going that route.

Old staples like chocolate, peanut brittle and gummy bears still take up a whole lot of shelf space but if the offerings at the Sweets and Snacks Expo last week in Chicago are any indication, there's real interest in making candy not so bad for you.

It's a matter of ingredients, several exhibitors agreed.

Brookside Foods Ltd. Of Abbotsford, British Columbia, introduced a line of chocolate-covered snacks with pomegranate, acai and blueberry, and goji centers.

Consumer confidence rose in May

New York -- U.S. consumer confidence rose in May for the third consecutive month, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Index, which uses 1985 as a base year with an assigned value of 100, rose from 57.7 to 63.3 after rising 5.6 points in April and 6 points in March.

In April, the monthly survey of 5,000 households found the number of respondents indicating economic conditions were "good" rose from 8.9 percent to 10 percent.

The number of respondents indicating conditions were "bad" fell from 40 percent to 39.3 percent.


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