Ditch This Massager, If It Shows Up Under The Christmas Tree | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Ditch This Massager, If It Shows Up Under The Christmas Tree

The ShoulderFlex massager looks harmless enough. But don't be fooled.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use the product because it could kill or injure them. There were reports of one person being strangled by the device and another near-death by strangulation, the FDA says.

Clothing, hair and jewelry can get tangled up in the device's rotating parts. And that's a recipe for trouble.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because King International, the device's importer, recalled the massager in August.

But there's a new problem. Since the recall was announced, the FDA says it has learned that King International has gone out of business. The agency alleges the company failed to follow through on the massager recall and that a toll-free number set up to help with the recall has been disconnected.

"Because of this failure, the FDA is concerned that consumers may not be aware of the risks posed by the ShoulderFlex massager and may still be using this dangerous product," the agency said in a statement.

I called the King telephone number listed in the August recall notice to find out more, and, sure enough, that line was no longer in service.

Since 2003, nearly 12,000 of the massagers have been distributed in the U.S., the FDA says. If you receive one this Christmas or got one in years past, get rid of it.

The agency recommends disposing of the device's power supply and massage finger separately, so nobody can put the thing back together again.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Publishing Insider Turns The Page On A Bygone World In 'Muse'

Poet and publisher Jonathan Galassi knows just about everyone in his industry, and a lot of them turn up in his debut novel, Muse. Lynn Neary talks to Galassi about the writing (and publishing) life.
NPR

Slavery, Famine And The Politics of Pie: What Civil War Recipes Reveal

From recipes for apple pie without apples to advice on how to treat servants, the era's cookbooks hint at the turbulence outside the kitchen window. Indeed, food helped decide the war's outcome.
NPR

Questions Remain About Airbag Recall After Takata Testifies Before House

Auto parts supplier Takata has agreed to modify the way it makes airbags. Takata and government safety officials were on Capitol Hill Tuesday to answer questions about the massive recall effort. Some 34 million vehicles need to have new airbags installed.
NPR

Was Recent IRS Data Breach Preventable?

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was called before a Senate panel to answer questions about a data breach revealed last month involving the accounts of 104,000 taxpayers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.