Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Residents Describe How They Try to Remain Alert to Recalls; from Sick Cats to Sick Cars, Problems with Products Can Occur

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Residents Describe How They Try to Remain Alert to Recalls; from Sick Cats to Sick Cars, Problems with Products Can Occur

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

Nancy Watson of Fruit Cove takes recalls seriously.

She said she saw how urgent they can be in 2007, when she bought several cans of cat food that made her cat, Roxie, sick.

The recalled pet food was contaminated with melamine. Reports that it was sickening and killing cats and dogs began to surface nationally that spring, triggering the recall.

Watson said she contacted the manufacturer, who told her to return the cans of food for a refund. But because Roxie, now 12, was sick, she kept some opened cans to prove her cat had eaten it. That helped her get back about $275 in bills after a veterinarian confirmed the cat's illness was associated with the contamination, she said.

Her area grocery store refunded the amount she paid for the tainted food, but Roxie now needs daily medication, she said.

"She still has kidney damage," she said.

Watson said she also purchased peanut butter in 2009 that turned out to be part of a national recall for salmonella contamination. That recall was easier because she didn't have any product-related damage to claim, she said. Today, Watson said she uses the Internet and magazines to research baby products for her grandson, Parker, 22 months, to find out if any are the subject of a recall before they're purchased.

Rick Pariani of Ponte Vedra Beach said following the rules of a recall can save thousands of dollars - especially when it involves a product that uses new technology. In 1972, he paid $3,200 for a new Mazda RX2. But because the engine's design was new, it failed at 36,000 miles. It was subject to a recall and he got a total engine rebuild from the company. But the rebuild was done incorrectly and he got a third engine at no cost. That engine failed at 110,000 miles and he finally got rid of the car.

Still, Pariani said, he's happy with his experience with Mazda and plans to buy another one. …

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