Opinion – ‘Killer’ Massage Machine Prompts FDA Warning

Opinion – ‘Killer’ Massage Machine Prompts FDA Warning

August 30th, 2011 // 1:06 pm @

Whether you spend your days hunched in front of a computer or over your steering wheel during your daily commute, knots, kinks, and at least minimal achiness are almost unavoidable. And it’s not like we can all drop $50+ on hour-long massages every week. That’s why something like the ShoulderFlex Massager seems uber-appealing to most people. But unfortunately, the “stress-relieving” device that has been on the market since 2003 isn’t the answer. Unless you want to get strangled to death, that is.

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Last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert, blaming the machine for one death and one near-strangulation due to a necklace and a piece of clothing becoming caught in a rotating component of the massager. In other cases, people’s hair has gotten caught in the machine. Uggghhh. CREEPY!

Sure, people misuse gadgets all the time and end up hurting themselves, but in this case, it sounds like the device itself is the problem.

King International, the company that makes the ShoulderFlex and has distributed at least 12,000 units since ’03, said they plan to recall the product. Damn straight that’s what they should do! It should have been done as soon as more than one complaint about “near-strangulation” came in. But no matter, the thing is still available on several websites. Scaaaaary! If those sites know what’s good for ’em, they’ll take it off ASAP!

Geesh, this is just proof that we need government regulation and intervention sometimes — especially when it comes to quality control of untrustworthy products that clearly put consumers in harm’s way. What has happened here with this machine is so disturbing, especially because it seems like something innocent that many of us would just buy on a whim, as a way to chill out on the cheap.

But obviously, the potential cost of this thing is MUCH higher than one would initially think. No one should have to risk their life for a massage. Just sayin’.

Hopefully, the FDA takes additional action against King International, or there’s a class-action lawsuit or some such. Because this freakin’ machine sounds straight-up evil!

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