More than six hundred Van Go! Heering Aids have been recalled after the CDC issued a reluctant warning that the popular devices pose significant safety risks to consumers and “anyone within 500 feet” of consumers.
In issuing the warning, unique in that it could easily apply to any product or venue in Down County, Tim Bowman, the CDC’s top-grossing beaker salesman in 2016, insisted the agency had little choice but to warn consumers since twenty-two accidents are now attributed to the devices.
“This was not a decision we wanted to make,” said Bowman. “If there had been less than say twenty accidents? We might have been able to let it slide and still be out on the Down County Nine. As it is, we had to recall the products.”
The accidents, which continue to mount, stem from a flaw in the product’s conception. Van Go! devices, unlike real hearing aids, play pre-recorded sounds and conversations which are chosen by the user to match their real-life situation. In a hospital setting, a user might choose “ER” to hear pre-recorded sounds of an emergency room. In traffic, a user might choose “Traffic” to hear sounds of pre-recorded traffic.
That’s precisely what Mrs. Menolioni did when she was run down by a Faust delivery truck at 6th and Pickaxe on the evening of September 12, 2018 according to a lawsuit filed by Ashe, Holder and Reemer. “She switched her Van Go! to “Traffic, heard a recording made God-knows when, and walked right in front of a truck” according to documents filed with the Down County Superior Court.
Maria Robato had a similar fate when she accidently switched her Van Go! to “Shooting Range.” Fearing a mass shooter, she leapt for safety into an open elevator shaft. The elevator was three floors down.
A spokesman for Van Go! dismissed detractors and took on the CDC directly in a vitriolic pre-recorded statement issued with their weekly podcast:
“Van Go! Heering Aids come with over 500 patented soundscapes which we’re adding to daily. To infer that Van Go! is in any way responsible for users who choose inappropriate soundscapes is reckless and irresponsible, and will be vigorously fought in court. For a large segment of the population, Van Go! Heering Aids are the only hearing (ish) product they can afford. With this recall, the CDC has unilaterally cast these hapless souls into a life without sound!”
There are those who agree with Van Go! Harriet Grossman, the notorious harlet who works from her trailer in Graphite Cornerz, says she couldn’t get through a day without her Van Go!
“Thanks to Van Go! I can tolerate the most grotesque clients. I just set it to “Brad Pitt” or “Kevin Costner” and close my eyes. I love it!”
Ms. Grossman however is clearly in the minority.
Arguments on both sides are set to be heard in Down County Superior Court on September 10th. Hopefully Judge Larkspur doesn’t have her Van Go! set to “Scopes Monkey Trial.”