Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Maclaren Stroller Recall: Update

On Monday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of 1 million Maclaren strollers sold in the last decade. The recall includes all single and double umbrella strollers, which pose a risk of fingertip laceration and amputation for children. The CPSC has received 15 incident reports, including 12 instances of child fingertip amputations. The hazard results from children getting their fingers pinched in the hinge while parents open or close the stroller. News of the recall first appeared in the Baby Bargains Blog over the weekend.

Maclaren has responded by offering a free repair kit with hinge covers to all owners of these strollers. However, consumers have reported difficulty in accessing the repair kits. Maclaren's website and phone lines were overloaded on Monday, preventing some consumers from ordering the repair kits. Maclaren has also posted a YouTube video with directions on how to install the hinge covers.

Hinge hazards are common to all folding strollers and the CPSC is looking into the need for further recalls or regulations for stroller hinges. Parents should stop using any Maclaren stroller included in the recall until the hinge covers are installed. As with any recall, CPSC is still interested in reports of injuries or incidents with the product.

Update: On Thursday The New York Post reported that Maclaren knew about the risk of finger amputation in their umbrella strollers at least five years ago and failed to report the hazard to the CPSC. In July 2004 a 23-month-old lost his pinky finger, resulting in a settlement between his family and Maclaren. In 2007, an engineer and former compliance officer with the CPSC testified that Maclaren folding strollers have a design defect in comparison to other strollers for children and that the design violates federal regulations intended to prevent a "scissoring effect." The CPSC is still investigating the case.

Update: Maclaren has responded to many of the concerns about the online form and repair kit process and made it easier to get the needed hinge covers.

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