• Large Stroller Recall Highlights Limitations of Safety Recalls
  • March 10, 2015 | Author: Stephen J. Burg
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. - Englewood Office
  • The U.S. Consumer Products and Safety Commission announced a recall for 11 models of Graco and Century strollers because they pose a risk to small children's fingers.

    Following reports of six finger amputations, four partial fingertip amputations and one finger laceration, the CPSC issued a recall for about 4.7 million strollers in the U.S. The affected products are:
    • TravelMate Model Strollers
    • Travel Systems
    • Lite Rider
    • Sterling
    • Sierra
    • Aspen
    • Breeze
    • Capri
    • Cirrus
    • Glider
    • Kite
    All affected models are single-occupancy strollers that use a sliding fold-lock hinge and a one-hand fold release handle. They were all manufactured between August 2000 and September 2014.

    The cause of the injuries is the folding hinges on the sides of the strollers, which can pinch the children's fingers.

    The strollers were sold across the U.S. at Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, other retail stores and online.

    Will the recall work?
    The issue with many product recalls is that consumers remain unaware of the issue and continue to use a defective product or purchase it secondhand. The manufacturer may fix the problem or stop production on defective products, but items like strollers often get passed between family members and friends and sold at secondhand goods stores.

    According to an ABC News "20/20" investigation, most recalled products are never returned to the manufacturer or fixed. The problem of lack of consumer knowledge may be compounded by the fact that manufacturers are not required to make a certain amount of effort to ensure their recall reaches customers or works. The only solid requirement is that manufacturers not sell a recalled product, which is not enough to remove it from the marketplace.

    Head of CPSC Elliot Kaye estimated that in general, only 20 percent of recalled products are accounted for, but in some situations it is as low as 5 percent.

    "We need to solve this problem and we need as much energy and as much participation from all different aspects we can," Kaye told ABC News.