One of the leading stroller manufacturers, Maclaren, has recalled strollers after its products resulted in the horrific severing of the fingertips of a dozen children.
The recall involves one million strollers.
The children placed their fingers in the hinge while the stroller was being unfolded. What is amazing is the scope of the design defect : it applies to all Maclaren single and double umbrella pushchairs.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it received a total of 15 reports of injuries with 12 resulting in the amputation of fingertips. The models involved include Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, Techno XLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller.
Notably, Maclaren is going to send a repair kit to families. Usually, such severe injuries result in a straight recall — rather than leaving it to parents to repair the product themselves. This could result in some interesting litigation if such “fixes” are improperly installed. The company must be quite sure that anyone can repair the chair if it is going to risk such foreseeable mistakes. At a minimum, the company should arrange for the chairs to be fixed at various stores during certain times.
The company insists “These easy-to-fit hinge covers will insure proper precautions are taken by the operator to avoid injury when opening or closing the umbrella stroller,.”
Here is the recall notice.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/11/09/2009-11-09_kid_stroller_can_cut_off_fingertips.html#ixzz0WSoLIoUj
Either way, Maclaren is looking at inevitable lawsuits. Under the federal rules, such changes in design or fixes are treated as “post-remedial” repairs and are generally barred from being used against the company in litigation. The rule is designed to encourage companies to make safety changes without fearing that the changes would be used as admissions against themselves in court. However, there is an exception to this rule when the alternative design or fix is used to impeach a witness or rebut testimony.
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13 thoughts on “Maclaren Recalls Strollers After Severing of Fingertips of Children”
I wrote on 11/10/09:
One question to consider is whether or not this kind of collapsable design is inherently dangerous. In that case, will other stroller manufacturers follow with their own recalls?
Recall: 1.5 million Graco strollers.
“This recall follows a Nov. ’09 recall of about a million Maclaren strollers due to 12 reported incidents of fingertip amputations.”
Many parents of twins or of babies of similar age use tandem stroller when their little angels are less mobile and don’t yet interact much with each other, then they switch to side-by-side type of stroller when they’re babies became toddlers.
Yes, hinges and moving parts, like those found in scissors and doors can be dangerous when operated carelessly with small children around.
The solution for strollers, of course, is to simply give up the convenience of the compact folding ones and go with ones that do not have that feature. Folding wheelchairs face the same “dangers” as well.
Interesting follow up on this case from the UK.
I can’t imagine the shock of having my child’s finger cut off by his/her stroller! I also can’t imagine Maclaren taking those cases to court instead of settling early. Can you imagine showing pictures of little children with their fingers cut off or the actually children without their fingers sitting in front of a jury? It also doesn’t surprise me that this defectvie product is manufactured in China.
With a million recalled strollers out there and a demonstrated incompetency in crisis management I expect Maclaren USA to file bankruptcy sooner than later. The brand was ruined overnight and the company is non-diversified, so it’s not like they can grow their way out of it.
I believe Maclaren is now privately owned by an individual in Connecticut, Farzad Rastegar. The original UK Maclaren went bankrupt in 2001 and Rastegar shifted production to China in order to create a profitable firm.
One question to consider is whether or not this kind of collapsable design is inherently dangerous. In that case, will other stroller manufacturers follow with their own recalls? How was Maclaren able to do a recall in the USA, but has not done so globally?
I hope they do go bankrupt. We all could do with a few less SUV strollers on the sidewalk and clogging every store entrance.
What about car doors and house doors? I bet many little fingers have been mashed or severed over the years during the operation of these dangerous mechanisms.
Think of hard case suitcases and fridge doors, lot of opportunities out there for tiny fingers to get abused.
So, because the baby stroller is designed for strolling babies, there is a higher level of expectation that careless parents will be protected from accidentally harming their offspring?
Aren’t doors also used as an egress for infants and toddlers as well, presumably under adult supervision?
One wonders that perhaps folding up a baby stroller should also have a responsible adult supervising the activity as well.
I bought this stroller for my son 25 years ago. I am surprised at this because I remember this stroller as by far the best stroller we ever owned.
My wife and I bought one for our granddaughter. Almost two years ago. Naturally, we E Mailed her story and called her,
Expect Maclaren to declare bankruptcy any day now to get out from under the inevitable lawsuits. The engineers (“product designers”) who are responsible for this design should be precluded from working as product designers in the future, anywhere, for any product.
Ouch….Corporate Profits hurt again. What, these little people cannot defend for themselves, bah humbug. Thats ok, Christmas is coming and more profits in store…..
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