Recalls in Review: A monthly spotlight on trending regulatory enforcement issues at the CPSC.
If you manufacture or sell strollers—or use a stroller to transport children under your care—headlines regarding CPSC litigation over the Britax BOB jogging stroller are likely fresh in your memory. In today’s installment of “Recalls in Review,” we look back at CPSC regulatory actions involving strollers.
The CPSC very actively regulates and monitors strollers – approximately 80 recalls of strollers have been conducted since 1977, with 64 of those recalls occurring since 2000. As you can see from the below chart, there is no focus on one key hazard or category, but all aspects of stroller safety are on the agency’s radar: wheels, brakes, handle bars, hinges, locking mechanisms, and seats.
The number of stroller recalls rose substantially between 2010 and 2013, leading up to a mandatory federal safety standard for strollers implemented in March 2014 (16 CFR 1227). The new standard attempted to address many of the common reasons for stroller recalls between 2010-2013, including: pinching and laceration of fingers by strollers’ hinge mechanisms, detaching wheels, defective brakes, and restraints that posed a strangulation hazard or could be undone, allowing a child to slip through the gap between the seat and the tray or grab bar.
Three civil penalties have been enforced against stroller manufacturers and retailers, ranging from $100,000 in to $1.3 million. The last civil penalty fine was levied in 2001.
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About Recalls in Review: As with all things, but particularly in retail, it is important to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending with consumers. Regulatory enforcement is no different – it can also be subject to pop culture trends and social media fervor. And this makes sense, as sales increase for a “trending” product, the likelihood of discovering a product defect or common consumer misuse also increases. Regulators focus on popular products when monitoring the marketplace for safety issues.
As product safety lawyers, we follow the products that present “hot” issues or are likely targets for regulatory attention. Through Recalls in Review, we share our observations with you.