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Graco recalls 2 million strollers

by Kelly MacNeil on October 21, 2010

Graco Children’s Products and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued a recall of 2 million baby buggies due to safety concerns over the possible strangulation of infants.

The voluntary recall was announced Wednesday for strollers and travel systems sold between 2000 and 2007 after four deaths and five instances of entrapment were reported. Some of the babies received cuts and bruises and in one case a child suffered from breathing problems.

The deaths occurred between 2003 and 2005 and were a result of what is called “submarining”, where the baby’s neck gets caught in a large opening between the stroller tray and seat bottom, according to BusinessWeek.

The recall involves old versions of the Graco Quattro Tour and MetroLite stroller models and travel systems manufactured prior to a January 2008 industry standard which addressed such dangerous openings.

Some consumer advocates are questioning why it took so long for Federal authorities and Graco to issue the recall.
“This troubles me very much,” Donald Mays, senior director of product safety for Consumer Reports, told WebMD. “It seems to me way too long before Graco recalled these products. It seems that for this company, there are lots of cases where injuries mounted before something was done.”

This is the largest stroller recall in history according to the Boston Globe, and was partially motivated by parents buying and selling secondhand strollers.

Consumer Reports has tested newer versions of Graco’s Quattro and MetroLite strollers and both models passed stricter safety tests, though two other models from the makers, Tike Tech and Valco Baby, did not pass safety tests and were recalled two weeks ago, shortly after the CPSC was notified, reports WebMD.com.

The strollers, manufactured in China, were sold in the U.S. at numerous department stores including Babies R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Kmart, Sears, Target and Walmart.

In 2005 Graco was penalized for failing to report stroller problems to the CPSC. In January 2010 the company recalled 1.5 million strollers after 12 children reportedly lost their fingertips in the buggy’s canopy hinge, according to the Wall Street Journal.

BusinessWeek reported that in March, Graco recalled 1.2 million highchairs after 464 incident reports, including 24 injuries that were a result of the chair’s leg screws loosening.

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