Parents of young children were horrified to learn on Monday that a popular, upscale stroller manufacturer was voluntarily recalling at least one million of its products after 12 children lost fingers to uncovered hinges. The England-based Maclaren company, whose pricey buggy/umbrella strollers are a favorite of American parents, says it will provide customers with free hinge covers to remedy the problem. Until these arrive, use of the several stroller models should be (surprise!) immediately discontinued. Parent-bloggers railed at the company for failing to notice and correct the problem sooner.
- The Unemployed Mom: "My question to Maclaren is this, did it really take 12 children losing body parts before your company decided to recall the products? Unbelievable! The first time you learn that a child’s finger is amputated as a result of your stroller hinges, you need to put out a notice to let parents know!"
- Scott, Daddy Types: "You have to be damn near psychopathic to let this happen a dozen times before you decide to address it. As for this 'voluntary' recall business- what really happened in all likelihood is that the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission] called and said, 'Hey, we're going to recall your strollers unless you do it first.'"
- Denise & Alan Fields, Baby Bargains Book Blog: "This is the first we have heard of finger amputations. But clearly, Maclaren has known about this for some time. While they failed to take the simple step of covering the hinges to prevent this problem is puzzling. "
- Shea Serrano, Houston About.com: "I don't know, call me crazy, but whenever I fork over a nice little bit of money for a stroller, I'd just as soon as not have one of my kids get their fingers amputated by some faulty non-covered hinge. That's just me being overprotective, I suppose."
- L.A. Mama, Raising California: "People mistakenly believe that if something costs more, it is better and safer. WRONG! Maclaren has proven to us that is a fallacy and has recalled one million strollers sold Babies R Us and Targetat since 1999."
- Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, True/Slant: "Say what?…So it sounds like you can contact the company (via the link) to send you a kit that provides hinge covers to protect your baby’s fingers from “amputation and laceration.” It’s not clear if you can simply ask for your money back — a Twin Triumph, after all, costs $265 — or if you’ll have to unload your purchase at your next yard sale."
- Hamilton Nolan, Gawker: "The easiest way to determine whether your Maclaren is one of the affected models is to count your child's remaining fingers."