BOB Gear by Britax has answered a recall request by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, with a vehement, “No.” While saying the company respects the CPSC, it adds it “cannot agree to recall a product that is not defective“.
The items in question are jogging strollers made with quick release mechanisms on their front wheels. The ability to quick-release, says the company, allows the strollers to break down more quickly and more compactly than models with fixed front wheels.
Such a stroller, say child safety advocates, are inherently flawed in their design and pose what CPSC characterizes as a “substantial product hazard” to the children who ride in them as well as the adults who walk or run behind them. It has announced that it is suing Britax to force the company to either recall the stroller or offer repairs.
Affected are at least 17 models:
- Ironman Duallie
- Revolution CE
- Revolution Flex
- Revolution Flex Duallie
- Revolution Pro
- Revolution Pro Duallie
- Revolution SE
- Revolution SE Demo
- Revolution SE Duallie
- Revolution SE Duallie Plus
- Revolution SE Plus
- Sport Utility Stroller
- Stroller Strides
- Stroller Strides Duallie
- SUS Duallie
Neither Britax nor CPSC can say exactly how many of the strollers may be in use nowadays. An estimated 493,000 were sold from December 2011 through September 2015. An unknown number were sold from 1997 to 2011.
The issue, says CPSC, is that the way the strollers are designed allows parents and caregivers to use the strollers without securing the front wheel. When used without a secured mechanism, the strollers can lose their front wheels without warning. The stroller’s fork then digs into the ground, stopping the stroller and forcing it onto its side.
The agency says that just in the past 6 years, 200 people have reported just such failures. At least 97 injuries are blamed on those incidents. To date, 50 injuries to children have been documented and another 47 injuries to adults have been noted.
The company, of course, has fought back. In its press release, BOB Gear by Britax accused the agency of wanting to “eliminate” the “functionality” of the removable front wheel and blames the reported accidents and injuries on users who “improperly secured” the mechanism or who used their strollers with the wheel unlocked.
Neither the company nor CPSC have hazarded a guess as to how much money the recall, if it happens, will cost.
BOB Logo provided by BOB Gear by Britax.