Maclaren recall: is there nothing safe?


The blogosphere is alight with the news that Maclaren is about to go public (Tuesday, Nov 10th) with a recall of every single stroller they have made for the last ten years, due to twelve cases of fingertip amputation among children when the strollers were opened.

Let’s stop right there. Fingertip amputation? And they had to get to TWELVE cases before they issued a recall? I’d say two cases was probably enough to establish a pattern. As always, I am outraged at how many kids have to be injured before a company will own up that their product is dangerous. And now you, Maclaren? I have had my $99 Volo since Connor was born seven years ago, and while it has never been my primary stroller, it has been invaluable whenever I had to take my little ones on the subway or bus or on vacation. Only a Maclaren folds like a dream and, slung over your shoulder, weighs 7 pounds, yet is still durable enough to last you through three children. And now this? I’m not ready to break up with you Maclaren, but I am REALLY pissed off.

Here’s what you need to know: starting tomorrow, Maclaren will provide free kits to cover the strollers’ hinge mechanisms. The quickest way to obtain the kits will be to order them through www.maclaren.us/recall or by calling 877-688-2326. Both are currently not functioning but presumably will be tomorrow. Get the hinge covers– and until then, make sure your child is nowhere near your Maclaren when you are opening or closing it.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I have two Maclaren's and love them. I did get through yesterday to the Maclaren hotline and ordered my elbow covers. Overall, parents need to stop trying to open and close their stroller while kids are in it! All folding strollers have the same hinge issues.

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Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Seriously, who are these parents that open/close strollers with their children anywhere near them? Is anyone looking at that? I don't see how this is a Maclaren problem but a stupid parent problem.

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jmichaeli November 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Personally I find it inexcusable Maclaren didn't plan for a huge spike in traffic to its site the minute the news hit. To me this shows the company doesn't really "get" its market or the communication channels they use to share information.

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jmichaeli November 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm

By the way, you can read more about my views on this recall on my own blog post – http://jmichaeli.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/maclaren-crisis-management-gone-wrong/

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Rachel November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I feel awful for those poor children that had their fingertips cut off. However, nothing is 100% safe and we as parents should assess each item with that in mind. I will not let my child play with the reclining chair in our living room because the same thing can happen to his fingers. In addition, Maclaren was overloaded with panicked parents (always love the media frenzy). I tried to get on the website yesterday and couldnt. I was able to get on today and sign up for the recalled product in less than 5 minutes.

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Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm

to be fair to Maclaren, they weren't actually going to announce the recall until today, but the story leaked early. So they were probably expecting the spike in traffic to happen today, not yesterday

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{ Bounce } November 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm

It is now acknowledged in the US that a range of Maclaren strollers are unsafe. And to address this, free safety kits are being provided to all owners. These are the same models that are sold in the UK. Are Maclaren more worried about a litigious US consumer who may join together for a class action? Or are UK fingers just cheaper than US ones? Just one accident to any child anywhere is an issue these are children we are talking about.

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Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm

I feel like this is blown out of proportion. Okay, your kids can get hurt when they put their fingers in a hinge mechanism. That's sort of common sense, isn't it?

Also, there are million Maclaren strollers out there and 12 (twelve!) kids get injured because their parents didn't pay attention, and now I am supposed to be outraged? 12 out of 1 million? There is far more serious stuff to worry about than that I would say!

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Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm

This design is common across many brands of strollers, so not unique to Maclaren. Intestering that they are only providing covers in the US tho, not in Europe! Maybe European parents are not as dumb! But come on parents, you need to take some responsibility for your children's safety. This is nuts. Pressure from the CPSC I think!

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Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Maclaren has just posted the following on their Facebook/Twitter pages:

Maclaren USA has led the headlines this week due to a safety concern with their umbrella strollers. Maclaren has noticed an increase in the number of incidents over the last year where children have trapped their finger in the hinge joint of the buggy whilst their caregiver is opening or folding it.

There’s a lot of confusion swirling around, so here are the facts: there is no product defect and Maclaren is distributing free hinge-cover kit that child proofs the stroller to prevent a potential injury during opening and folding by the caregiver. Visit Maclaren USA at, http://www.maclaren.us\recall or call toll-free between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, 877-688-2326 if you would like to obtain the free hinge cover kit.

Maclaren stands behind its product which has been in existence for over 40 years. It is the safest umbrella stroller on the market. Parents and owners of a Maclaren stroller can attest to this statement personally.

Maclaren has had ZERO reports of stroller injuries in use [when a child is properly fastened into the stroller according to the owner instruction manual]. No other stroller manufacturer has a better safety record.

The risk is eliminated when children are kept away from the buggy during opening and folding. Similarly, when the buggy is properly opened there is no risk involved.

The issue regarding the stroller joints are not restricted to Maclaren but to all strollers and all stroller companies that have similar folding mechanisms. Maclaren, through this voluntary action in the U.S. has agreed to take the leadership and ensure that it is the first in the industry to address this issue to communicate important safety information.

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Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Give me a break. Nothing takes the place of a responsible parent or individual. 15,000 amputations occur in doors in the US every year. Over 350,000 emergency room visits a year due to doors. Yea, lets recall doors.

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hanafi April 15, 2010 at 5:25 am

we need to take extra carefull when handling our kids. not even in stroller. this is only one example for unsafe condition for our kids.

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