With summer in full swing, several U.S. senators have taken a public step to focus the CPSC’s efforts on dangers at the beach. Airborne umbrellas have become a serious hazard to beachgoers. In fact, CPSC data indicates that there have been over 31,000 beach umbrella-related injuries from 2008 to 2017, including the death of a vacationer after she was struck in the torso and killed by a rogue umbrella in Virginia Beach in 2016. In an unusual move, four senators recently issued a letter urging the CPSC to be more proactive about addressing the dangers posed by beach umbrellas. The senators requested more detailed information about umbrella-related injuries, asked about safety standards to prevent such injuries, and encouraged the creation of a public safety campaign to educate the public about the dangers of beach umbrellas.
This month, the CPSC’s two-year saga with the distributor of a three-wheeled jogging stroller has taken an unexpected turn as the avoidance of a recall before has led to recall now. In February 2018, the CPSC filed an administrative lawsuit against the distributor alleging that it refused to recall the strollers after consumer complaints that the front wheel can detach suddenly during use. To settle the lawsuit, the distributor developed an information campaign with an instructional video demonstrating how to operate the stroller. Customers who watched the video had a choice either to receive hardware for repairing the front wheel or to obtain a 20% discount toward the purchase of a new stroller from the same distributor. The CPSC voted 3-2 to accept the settlement, with the dissenters arguing that the distributor should be required to recall the strollers. This month, the distributor recalled the hardware given out to repair the strollers as part of the information campaign. The recall indicates that the hardware can cause the front wheel to detach—the same problem that plagued the strollers before. The parties amended their prior settlement of the administrative lawsuit in light of this development. The amendment requires the distributor to improve its information campaign website, to increase its frequency of reporting to the CPSC from quarterly to monthly, to extend the length of its information campaign by one year and to issue new hardware to consumers to replace the recalled hardware.
Total Recalls: 32
Hazards: Fall (7); Violation of Federal Standard (6); Fire/Burn/Shock (5); Choke (4); Laceration (2); Crash (1); Impact (1); Failure to Alert (1); Infant Fatalities (1); Ingestion (1); Suffocation (1); Injury (1); Strangulation (1)