When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB baby stroller dispute with “robust information campaign”

(Boulder, CO) Nov 20, 2018 @ 3: 17 pm .   When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB stroller dispute with “robust information campaign”  The CPSC and Britax/BOB have resolved a dispute over quick discharge wheels on BOB strollers that this CPSC alleged were defective ( see our previous protection for details ). The BOB strollers were made in between 1997 and 2015.

In a press release today , the CPSC and Britax essentially agree to a non-recall. Sure, it looks like a recall plus quacks like a recall… but do not call it a recall.

“Britax will develop and launch an information campaign that will include an training video demonstrating how to safely and correctly operate the quick launch on the front wheel of the baby strollers. Eligible consumers in the United States will be provided incentives to promote the effectiveness of the information campaign, ” says the CPSC.

If you happen to have one of the NOT REALLY RECALLED strollers, you can watch a video Britax will put online in early 2019. Then you can receive “incentives” from Britax.

“The incentives incorporate a free modified thru-bolt or free modified quick release that can be attached to strollers manufactured between January one, 2009 and September 30, 2015, or a 20 percent discount on the purchase of a new BOB Gear stroller. All other consumers who own baby strollers manufactured before September 30, 2015, and who participate in the marketing campaign, will be offered a 20 % discount towards the purchase of a brand new BOB Gear stroller or, in the event that eligible, other incentives. ”

Naturally, the incentives are just available at Britax/BOB’s web site—so that will 20% discount may be on a stroller that might be found for less than on sites like Amazon.

This non-recall only narrowly passed the CPSC by a 3-2 vote. The commissioners who opposed the deal released a dissent that questions whether this particular “information campaign” will really reach consumers if it isn’t called a remember. They called the settlement “aggressively misleading. ”

Considering the 200 reports of the wheels detaching and the nearly 100 injuries to moms and dads and children, we find it out hard to believe that the seriousness from the issue didn’t lead to a formal recall. Kudos to Britax’s attorneys for negotiating a recall that dare not speak its title.

There are several unanswered query however. Why does the recalled (oops, not recalled) defective strollers only include those made prior to September 2015? Did Britax make a quiet repair to the quick release wheels there after point? And why do owners who bought a stroller made prior to 2009 not get the “remedies, ” only a 20% discount? The baby strollers were on the market with that same design from 1997 to 2009—albeit marketed by the original BOB company, not really Britax. (BOB was sold in order to Britax in 2011; Britax still marketplaces the strollers under the BOB name).

We stopped suggesting BOB strollers when this legal action was filed earlier this year. In our viewpoint, the non-recall Britax deftly negotiated with safety regulators may have passed muster with the CPSC, but we aren’t buying it. BabyBargains. com continues to not recommend GREG strollers on our website or in our book for the time being.

When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB stroller dispute along with “robust information campaign”

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