Evenflo Tops Recall List

In less than two years, Evenflo Co. Inc. has issued eight <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">product recalls, surpassing any other manufacturer regulated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), according to a Dayton Daily News analysis.

Recalls involved over two million “cribs, high chairs, activity centers, wooden gates, and telephone toys” and followed 187 injuries, said the Dayton Daily News, which noted no deaths were reported. Although the CPSC has not issued a civil penalty against the children’s product manufacturer, it is in settlement negotiations with Evenflo, said Dayton Daily News, citing documents it obtained.

Officials at Evenflo refused an interview but released a prepared statement in which the company, which has recalled 2,078,660 products linked to nearly 200 injuries, said its top priority is children’s safety. “Although the word ‘recall’ can panic consumers, it is important to realize that not all recalls are a cause for panic and many should more appropriately be viewed as safety upgrade campaigns which are often initiated by responsible manufacturers,” the statement said, quoted the Dayton Daily News.

Consumer advocates disagree saying, “They may call it a safety upgrade, but what it means is there’s something wrong with the product that has caused injury or could potentially cause injury,” said Nancy Cowles, who testified before Congress as executive director of Kids in Danger, a nonprofit located in Chicago, quoted the Dayton Daily News. “If it wasn’t serious, it wouldn’t have been recalled,” Cowles added.

The issue is that these recalls involve products that parents and caretakers believe are safe, noted Cowles, wrote the Dayton Daily News. “When you’re buying a product like a crib or a high chair,” she said, “you assume it will help your child stay safer,” quoted the Dayton Daily news.

Earlier this year we wrote that Kids In Danger, announced that 2009 saw the most nursery product recalls in history, issuing its annual study “The Year of the Nursery Product Recall,” in which it discussed the problem. The report was released in collaboration with U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Nursery product recalls made history last year and for the first time, children’s clothing recalls also reached an unexpected high, due, in part, to strangulation hazards present in clothing with drawstrings. Also, recalls in 2009 totaled an unbelievable 21.1 million units, of which, six recalls involved one million units or more. “These products together caused at least 198 injuries and nine deaths,” stated Cowles earlier this year. “And those incidents include only those already reported at the time of the recall. More needs to be done to protect children from these hazards,” Cowles added.

The report also stated that nursery products and clothing surpassed toys with the most recalls, representing 28 and 27 percent of children’s product recalls, respectively; products were recalled mainly due to entrapment, fall, and choking hazards, while clothing was recalled for strangulation hazards with drawstrings and choking hazards from small detachable parts.

Evenflo was noted as being one of the manufacturers that had multiple, separate recalls, with its Envision High Chairs responsible for 54 injuries before a recall was finally implemented.

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