Buggy safety under investigation

Consumer rights organisation is calling for parents affected by buggy safety issues

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A team of investigators from Consumer Focus, the organisation “campaigning for a fair deal” for consumers, is looking into buggy-related injuries.

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The injuries of interest are those that have resulted from the side hinge mechanism found on a wide range of lightweight and umbrella-fold buggies.

The Complaints of General Interest team first had their interest in this area raised after Maclaren issued a “recall” of its buggies in the USA last year. The concern over the folding mechanism found on Maclaren buggies then saw the buggy maker offer free hinge cover sets to UK parents as well.

However, the issue is not a Maclaren-only problem, as plenty of other buggy manufacturers use similar hinges. This month, we saw Britax take the precautionary measure of offering free hinge cover kits to owners of Britax Nexus buggies.

Leading Consumer Focus’ investigation is Gemma Bowen, Head of Complaints of General Interest. Gemma said, “Our initial investigations have made it clear that the safety of the side hinge mechanism is an issue that is wider than just one make of pushchair. We want to hear from anyone who has got a finger caught in one of these hinges, or worse. Many umbrella-style and stroller-style pushchairs use a similar mechanism, and we want to hear evidence from consumers of their experience.

“The Complaints of General Interest team are investigating what can be done to make consumers safer, and how best manufacturers and retailers can work to ensure that pushchairs are as safe as they can be.”

If your family has been injured by a buggy’s side hinge mechanism, Consumer Focus would like to hear from you. You can e-mail cogi@consumerfocus.org.uk or opt for snail mail, addressing your letter to: Complaints of General Interest, Consumer Focus, 3rd Floor, Capital Tower, Cardiff, CF10 3AG.

The team is also keen for people to complete a survey on the broader issue of the safety of buggies’ side hinge mechanisms.

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You can find more info on the investigation on the Consumer Focus site.

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