After many incidents where both kids and parents were getting hurt from interactions with the B.O.B Jogging Stroller, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed a complaint against Britax Child Safety, Inc. Could it be that this jogging stroller had a design defect? Britax thinks not.
The main issue is that when parents used the stroller, the front wheel detached, leading to strollers to fall over and crash (with babies on board!). In reports, there were children with injuries to the face that needed stitches, and adults that fractured their bones after taking the stroller out for a jog. With all of these reports, Britax declined to place a recall on this model and denied that a design defect existed.
The lawsuit that Britax faced claimed that the company was not meeting the CPSC’s safety standards and their jogging strollers were not suitable for consumers, and so needed to be recall. Britax’s defense claimed that their design met the agency’s standards according to CPSC’s safety tests, therefore, was not flawed. However, the opposing argument from the CPSC claimed that even though the model performed well under the safety test, this was not the case in real life because hundreds of people were experiencing the same problem with the wheel detaching and getting hurt. There obviously was a problem with these strollers and the CPSC needed to put a stop to this safety hazard.
After months of going back and forth, the CPSC wanted to end the recall lawsuit and reach a settlement. This settlement did not result in a recall, but an opportunity for Britax to try and fix the situation with their hazardous strollers. The agreement required Britax to run a public-safety campaign, along with offering discounts and replacement parts to its consumers. Britax have also released a safety video that offers different ways to secure the front wheel. They showed consumers how to fasten the front wheel with a bolt or modified quick release, and included a 20% discount code to purchase a new stroller.
After all the frenzy there wasn’t much done in the end to resolve the main issue of safety. Is an information campaign enough for parents? Although Britax never really had a formal recall, it is pretty apparent that Britax faces trust issue in the future. It leaves parents in a grey zone of whether they can fully depend on Britax to ensure their child’s safety and their own. If you have one of the affected models, we recommend giving that front wheel a thorough check!