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Paul Kiesel
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Maclaren Stroller Defect Went Unfixed for Five Years

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From the New York Post:

Maclaren knew for at least five years that its strollers could lop off a child’s finger, but did nothing about the dangerous defect until federal regulators all but forced it to, The Post has learned.

This week, the company agreed to a "voluntary recall" of all its models sold as far back as 1999, conceding that the fingers of 12 children were severed by the stroller’s hinges when they were opened or closed.

But since Maclaren failed to notify the Consumer Products Safety Commission when it first became aware of even a "potential danger," the British-based company could still face a fine of $1 million or more, sources said.

Companies are required by federal law to "report to CPSC immediately on learning of a problem with a product that makes it a substantial hazard or poses a potential hazard," commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said.

The company has known the stroller hinges could become finger guillotines since at least July 12, 2004, when 23-month-old Connecticut toddler Carlos DeWinter lost his right pinky, according to court papers obtained by The Post.

His mother, Jane DeWinter, was shopping for a Maclaren Triumph stroller at a Right Start shop near her Greenwich home, and she was testing the one-handed folding and unfolding mechanism.

As she was about to lock the stroller into the open position, Carlos put his finger on the hinge, and he suffered a "traumatic amputation," the court papers said.

Despite two surgeries, the pinky could not be reattached.

Maclaren and Right Start argued that the mother’s "own negligence" was to blame, the suit says.

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