04.09 Empowered Consumer: Caution, Bike Carrier Seat For Your Child May Amputate Fingers

With Spring here, more families are pedaling the Burke Gilman and Greenlake trails with their children.  While the family outing and exercise is excellent, parents should use caution with their baby seat carriers.

The manufacturer, Todson Inc., s cooperating with the  U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) and announced Friday, April 6, 2012, a voluntary recall of its 40,000 imported Topeak Babyseat II bicycle carrier seats.  The Topeak Babyseat II bicycle carrier seats are imported from Taiwan and retailed for $140 – $180.00.    They have been on the market since January 2009.  Consumers may either obtain a refund from the manufacturer, or a retrofit kit to eliminate the amputation risk.

The popular bike seat for children, available at REI and other popular retail stores, was recalled last week due to a reported two incidents of the seat causing lacerati

The recall involves the Taiwan-made Topeak Babyseat II bicycle carrier seats with model numbers TCS2100, TCS2101 and TCS2102. Model numbers are printed on the product’s packaging. Rick Schad, director of marketing for Todson, said the company is making available free retrofit kits to render the seats safe and set up a toll-free phone line for consumers to call.

The gray, plastic Babyseats were sold in three styles: Babyseat, Babyseat with disc brake compatible rack and Babyseat with non-disc brake compatible rack.

The racks are used to mount the seat to the bicycle.

“Topeak” is embossed on the back of the seat and is also printed on a black foam protector that covers the grab bar.

A red locking lever on the side of the blue grab bar locks the bar into place.

The amputation hazard comes from the grab bar used to attach and remove the seat from a bicycle.  Children hold onto this grab bar. The grab bar opening poses the amputation risk.

Unfortunately, amputation risks are common in recalled children’s products.  The most common recalls have involved strollers that pinch children’s fingers in the hinges.  Maclaren USA recalled over 1 million strollers between 2009 and 2010 after learning of 49 incidents involving amputations or near-amputations from strollers sold before 2009.  In 2010, Graco recalled nearly 2 million of its strollers for entrapment and amputation hazards.  The Filutowski Law Firm, PLLC is currently handling claims against Graco and Rubbermaid Inc (its parent company) for knowingly defectively designing, manufacturing and selling death traps: strollers that fold in on the baby or toddler, entrap and suffocate the innocent child.

In the coming weeks, the CPSC plans to ask ASTM, the international standards industry group for household products distributed throughout the United States, to set voluntary standards for a variety of household products to address the amputation hazards linked to strollers, said Alex Filip, the agency’s spokesman. The group is already working to improve stroller safety.

Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, said failure to anticipate the real-world use of children’s products is often to blame for these types of injuries. These design flaws extend beyond just chairs and strollers, as the government’s records show, she said.

So as you dust off and tune-up your bikes, be extra careful when using your children’s bike seat carriers and enjoy the Spring air!

Copyright © 2012 The Filutowski Law Firm, PLLC.   Disclaimer: This page is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances.  An attorney-client relationship is not created or continued.

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Alexandra Filutowski

Alexandra is a Puget Sound native with a passion to help individuals stand up for their legal rights. She opened her own law practice in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. The Filutowski Law Firm, PLLC is dedicated to representing individuals throughout Washington State in personal injury, insurance coverage, employment and business disputes. They offer expeditious legal solutions and superior client satisfaction. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing, boating and traveling abroad.

* This post is from a Girl Power Hour featured blogger. It is not written, edited or endorsed by Girl Power Hour. The authors are solely responsible for content.

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