Nearly five million Graco baby strollers have been recalled due to “fingertip amputation hazard,” but an ABC News investigation found that if this recall goes like most safety recalls, a vast majority could end up still on the market, posing a threat to infants for years to come.
The recall, to be announced later today by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and Canadian and Mexican officials, says Graco has received reports of 11 finger injuries “including six reports of fingertip amputations, four reports of partial-fingertip amputation and one finger laceration.”
The recall affects 11 models of Graco strollers made from August 2000 to September 2014 -- about 4.7 million strollers in the U.S., more than 200,000 in Canada and 10,300 in Mexico. Owners are told to contact Graco “immediately” to get a free repair kit and, before the kit comes, to “exercise extreme care” when unfolding and using the stroller. A CPSC official told ABC News the fix is "very easy to install" and if parents just safely engage the lock, they can use the stroller until the new hinge cover arrives.
CLICK HERE to see if your stroller model number is affected.
The bigger problem: The ABC News “20/20” investigation, airing Friday, found that most recalled products are not turned in or fixed, remaining in homes or listed for sale.
Under current federal law, there is no minimum effort that manufacturers have to make, or money they have to spend, to get the word out about the safety recalls.
It is illegal to sell a recalled product, but in a joint investigation with 17 ABC News affiliates across the country, reporters found a wide range of recalled products easily available for resale.
“We need to solve this problem and we need as much energy and as much participation from all different aspects we can,” Elliot Kaye, the head of the CPSC, told ABC News in his first major interview since being appointed chairman earlier this year.
Kaye said all too often manufacturers give only lip service to safety and fail to spend the money necessary to make sure their recalls are widely known by American families.
“We need industry to do more, and we certainly need more done on the tech side, and so be able to get these minds, who are so creative, to commit to working in this space really can make a difference.”
Kaye said he estimated that for a “good recall,” the government estimates only 20 percent of the recalled products are returned or accounted for. In worse cases, it can be as low as five percent.
Tune in to ABC News “Good Morning America”, “World News with David Muir” and “20/20” Friday for the full report on recalled products, to hear from victims of serious incidents and to see what major companies are and are not doing to make American households safer.