Maclaren recalls US pushchairs over finger trapWhich? calls for UK owners to get safety kit

10 November 2009

Maclaren logo

Maclaren has recalled 1m pushchairs in the USA after reports that 12 children have had their fingers amputated by their pushchair folding mechanism.

The US pushchairs being recalled, which will receive an extra safety measure, all use an 'umbrella' folding mechanism and include the 

  • Volo
  • Triumph
  • Quest Sport
  • Quest Mod
  • Techno XT
  • TechnoXLR
  • Twin Triumph
  • Twin Techno
  • Easy Traveller

The affected Maclaren pushchairs are also available in the UK and use the same folding mechanism. Which? is calling for UK owners of Maclaren buggies to get the same safety kit as US consumers are going to receive

An umbrella folding mechanism involves the parent pushing up a catch at the back, and collapsing the buggy. The buggy ends up the same length, but the width reduces - like folding an umbrella.

Read our Maclaren pushchair safety alert Q&A for full details of the US Maclaren pushchair recall and what it means for UK Maclaren pushchair owners.

Maclaren pushchair amputations

According to Maclaren, the amputations happened when the pushchairs were being folded or opened by an adult - they did not occur when the child was sitting in the pushchair. 

Maclaren is offering American consumers a free kit consisting of a zipped fabric cover for the hinge to help prevent injury. But it has no plans to offer British consumers the same kit. 

A spokesperson from Maclaren told Which?: 'There is a lower number of similar reported incidents amongst the considerably higher number of Maclaren buggies sold in Europe annually relative to the US market.

'Maclaren has taken the corrective action of placing additional warning labels on the buggy and in the instruction manual, stressing that carers should keep children clear of the buggy while it is being unfolded or folded.'

Free safety kit from Maclaren

Lizzy Ruffles, pushchair expert at Which?, said: 'Maclaren pushchairs meet all relevant British and US safety standards. However, consumers in the US are being offered a free safety kit to add to their Maclaren pushchair and we think that British consumers should be offered the same protection.

'Maclaren has said that it will be placing additional warning labels on buggies to alert parents to potential dangers. We'd like to see all manufacturers that produce pushchairs that use an umbrella folding mechanism to adopt this practice.'

Which? tests Maclaren pushchairs

Baby in Maclaren pushchair

Maclaren is known for its lightweight and portable buggies

Which? has tested a range of Maclaren pushchairs and found that they conform to the European safety standard EN1888. However, we will continue to investigate this issue to establish whether there is any danger to British children.

Parents should always ensure their child is well away from any hinges or folding parts when folding or unfolding a pushchair . 

The chance that children will trap their fingers in the folding hinge applies to all pushchairs that use an umbrella folding mechanism, and not just those from Maclaren. Parents should consider the folding hinge on a pushchair in the same way they would the hinge of an opening and closing door. Inevitably a product that folds in this way will carry some risk to children. 

Which? tests pushchairs extensively at an independent laboratory, to find out which pushchairs performed well enough to be considered a Best Buy. If you want to buy a pushchair which doesn't have an umbrella folding mechanism, our pushchair reviews can show you those that don't.