Ever wonder what happens to the companies involved in all of those recalls ordered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)? Many manufacturers sit back and conform to the CPSC’s demands to correct any perceived safety issues. Others publicly voice their displeasure. (We previously reported on the Buckyballs recall and the humorous company retort).
Count Nap Nanny infant recliner manufacturer, Baby Matters, LLC, as a member of the latter.
Back in 2010, the CPSC and Baby Matters issued a joint recall of the Nap Nanny following the death of an infant who had fallen from the product. Apparently, the baby harness on the first generation model attached only to the product’s fabric cover and did not adequately secure the children. Infants using an improved second generation harness (pictured above) allegedly still ran the risk of partially falling and hanging over the side of the Nap Nanny. Following the voluntary recall, at least five additional deaths and 70 injuries were reported to the CPSC. According to reports, the CPSC then attempted to work with Baby Matters to correct the safety issues. When those discussions failed, in December, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint seeking to require Baby Matters to notify the public of the issues and offer refunds to consumers. Thereafter, the CPSC announced that major retailers (Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, Toys R Us, and Diapers.com) had agreed to voluntarily recall the Nap Nanny because Baby Matters had refused to do so. Here’s where this tale becomes even more interesting.
According to a report from The Consumerist, Baby Matters is now seeking a dismissal of the CPSC’s complaint. Interestingly, the company takes issue with language in the CPSC’s press release announcing the participation of the retailers. Apparently, an original version of the release stated that “it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.” The Consumer Product Safety Act only makes it illegal to sell products following a voluntary recall by the manufacturer. Baby Matters claims the CPSC waited until 6:30 p.m. to correct the statement. By this time, the release “had achieved maximum impact.” The company now seeks a retraction and clarification that retailers are allowed to continue selling the Nap Nanny during the pending CPSC suit.
We here at Abnormal Use know little about the validity of the CPSC’s safety concerns in this case. In fact, even though we are parents of infant children, we were not even aware such a product existed (although we admit it looks comfortable). We do, however, understand the CPSC’s desire for action after continued reports of deaths and injuries, but obviously, the government, when pursuing any sort of action, should ensure that its literature is, at the very least, accurate. We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one.