Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CPSIA - Database Entries of Gripes, Refund Disputes, Misuse, Poor Maintenance

More quality postings to the CPSIA Database - saving lives 24 hours-a-day!!! 

The database advocates and the CPSC strongly defend the database as a means to "save lives".  This assertion has no basis in fact and none are offered, other than heart-rending stories of crib deaths that "could have been prevented" had a database existed.  By stressing the possible loss of life, the advocates overstate the likely value of the database well beyond any data anyone could supply.  The CPSC pledged to keep the database entries clean of grips, quality complaints, slander, inaccurate claims and the like.  Are they doing their job?  Is the database "saving lives"?

Read on and judge for yourself.

Please note that REAL businesses must reply to these entries.  Each reply costs money, and there are legal fees behind many of these replies.  The transaction costs can only be justified if they produce a positive result.  Where is it?  You can tell from the replies that the businesses are trying desperately to prevent damage to their brands and their products.  Is this the government we want?  Is this the government WE WANT TO PAY FOR?

Play Center Rope Ladder

My children were playing on this item in our backyard. The wooden rung on the rope ladder snapped in two, causing one child to fall onto another. The child who fell was cut by the sharp edge of the broken ladder rung. The child who was fallen on hit is head on the ground when he fell.

Reply:  Little Tikes contacted the consumer and determined that the rope ladder was worn and weathered and was 6 years old. Although signifcantly out of warranty, Little Tikes elected to replace the consumer's rope ladder.

Lasko Heater

I understand this product is not safe - there is a potential fire hazard. I do NOT have a box to return this product.  Would you please send one to me at work[?]

Reply:  Consumer was contacted by Lasko, but did not respond. Consumer does not state why she believes product is unsafe.

Lil Gourmet

My two year old received the Children's Stainless Steel Cookware Set 5 Pc. by toysmith for Christmas osld by HomeGoods. My two and one year olds were playing with the set this morning. I heard my one year old scream. During play, the Sauté Pan's handle and pan came a part. My toddler took the handle to my one year olds face. He must have held the looped end and placed the open ended two prong end to my one year olds face. The handles open ends are blunt and small. My one year old sustained two scratches starting above his right eye on his eyelid and continue down to the middle of his cheek. He has two identical marks due to there being two pieces of metal. The marks resemble that of a scratch from a cat. Each is swollen with a white line and red irritation around the scrathings.

Reply:  Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the incident with our Stainless Steel Cookware Set.  This set, in our Lil’ Gourmet line, has been in our catalog for several years without issue and has been tested extensively for both US and European standards to the stringent protocols for ages 3 and up despite this product being clearly age-graded for the ages of 5 and above.  This item is not a toy. It is stainless steel cookware intended to be used as a child’s first cooking set. In addition to being labeled 5 and up on both the front and the back of the product, it is also stated that “Adult supervision is required.” We have uploaded our current testing documentation and would be happy to provide more information to the CPSC if required.


This is for the Evenflo triple jungle exersaucer. My daughter encountered two seperate hazards. Her arm became stuck between the band animals when she was 6 months old. We removed that toy. After converting it to an activity table, it constantly collapses under my 10 mo old where she has hurt herself without any evidence of injury. Very disappointed in this product.

Reply:  From the consumer's description of the product, Evenflo believes that this report refers to the ExerSaucer® Triple Fun Activity Center. Evenflo was unable to confirm, however, that the subject product was manufactured by the company because the consumer did not respond to repeated written requests for more information. Consequently, Evenflo's investigation and response are limited only to the allegations contained in the consumer’s report and Evenflo’s information about the product believed to be at issue. The consumer reported two concerns with the Triple Fun, neither of which resulted in a specified injury to her child. First, the consumer stated that her child's arm was "stuck" between two elements of a pod toy. The toys used on all Evenflo products meet the mandatory requirements of ASTM standard F963, including requirements for clearances and openings. This is the only report of this nature received by the company about the Triple Fun since production began in 2009, and the company has sold hundreds of thousands of units. This report appears to relate to the cognitive inability of a very young child to understand how to remove her arm from certain portions of the pod toy, and does not represent a potential product hazard.

The consumer further reported that, when the Triple Fun is used as a play table (the third and final stage of use for this multi-stage product), she felt the unit was unstable when used by her 10-month-old child. Although the consumer states the child ”hurt herself,” no specific injury is described. In the third stage of use, the Triple Fun converts to a play table intended for use by children of walking age through approximately 24 months of age. Notably, the play table stage is not designed rigidly so as to provide a seating surface, a platform for climbing or for assistance to pull-up from a sitting to standing position, any of which could result in a fall, particularly with a child just beginning to walk. Due to the limited information contained in the consumer’s report, however, the company does not know how the child was using the Triple Fun when the alleged instability occurred, or even if the child was at the appropriate developmental age for use of the product in Stage 3.

The company continues to believe the Triple Fun is safe when properly used, offering consumers a multi-stage (play mat, stationary activity center and play table) product for children age birth through 24 months.

John Deere


Cookin for Kids Dinnerware

Kids dinnerware play set. We used an XRF analyzer and testing results showed the plate contained over 300 ppm of lead AND mercury.

Reply:  This product has been tested against applicable standards and passed.

Dora the Explorer Guitar

My daughter recieved a Dora Tunes Guitar by Fisher Price for her birthday yesterday. She loves Dora, so we immediately opened it and discarded the package. When she pressed a button, I was shocked at how very loud it was! I took it from her and looked all over for a volume control figuring it must have been set at the factory for selling purposes and could be adjusted by the consumer. Sadly, there is no volume control! I attempted to put tape on the speaker, but it is not in a very accessible spot & I did not have much luck. I turned the guitar off, but having heard that it makes noise, my daughter was less than thrilled. After her bath while we were using the hair dryer, I turned it back on and was shocked that it could still be heard loud & clear over the hair dryer. I fear that this toy is unsafe due to the excessive noise. It hurt my ears, I can only imagine how damaging it is to a two-year-old's small ears!

Dynacraft Bicycle

On March 14, 2011 my daughter was riding one of my bicycles along with her father. The pedal came out of it's socket and the jagged threading protruding out of the bicycle tore into her leg (calf). This resulted in a laceration large enough to require seven stitches at the emergency room that very evening.

Reply:  Dynacraft has reviewed the above numbered report and provides the following comment in response. The information contained in this comment is true and accurate to Dynacraft’s best knowledge, information and belief. The mother of a 32 year old woman reported that the pedal of her bicycle that her daughter was riding, Dynacraft model 8549-54, came off causing an accident. There was an injury but no loss of control was reported. Dynacraft is the distributor of such a bicycle and they are sold to Target for resale around the United States.

In repose to this data base posting Dynacraft has had its Risk Management Team contact the rider to learn more detail about the incident and is now in the process of resolving a compensation claim that was first made during this contact. Dynacraft has not been able to examine the subject bicycle but the rider has provided three low resolution digital photos of the bicycle’s bottom bracket area. A tracking sticker can be seen in one of these photos and it shows that the bicycle was manufactured in 2000 and thus is over ten years old. The bicycle was purchased by the rider’s mother when she was employed by Target, and the bicycle has spent most of the ensuing years in the rider’s parent’s garage.

From the telephone interview it was learned that bicycle has not been regularly used and thus not maintained since it was purchased at Target over ten years ago. On the day of the accident the rider was using this bicycle to take a ride with her father. The rider did not know if her parents retained the manual for the bicycle. Dynacraft also learned that her mother had not correctly reported the incident and what happened was that the left crank arm came off the chainwheel axel, the rider stopped the bike with the brakes but the rider cut her leg on the axel while doing so.  Dynacraft’s bicycles ship with a manual and the manual is also available on Dynacraft’s web site: http://www.dynacraftbikes.com/inc/New%20Dynacraft%20Manual%202006-sm.pdf  The warranty is in the manual and at the time of the accident the drive elements of the bicycle were out of warranty for over 8 years. In addition pages 88 and 89 provide maintenance instructions for the “cotterless crank” on model 8549-54. The incident and long history of no maintenance described by the rider strongly suggests that the incident resulted from the recommended maintenance described in the manual not being done. The applicable portions of those recommendations follow:  Adjustment After Use: 
1. Remove dust cap.
2. Tap the crank arm lightly with a mallet.
3. Re-tighten the flange nuts, and refit the dust cops.

New cotterless cranks may become loosen with initial use. Tighten the flange nuts after several hours of riding, and repeat it two or three times after further use. Cranks should then remain tight. . . .  Lubrication and Adjustment - Cotterless Cranks   To adjust the free play in a three piece type bottom bracket, loosen the lock ring on the left side by turning it counter-clockwise. Then turn the adjusting cup as required. Re-tighten the lock ring taking care not to alter the cup adjustment." 

Never the less Dynacraft will continue to seek a resolution of the matter with the rider who was injured. Dynacraft requests that this comment be published in the Consumer Product Information Database, and hereby consents to such publication.

Value City Sectional

I purchased a sectional couch from Value City Furniture in Fredericksburg VA on 4-11-2010 in the amount of $1723.71. I paid for extended fabric/warranty. I also paid for the delivery. 7 months after the furniture was delivered, one section of the couch began to sink inwards. I contacted the company in November of 2010. On 12-27-2010, a representative came over and took pictures as did I. I was told that it will be replaced in 6-8 weeks. To date, I have not had calls returned or this couch fixed. The big dent in the couch is very low and cannot be sat on. It seems that someone can fall through the damaged part of the couch,if the couch is utilized. I ve contacted the BBB, Value city and also will file a warrant in debt. I have tried numerous times to be refunded money or have the piece replaced. I not getting results.

Stihl Chainsaw

I was using a MS361 chainsaw that had received a recall notice from STIHL and had the necessary repairs completed at R.H.McCrary. I was operating said chainsaw on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at about 11:10am when the throttle trigger stuck as a I was removing the chainsaw blade from the trunk of a tree I was in the process of cutting. The chain kept its high turning speed instead of reducing to idle speed and the result of this caused the blade to "jump-back". I attempted to throw my leg out of the path of the blade but was not quick enough. The chain knicked my left leg just below my kneecap. I was taken to the ER where I recieved stitches to sew up two separate lacerations. I have photo documentation of the wound from before stitches were applied and from after the lacerations were stitched. I am not a first-time chainsaw user and have used multiple types of chainsaws and multiple brands while working for my mother's firewood and tree clearing business.

Reply:  At STIHL Incorporated, safety is a top priority, and we are sorry to hear that you were injured while using a STIHL product. To help us better understand your experience, please contact us directly at 1-800-GO-STIHL and press “2” for Technical Services.  It is our understanding that the throttle trigger of the chain saw had been repaired just prior to the accident, and you believe the repair may have contributed to the accident. During our inspection of your employer’s chain saw, however, we were unable to replicate any sticking of the throttle trigger. We did note that the chain saw had been heavily used and not well maintained. Among other things, the muffler was loose, an AV spring was broken and there were large quantities of debris and saw dust in the air box and around the throttle linkage/master control switch.

We hope that we will have the opportunity to speak with you directly. Learning more about your accident will help us determine what may have caused it. We thank you for calling this matter to our attention.

Baby Trend Stroller

The front wheel of my Baby Trend Expedition Stroller fell off 3 times. After the first time they sent me hardware to fix myself. The wheel then fell off a second time. I then sent it back to Baby Trends and they said they would repair it or send me a brand new stroller. They sent me back the old one, claiming it was fixed. I lent it to a friend to use after taking it on one walk. They went for a jog and the front wheel fell off again sending him and his son flying onto the pavement! The Dad suffered cuts on his hands and knees but fortunately he was able to protect the son from injuries. The stroller is obviously faulty. There have been other complaints on various websites about the front wheel and they have done nothing to resolve the situation. The stroller should be recalled. I don't want any other products from them, I want my money back so I can use it towards a stroller from a BETTER company!

Reply:  According to consumer, the product was purchased on or before 4/1/2010. On 10/4/2010 Consumer contacted Baby Trend requesting replacement parts for the front fork assembly stating assembly came apart somehow. Replacement parts were sent to consumer at that time. 4 months later on 2/10/2011 consumer then contacts Baby Trend again wanting money back for product because they were unable to get
replacement parts to work properly. Baby Trend then paid to bring product in for warranty evaluation and correctly replaced the parts for the consumer. The product was evaluated by engineering and determined to be in perfect working condition, other than normal wear for being used for approximately one year. The product was returned to the consumer. 3/18/2011 consumer contacts Baby Trend again requesting a refund.

Disney Princess Light

We have the disney princess chandelier and the plastic crystal piece became lodged next to the light bulb and melted it. I do have pictures and the lamp if it is needed to be seen.

Hunter Boots

Rubber Boots that leak a white powder substance.

Reply:  Here is an explanation of this issue from the company’s website:

What is the white residue on my Hunter boots?  Occasionally, it is possible that white marks will appear on your Hunter rubber wellington boots. This is called 'blooming', it is your boots attempting to protect themselves from environmental damage.  Every Hunter rubber wellington boot is made from 100% natural ingredients and small amounts of wax are included in the rubber compound during the vulcanization process that is used to make each pair. When exposed to certain environmental factors, this wax can "bloom" to the surface and appear as white marks. This is not a defect with the boots, and is completely natural. If this does happen, you can wipe this blooming clean with a warm, damp cloth. We recommend UV Tech* Spray which can be found at boating, hunting or fishing stores.

Pogo Stick

Bottom of stick came apart.

Reply:  Thank you for transmitting this to us. We would like to follow up with this customer, but are unable to without the contact information. This product issue described is the subject of a recall announced on March 16, 2011.

Ariel Fountain

Daughter cut thumb on Ariel Fountain and Bubble Boat while playing with it in tub.


I am contacting you in the hopes that you will take action to help prevent other consumers from making a significant investment in furniture that literally falls apart and presents a safety hazard to families with young children.  In its corporate marketing materials, La-Z-boy promises furniture made with "durability,” "high standards,” "wear tested fabrics,” and "superior quality” – however my actual experience with the furniture has been dramatically to the contrary – and the company refuses to properly address potentially dangerous quality issues. I purchased a leather couch and loveseat from La-Z-boy approximately five years ago. I invested $3000 in the set – and was assured that these leather pieces would be able to stand the test of time. After only 2.5 years, the leather began pulling away on the arm of the couch, exposing sharp staples. I contacted the company and communicated that I was concerned about the quality of the piece and its potential longevity. After extensive follow up, they finally agreed to send an upholsterer to repair the piece. 

A few years later, in the Fall of 2010, we again faced another significant quality issue - the plastic piping began popping through the loveseat cushions, creating an area with exposed plastic piping that is approximately 10-12 inches long presenting a choking hazard for our 2-year old. We again contacted the company – and they have refused to do anything about the furniture, but rather focused on shifting blame
indicating that we must have caused the damage -- even though for the vast majority of the life of the furniture, it was only being used by two adults and we also purchased the leather protection treatment when we first invested in the piece. Since our rejected La-Z-boy inquiry, we contacted a Boston area leather repair company to assess the furniture for repair. The representative of this company visited our home in January and estimated that it would likely be too costly to justify repairing the piece. This representative also indicated that the most likely cause of the piping issue was not in fact user wear, but rather poor manufacturing using leather that was too thin to encase the piping to fully protect it from breaking through the leather.

For your reference, I am attaching photos of the La-Z-boy furniture. I truly hope you will be able to make this company accountable for the quality issues we have experienced. I also strongly encourage you to investigate how many other pieces from the same manufacturing batch could be affected with either exposed staples and/or piping to prevent any other families from a potentially dangerous situation that could harm their young children.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Also, I would love to be kept abreast of your investigation if possible.

Reply:  This consumer contacted La-Z-Boy in March of 2008 to complain about a broken upholstered arm on her furniture. La-Z-Boy replaced the arm, without charge for parts or labor, even though the furniture was 2½ years old. In November of 2010, the consumer again contacted La-ZBoy, this time saying that the cushion welting had popped through the leather. Since this was a wear issue on a five-year-old love seat, La-ZBoy declined to provide a warranty repair. The consumer’s concern relates solely to the quality of a product and not to a risk of injury.

Glade Plug-In

My husband awoke on the morning of Monday, March 14th at approximately 6:00 a.m. and woke me up because it smelled in the living room as though something was burning. After we both circled the perimeter of the living room we determined that the burning smell was coming from the almost brand new Glade Plug-In (by SC Johnson) Plugged in to an outlet in our living room. Once we unplugged the item, the burning smell started to dissipate. Heaven forbid had that happened while we weren't at home I can only imagine what would have happened. Incidentaly, the outlet that the Glade Plug-In was plugged into is no longer operational and the breaker keeps flipping causing the electricity in the adjoining rooms to not work. We have had to call a licensed Electrician who is coming out this afternoon (Tuesday, March 22nd) to determine what damage the Plug-In did to our electricity in our home and get it repaired. I find it absolutely abhorrent that an unsafe item such as this is allowed to be on the market as it is truly a fire hazard! We have saved the Glade Plug-In that caused the damage and will certainly provide any information we can to anyone who needs it to research this further including the receipt from the electrician this afternoon. Thank you for researching this matter further.

Reply:  SC Johnson is submitting this initial response to Report 20110322-90A21-2147481070 which describes a consumer’s concern with an air freshener product that was plugged into what the consumer described as a malfunctioning electrical outlet. SC Johnson has confirmed that it has not been contacted by the consumer about her concerns. However, in her database entry the consumer indicated that she intended to contact SC Johnson about the incident. For that reason, SC Johnson sent an e-mail to the consumer on April 5, 2011, inviting her to call an SC Johnson Consumer Relationship Center representative. A copy of that message has been copied at the end of this response. In that e-mail SC Johnson also asked the consumer to preserve the product and the malfunctioning outlet so that her concerns could be fully investigated. To date, the consumer has not responded to SC Johnson. Because there has been no positive product identification and because neither the product nor the outlet has been made available for an inspection, SC Johnson cannot provide definitive information about the incident. However, SC Johnson is confident that its PlugIns® air freshener products are safe when used as intended and SC Johnson is aware of no test data that would indicate that a PlugIns® product can cause the concerns identified by the consumer. In fact, millions of PlugIns® products are used without incident each year and the products are thoroughly tested by SC Johnson and independent laboratories before they are placed on the market. Additionally, all PlugIns® products bear the Underwriters Laboratories’ mark.

In her submission, the consumer stated that the outlet in which the air freshener was in use “is no longer operational and the breaker keeps flipping causing the electricity in the adjoining rooms not to work”. This description seems to indicate that the problem noticed by the consumer could not have been caused by an air freshener product which draws a minimal current but rather that the problem is with the home’s electrical supply system. Nevertheless, SC Johnson remains willing to have its representatives inspect both the air freshener product and the outlet and SC Johnson will share the findings of the inspection with the consumer. SC Johnson invites the consumer to contact SC Johnson so that her concerns can be investigated. Pursuant to 16 C.F.R § 1102.12, SC Johnson verifies that it has reviewed the database Report and that its responsive comments relate to that Report and that the information contained in SC Johnson’s comments is true and accurate to the best of SC Johnson’s knowledge. Finally, SC Johnson requests that its responsive comments be published in the database and SC Johnson consents to such publication.


Your recent contact to the Consumer Products Safety Commission was brought to our attention by CPSC. In the report you filed, it noted that you intended to contact our company directly. Since we haven’t heard from you, I thought that it was important for SC Johnson to follow up with you to see if you would like to talk with us. The situation you reported concerns us and we would like to learn more about the product you were using and what happened. Glade® PlugIns® products are used with confidence in millions of homes each year and they bear the Underwriters Laboratories mark and are subjected to extensive independent testing, as well as testing by SC Johnson.  So I might learn more about your experience, I invite you to contact me at 888-301-0033 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Central time. Until we talk, please hold on to the PlugIns® unit and receptacle – they will be helpful as we work together to investigate this further.  Finally, we respect your privacy, and if you choose not to call me, we will not reach out to you again. However, we would welcome the opportunity to investigate your concerns

Bugaboo Frog Stroller

I own a Bugaboo Frog and had an accident today from which my son resulted injured. As I was leaving my apartment, the stroller hit a very small sidewalk bump. The bump caused to stroller to collapse and my son ended up face first on the concrete. My 10 month old son injured his lip and bled considerably from his nose, he now has a fairly large abrasion in his nose. The bump was very slight, certainly not large enough to cause a product that is designed to walk around in the city to collapse

Reply:  Bugaboo received the report on 30 March 2011. We appreciate receiving the reported information via the CPSC database for our prompt action.  Bugaboo has been in contact with the customer to learn about the situation. In contrary to the initial report the stroller did not collapse (fold) onto the child during this incident. Based on several discussions with the customer it is our current understanding wheels hit a bump causing the stroller to overturn. Bugaboo commissioned a review of its service and compliant database that showed no similar injury incidents have been reported in the past. Therefore, we have asked the customer to provide this stroller to us for a prompt and in-depth investigation. Bugaboo is committed to providing the involved parties results of its investigation as soon as possible.  The Bugaboo Frog is tested by an independent testing laboratory to the ASTM F833:2009, the US Standard Consumer Safety Performance
Specification for Carriages and Strollers, and it is JPMA Certified by the Juvenile Products Manufactures Association.  The customer will receive a replacement stroller to enable Bugaboo to complete an inspection of the incident stroller. Bugaboo is proud of the safety record of its child products and develops them with a deep sense of responsibility. Consumers are advised to always consult and follow the User Guide before operating the product and in case there are questions contact us directly for assistance.

Miracle Bubbles

While using Imperial Toy brand Super Miracle Bubbles, my daughter's lips made contact with the bubble solution (this is pretty normal for toddlers). A short time after she finished blowing bubbles, her lips turned completely white and the skin sloughed off! This caused an evening of pain for her and she could not eat any spicy or salty foods without crying. This happened two times because after the first I was not convinced the bubbles caused the reaction.

Reply:  Our bubble solution formula has been reviewed by Board Certified Toxicologist and found to be non-toxic and a non irritant.


sassypackrat said...

Goodness grief! What a waste of time and energy! Buy age appropriate toys, actually watch your children and maintain the products you buy. Easy peasy!

Anonymous said...

So much fun!

Mirrored screen protector generates light, zaps eyeballs.

Mercury in compact fluorescents! Incandescent bulbs for all!

$10 says this potato was foil-wrapped. And threatening tech support with liability? What'd you expect them to do, mail a check out?

Stroller pinch hazards not just for kids anymore. Future strollers will no longer fold to prevent parental boo-boos.

Magic wand lead testing. Minimal reporting is useful.

Only metal gets hot in microwaves. Consumer discovers violation of second law of thermodynamics, awarded Nobel in physics.

Discovers that things placed in microwave get hot (after two years of use).

The origin of the "remove baby from stroller before folding" warning.

Magic product fixes itself.

Submitted anonymously, because hey, if they can..