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Finger fears prompt pram recall -

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ELEANOR HALL: A pram manufacturer which has issued a recall of its Maclaren stroller in the United
States is coming under criticism for not extending that recall to countries like Australia.

The company is recalling around a million Maclaren strollers across the US because of reports of
children's fingers being amputated by the strollers' hinge.

But parenting groups say the modification kit that Maclaren is offering does not count as a recall
and they're also angry that the company's US precautions are not being applied elsewhere.

In Melbourne, Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: There have now been 15 cases of children's fingertips being amputated while they're
getting into or sitting in Maclaren strollers.

KATHLEEN REILLY: You could see where, particularly an older child would put their weight on with
their fingers on both hands on both sides to support their weight and get into it and that could've
caused the problem.

RACHAEL BROWN: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Kathleen Reilly says the commission has
announced a sweeping recall of the popular brand that, until now, has prided itself on its safety
reputation.

She says the recall includes numerous umbrella models, both single and double strollers, made since
1999.

KATHLEEN REILLY: And there are quite a few - Volo, Triumph, Quest, Sport, Quest Mod, Techno - I
mean there are about seven or eight listed here.

This happened over several years, it's not just recent phenomenon. So the company has recalled
these and is offering to send a repair kit. And the repair kit sits on top of the hinge. It covers
the area that was causing the problem.

RACHAEL BROWN: Maclaren's so called recall, the plastic hinge cover, has annoyed parenting groups.
Online posts describe the move as somewhat of a bandaid fix.

But Ms Reilly says the modification kit will remove the hazard.

KATHLEEN REILLY: Well given the large quantity of product on the market, and listen, I'm not saying
that any child, one little amputated finger is worth recalling the product, but they did come up
with a repair and it does work. I mean I've actually seen the product here. The huge number of
children have used them successfully, probably passed them onto siblings and without a problem.

RACHAEL BROWN: Also angering parent groups is the British brand's refusal to extend the recall to
its UK base.

An online contributor on the website Mumsnet mused US children's fingers must be more valuable than
UK ones.

EXCERPT FROM WEBSITE MUMSNET: My interpretation is that they have weighed up the cost implications
of a recall here against the likely payout in the case of an injury. Unlike the USA, where you
would get tens of thousands for an amputated finger, you would get a modest sum here. So the risk
is worth taking.

RACHAEL BROWN: The British newspaper The Guardian reports Maclaren is not extending its US recall
because the company believes the risk of injury is non-existent if the strollers are opened and
closed correctly.

The decision has been backed by UK trading standards officials, who say they've only heard of one
recorded incident.

Maclaren Australia has not returned The World Today's calls.

Christopher Zinn from the consumer advocacy group Choice says while the recall hasn't been
officially announced in Australia, he understands modification kits will be available.

CHRISTOPHER ZINN: We've been advised by the importers that any concerned customers can get this
elbow joint cover kit for free, they just need to register with the importers and that will be
mailed out. Thankfully we haven't had any reported incidences of "finger pinch" as it's called with
these particular prams in this country.

RACHAEL BROWN: Do you sympathise with those buyers in the UK that feel they've been left out of
this recall?

CHRISTOPHER ZINN: Well look, different jurisdictions have different ways of dealing with them and
the Consumer Products Safety Commission in the United States is fairly proactive and has a long
history and is a body that we've, in the past, have called really to be replicated here because in
many ways they really have pushed the envelope in terms of product safety.

That having been said, in this country, now the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission) has got a dedicated product safety area that will be looking more closely at these
areas and we won't have the states all doing different things at different times.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Christopher Zinn from Choice ending that report by Rachael Brown.