Consumer Reports issues stroller safety alert

April 25, 2011 3:40:22 PM PDT
Consumer Reports has found a problem with the brakes on the $200 Britax B-Nimble umbrella stroller.

The stroller's user guide says to set the parking brake you "step on the brake pedal on either side of the stroller until the wheels lock." But during Consumer Reports' tests, when testers stepped on either pedal, the brake sometimes failed to engage.

Testers noted that when you step on the pedal you hear a click and the pedal remains depressed, but the wheels may not be locked.

Britax says it has not received any consumer complaints of injury related to the brakes and that the B-Nimble has passed voluntary safety standards. Nevertheless, Consumer Reports Director of Testing says the braking problem is a safety concern.

"If you leave the stroller on a surface that's not level and the brakes aren't engaged, the stroller could roll into harm's way, which could lead to a serious injury," said Liam McCormack, Consumer Reports.

Britax says "We do not believe that the results of (Consumer Reports) testing are indicative of a safety issue" and that "the audible click heard is not intended to indicate that the parking brake is engaged or locked."

But Consumer Reports believes that harried parents may think the wheels are locked when they are not.

Consumer Reports found the braking problem with all three samples of the B-Nimble stroller it tested. It is advising people not to buy the Britax B-Nimble and to stop using it if you own one.

Consumer Reports says it has not found this type of braking problem with any of the other 28 umbrella strollers it recently tested. It has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission of its findings. If you are looking to buy an umbrella stroller, Consumer Reports recommends the UPPA-baby G-Lite which costs around $130.

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