Company defends cribs, but others are skeptical
The president and CEO of a B.C. crib manufacturer at the centre of a massive recall defended his products Tuesday, saying it's up to parents to follow assembly instructions properly.
"We do have to tell people these cribs are safe, if you follow the assembly instructions correctly and heed the warnings," Jim Moore, president and CEO of Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., told CTV News.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Monday the voluntary recall of 2.1 million of the company's drop-side cribs in the U.S. and Canada.
The commission said that the cribs' plastic hardware can break, deform, or parts can go missing. Also, the drop-side can be installed upside-down.
All of these problems can cause the drop-side to detach, creating a space through which babies can become trapped, leading to suffocation.
Four deaths have been reported.
Health Canada issued a similar warning on Tuesday.
Consumers were encouraged to contact the company to receive a free repair kit that will lock the drop-side of the crib into place.
The recalled products were sold from January 1993 to October 2009, some with the Fisher Price logo.
Some parents said they weren't taking any chances.
Susan Daichendt said she began taking down her crib immediately after learning of the recall. Her daughter had slept in it, and her three-month-old son just started using it.
"If something can be put together incorrectly enough to kill someone, then it's not a good product," she said. "If you're going to give me a piece of plastic to tell me that's going to make my child safe, I don't buy it."
Bruce Cran of the Consumers Association of Canada said, in his opinion, the repair kit is inadequate to address the problem.
"At the moment, I think it's totally unsatisfactory that the manufacturer can throw together a couple of bolts, two washers and a wing nut and say, 'Here, fix it yourself,'" he said.
In June, Consumer Reports called for a ban on drop-side cribs altogether.
Cran said one thing Canada needs is tougher legislation that would enable the federal government to force a company to recall its products.
Right now, recalls are only voluntary.
"There is a big difference between the minister saying, 'Take that off the shelf or you are going to suffer the penalties that I can outline,'" or 'Please, sir, would you take that off the shelf because someone might be hurt.'"
A bill was introduced in January and is now before the Senate.
Meanwhile, customers who want to order a repair kit can contact Stork Craft toll-free at 1-877-274-0277 or log on to their website.
Customers can also visit Stork Craft's headquarters at 7433 Nelson Road in Richmond, B.C.
The company says it has stopped making drop-side cribs.
With reports from CTV British Columbia's Leah Hendry and Chris Olsen