Consumer Reports Judges Heidi Klum Stroller A "Don't Buy" Safety Risk

Oct 10, 2013, 06:00 ET from Consumer Reports

YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Heidi Klum Truly Scrumptious Travel System stroller has been judged a "Don't Buy" Safety Risk by Consumer Reports after its safety harness failed to stay securely latched during tests. Of the more than 100 strollers in Consumer Reports' Ratings, the Truly Scrumptious Travel System is the only one with this problem.

Falls are the biggest stroller risk by far: Roughly 75 percent of the estimated 46,200 stroller-related emergency-room visits between January 2008 and December 2011 happened because children tumbled out of their stroller, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A stroller's harness is supposed to prevent falls by staying securely latched when in use, according to the voluntary industry safety standard.

But on the Truly Scrumptious Travel System TR252BQR by Heidi Klum, $220, one side of the buckle released intermittently on three samples in Consumer Reports' latest stroller tests.

The Truly Scrumptious Travel System TR252BQR by Heidi Klum is part of a line of strollers and other baby products marketed by the supermodel and TV star and sold exclusively at Babies "R" Us. Like other travel systems designed to accommodate children from birth up to four years, this one includes the stroller and a detachable infant car seat with its own restraint system and base.

Consumer Reports tested the product as part of its regular travel system tests. The car seat and its restraint system performed well in its separate car-seat tests. For the stroller seat restraint, CR applied 45 pounds of force at each harness attachment point based on the voluntary safety standard for strollers. Its tests found no issues with the attachment points that don't involve the buckle. But when Consumer Reports testers applied force where the harness attaches to the buckle itself, the buckle's right side released 10 out of 15 times on three separate samples—three times during five tests with one sample, in two of five tests with a second sample, and in all five tests with a third sample.

The buckle also released in Consumer Reports' impact test. Patterned after the voluntary standard, this test simulates a stroller hitting a curb and is designed to evaluate the stroller's frame and its folding, locking, and latching mechanisms—not its restraint system. This time, the buckle's right side released one out of five times on each of two samples, and five out of five times on a third sample.

Consumer Reports doesn't know of any injuries associated with the Truly Scrumptious Travel System. But the organization believes it poses a safety concern and has designated the Truly Scrumptious Travel System TR252BQR by Heidi Klum a Don't Buy: Safety Risk as a result of its tests.

Consumer Reports contacted the Dorel Juvenile Group, which makes the stroller. Dorel said it disagrees with Consumer Reports' conclusions, based on its own internal and outside testing, and has had no reports or complaints about buckle releases. (CR didn't find a problem with a similar buckle on other strollers made by Dorel that were tested, including the Safety 1st SleekRide Premier Travel System, Disney Saunter Luxe Travel System, and Cosco Commuter Travel System. 

If you already own the Truly Scrumptious Travel System TR252BQR by Heidi Klum, you can continue using the car seat in the car and on the stroller, since it doesn't rely on the stroller's restraint system. But don't use the stroller on its own. Consider asking Babies "R" Us for a refund on the entire travel system.

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SOURCE Consumer Reports