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Mockingbird isn’t giving refunds but says people should stop using the stroller until they receive a repair kit from the company
The stroller company Mockingbird recalled about 149,000 of its popular single-to-double strollers Thursday following at least 138 reports of cracked frames and eight reports of child injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The company is telling parents who have strollers with lot numbers 20091 to 22602 listed on the product label to stop using them immediately until they receive a frame reinforcement kit, which includes two frame clamps that will attach to the sides (PDF) of the stroller.
Consumer Reports safety experts urged the company to recall the strollers on Oct. 28 after dozens of parents shared stories about the stroller suddenly breaking during normal use.
After CR reported on this issue and asked the company about the incidents, Mockingbird told customers that they should inspect the sides of their stroller frames for cracks. The company told CR that the problem was “rare” but that it was working with the CPSC to investigate the incidents and decide on the “next steps.” In the meantime, Mockingbird continued to sell the strollers.
Posts on social media and reports submitted to the CPSC describe how some customers had their strollers break without warning while carrying two children, sometimes in the middle of busy city streets. Some parents shared stories about the stroller breaking so suddenly while in motion that their small children, still strapped in their stroller seats, were thrown to the ground.
Mockingbird did not respond to CR’s questions on Thursday. But on its website, the company says: “We received reports from some customers whose Single-to-Double Stroller developed cracks in the side of their stroller frame. Thanks to this valuable customer feedback, we developed a Frame Reinforcement Kit that further strengthens the stroller frame and prevents this rare issue from being able to occur.” The company added that it worked on the recall with the CPSC “because we hope doing so will encourage everyone to get the Kit and ensure even safer strolling.”
Injuries more serious than scrapes or bruises have so far not been reported, but parents described their experiences as terrifying close calls.
Photo: Ealeal Ginott Photo: Ealeal Ginott
In a report submitted to the CPSC in September, a parent described a stroller snapping in half with 1-year-old twins onboard as they walked around her neighborhood. “They both fell to the ground,” the parent wrote. “My daughter had rug burn on her neck and my son had scratches on his left hand and foot.” The parent had the stroller for only three months before it broke, the report said, and it was a replacement for a previous stroller that had also broken.
Parents describe two types of breaks happening most frequently. The more significant one, where a side of the frame snaps and causes the stroller to collapse, is what the recall addresses and the frame reinforcement kit is meant to prevent. Another type of break, involving a snapped support bar above the basket of the stroller, isn’t addressed by this recall. A Mockingbird spokesperson previously told CR that this smaller part of the frame “is not critical for the stroller’s structural integrity.”
“While we welcome the recall and the CPSC’s work to keep people safe, Mockingbird should have acted sooner,” says Oriene Shin, policy counsel for CR. “Parents should be able to trust that a product—and especially a stroller—is safe when they buy it. It shouldn’t take 138 complaints and public pressure to prompt action.”
Photo: Ashley Hopkins Photo: Ashley Hopkins
The recall applies to any Mockingbird single-to-double stroller with the indicated lot numbers, whether they were bought new or secondhand or received as a gift. Single strollers aren’t in the recall, nor are new single-to-double strollers currently for sale.
This recall doesn’t include refunds for the strollers.
“It’s disappointing that Mockingbird isn’t offering its customers a refund as a part of this recall,” Shin says. “A repair is fine for parents who want to keep their stroller, but if there’s a parent who is uncomfortable using the product for their child, they should be able to get their money back.”
CJ Chellin, a mom of two in Brooklyn, N.Y. who had three frames break in a row before she finally gave up on Mockingbird strollers, says she is glad that the company is acknowledging the problem. “However, I think the reinforcement kit is ridiculous,” she says. “As a parent, I want a product that is strong enough to start, not one I have to add extra material to to make safe. It’s putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone.”
A Queens, N.Y. mom whose Facebook post about her broken stroller went viral last month, Ealeal Ginott, says that she is skeptical about the fix that Mockingbird is offering, though she hopes she will be proven wrong. “I am really hoping that we don’t continue to hear about incidents a few months down the line where these reinforcements were simply not enough,” she says.
Ashley Hopkins, a mother in Boston who says she feels lucky that no kids were in her stroller when both sides of the frame broke apart, isn’t totally happy with the recall announcement, either. “This is not an appropriate solution,” Hopkins says. “This company cannot claim to put the safety of our children first if they are not offering refunds to the families who no longer feel safe using this faulty product—especially given how long it has taken them to own up to it.”
As with Mockingbird’s first public announcement about this issue, reactions to today’s recall posts on social media are mixed. “Thanks for being proactive!” wrote one commenter below the company’s Facebook post. But another wrote: “I want my money back.” And on Instagram, one commenter wrote, “Love the transparency and quick response…still the best stroller around!”, while another commented: “At this (or any) price point, I expected safety.”
Product recalled: Mockingbird single-to-double strollers with lot numbers 20091 to 22602. (The five-digit number can be found on the white product label on the inner left side of the stroller frame near the top of the basket.)
Sold at: Target stores nationwide and online at hellomockingbird.com, babylist.com, goodbuygear.com, and target.com from March 2020 to September 2022 for $395 to $450.
Units sold: About 149,000.
The problem: The lower side of the stroller frame can crack, posing a risk of falls to children. There have been 138 reports of cracks in the frame, including eight injuries involving cuts, scratches, or bruising to children in the strollers.
The fix: Consumers with these strollers should immediately stop using them and contact Mockingbird for a free frame reinforcement kit, which includes two frame clamps that attach to the sides of the stroller to reinforce the frame.
How to contact the manufacturer: Call Mockingbird at 877-274-3240 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, or send email to the company at email@example.com. For more information, go to hellomockingbird.com/recall or hellomockingbird.com and click on “Product Recall” at the bottom of the page.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go to SaferProducts.gov.
I’m an investigative reporter on CR’s Special Projects team, covering product safety. I’ve previously reported on algorithmic bias, criminal justice, and housing for The Markup and ProPublica. My reporting aims to expose and explain how decisions made by corporations and governments can have wide-reaching and often unintended consequences. Send me tips at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @lkirchner, or ask for my Signal number.
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