I saw a safety recall on a baby crib recently. After decades of safety regulations on baby cribs, how is it possible there is a recall on one? I mean if they haven’t gotten it right by now, they never will. We’re taking about a crib, not a space shuttle.
Without a link to the recall, there’s no way to know exactly the problem, but it could be a manufacturing defect of some sort that made it unsafe. A lot of cribs come with sides that slide down to make it easier to get the baby in or out, and the mechanism that controls that may be faulty for example. It’s unlikely to be a design issue like the bars being too far apart, since you’d expect that to be caught early.
After all, we’ve been making cars for a long time too, and they have recalls all the time.
This kind of recall seems most often to happen when a reputable manufacturer subcontracts the product to an overseas manufacturer - most often China, but other places like Bangladesh and India too.
They will specify things like design and materials, but the work might well get sub and sus-sub contracted and then the wrong paint, or the wrong plastic or some other (cheaper?) alternative gets used; maybe the bars are 2mm too far apart. These problems might not show up until some vigilant inspector spots them, or some child suffers an injury. Then the poop hits the fan.
There are always hazards to even the simplest devices that may not be apparent until someone finds out the hard way.
After a bit of googling, it appears that the vast majority of them are either recalls related to older drop-front cribs, where the drop-front mechanism can malfunction and cause a suffocation hazard, or on newer ones, due to faulty design where something can break or separate and cause an entrapment or suffocation hazard.
For example, here’s the text from a recall from this past summer:
Just a nitpick: I believe that drop-side cribs have now been outlawed (in the US).
Huh. Last crib I bought was 16 years ago, when it was nearly impossible to find a crib without drop sides.
The business goal of designing the cheapest thing that will just barely pass regulations never goes away. So every so often somebody get their tolerances a little too close to the edge.
Plus as noted by several folks above, down in the bowels of lowest-bidder sub-contracting “stuff” tends to happen. Which many businessmen will choose to ignore in hopes they get away with it.
Yup, no more drop sides.
so who is the responsible party for breaking regulation and what is the fine? Any links?
I don’t think it’s a matter of breaking regulations, so much as it’s a matter of someone identifying a problem and issuing a recall to remedy it.
For example, Trader Joe’s had some kind of problem with their ginger beer over the holidays with exploding bottles or some-such, and they issued a recall. No laws broken, no regulations broken, just a manufacturing glitch.
Same thing with cribs and what-not. If there’s a defective part, or mis-assembled part, they issue a recall. Or if there’s a less than awesome design, they’ll issue a recall.
As long as the recall is voluntary. But if there’s a problem and they don’t want to do a recall, some government agencies, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, can force them or fine them. Usually they do a voluntary recall when the CPSC finds a flaw so as to avoid that though. Not sure if food works the same way.