According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, falls account for around 75% of the 46,200 stroller-related injuries reported between January 2008 and December 2011. Industry standards say that the stroller’s harness is supposed to prevent falls by staying securely latched.
But CR found that the one side of the buckle on the harness for the Truly Scrumptious Travel System TR252BQR by Heidi Klum released intermittently on three samples tested by the magazine.
The Truly Scrumptious Travel System, bearing the name of the supermodel/omnipresent TV personality is sold exclusively at Babies ’R Us, though third party vendors will resell the items on sites like Amazon and eBay.
While this stroller performed well in separate car-seat tests, in the stroller tests it was not the same story. After applying 45 pounds of force (called for by the industry standard) at each harness attachment point, the buckle’s right side released 10 out of 15 times in CR’s tests on three separate samples (3 out of five times on one sample; 2 out of 5 on a second; all 5 times on the third).
Likewise in an impact test — again, patterned after the voluntary standards set by the industry — designed to simulate a stroller hitting a curb, the buckle’s right side released 7 out or 15 times (1 in 5 times on the first two samples; all 5 times on the third).
What makes the results of this impact test so worth noting is that this test is not intended to test the efficacy of the restraint system, but is for testing a stroller’s frame and its folding, locking, and latching mechanisms.
Because Heidi Klum is too busy hosting every TV show known to man, the strollers are actually made by a company called Dorel Juvenile Group, which disagrees with Consumer Reports’ conclusions.
CR did test other Dorel-made products as part of the latest ratings roundup, but did not find a similar buckle issue on other strollers made by the company.
“If you already own the Heidi Klum TR252BQR stroller, 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,” writes CR in a statement. “But don’t use the stroller on its own. Consider asking the retailer for a refund on the entire travel system.”