Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a recall regarding the Hot Wheels Urban Shredder Ride-On Toys, due to potential fall and impact hazards. Numerous reports indicated that the ride-on toys could unexpectedly accelerate and cause the rider to lose control.
Low-profile ride-on toys also potentially present safety concerns regarding visibility – vehicles may have a difficult time spotting riders of these recreational toys, given their close proximity to the pavement. As a result, such items are required to be sold with brightly colored safety flags that attach to the product and rise high above the ground, designed to alert others in the area to the presence of a rider.
About 9,000 of these battery-operated products were sold beginning in November 2012 for about $270 to $350. This year alone, there have now been three (3) recalls of products in the ATV & Motorized Ride-on category. Since 2005, there have been approximately ten (10) similar recalls, involving about 1 million product units.
Thousands of children are killed and injured every year as a result of unsafe toys. The minimal government standards and voluntary industry guidelines do not mandate adequate pre-market testing and do not do enough to promote safety. Three factors can combine to control the safety of any product: (1) The manufacturer’s concern for product safety; (2) The consumers’ awareness of the product hazards; and (3) The diligence of government officials in providing the impetus to manufacturers to make safer products. In the case of the toy industry, all three factors have been historically lacking.
Experienced litigation and trial counsel is necessary to recognize the variety of toy hazards that can result in toy-related injuries or deaths relating to defective products. If you or someone you know has suffered personal injury as the result of a dangerous toy, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. at (617) 742-1900, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.