In a January 15, 2009 press release, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of Simplicity’s Rainforest Portable Play Yards. These products are sold in major department stores, including Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys-R-Us. Manufactured in China and sold under the company name, Simplicity for Children, with a Fisher-Price logo, these play yards pose a hazard to children in Indiana and around the country due to the unexpected collapse of the side railing. This collapse can cause entrapment and serious injury to young children.
About 200,000 units are affected by this action which was taken by CPSC after they received nearly 1,350 complaints from consumers. Consumers are instructed to immediately stop using the play yard and contact Fisher-Price to receive assistance with this matter.
This is not the first recall Simplicity has faced. In recent years there have been several recalls of Simplicity products. These include a 574 unit recall of the Lancaster Convertible Crib, a 40,000 unit recall on the Nursery-In-A-Box Cribs, and the 104,000 unit recall of the Aspen 3-in-1 with Wooden Mattress Support. The biggest recall came in September 2007 when one million cribs were recalled after several children suffocated due to a design defect. This recall affected 12 different cribs under various model names and brand logos.
Perhaps the most troubling factor in this recent recall action is the company’s continued failure to respond to consumer complaints. The CPSC took this action, in large part, because the company has refused to assist consumers with their concerns. This office attempted to reach Simplicity for comment but the contact number provided on Simplicity’s website is not operational. Calls to this number are met with a message informing the caller, “The number you have dialed is unallocated.”
Parents who place their precious children in car seats, high chairs, and cribs expect that they will be safe and the company who has manufactured these devises will stand behind their products. Simplicity’s failure to ensure a high quality, safe product and their failure to respond to the public’s concerns is truly a reason for alarm.