The case surrounding the Britax stroller is even more astonishing considering that it took place as Republicans seized control of the CPSC, eventually holding a majority of the agency’s oversight commission for the first time in more than a decade.
According to interviews with at least 8 current and former senior officials at the CPSC — some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity due to laws against discussing ongoing cases — the agency’s Republican chairwoman refused to discuss the Britax stroller investigation with democratic commissioners.
These events played out with little to no press attention, as the new Trump Administration represented a literal paradigm shift of high-profile deregulatory moves that stole the spotlight. However, consumer watchdogs said changes at the CPSC could indicate that regulators were devaluing an agency that oversees the safety of some 15,000 everyday consumer products.
The agency’s lawsuit against Britax ended in November with a settlement, approved by a 3-to-2 Republican majority vote. In a rare letter of dissent written after the decision, the panel’s 2 Democrats called the settlement “aggressively misleading” for downplaying risks associated with the Britax BOB jogging stroller.
Under the settlement agreement, Britax was required to conduct a public-safety campaign and offer replacement parts or discounts on new strollers. However, as the company noted in a news release, it was “pleased to announce” a resolution that didn’t include these steps. Instead, Britax “contested CPSC’s action to request a recall of BOB strollers because there is no defect in these products,” said Company President Robert McCutcheon.
Source: The Washington Post