Nov 14, 2023

Mockingbird Single

They share their scary experiences, while the company says it continues to investigate

Update: Mockingbird recalled its single-to-double baby stroller on Nov. 10, saying it will send owners repair kits.

Original: Mockingbird continues to sell its single-to-double baby stroller days after Consumer Reports’ safety experts called on the company to recall them following dozens of reports from parents that their strollers had broken in potentially dangerous ways. In at least two instances, sudden breaks caused small children to fall facedown on the pavement at busy intersections.

Over the weekend there were many more reports of the stroller breaking.

After CR asked the company about the incidents last week following the initial reports, Mockingbird emailed its customers and issued a statement on social media saying that it was aware of some "isolated incidents" involving broken stroller frames and that customers should inspect their frames for cracks. If they see any, it said, they should stop using the stroller and contact the company. The statement also said that Mockingbird was working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) "to determine next steps."

But on Monday Mockingbird told CR that the baby stroller was still for sale and that the company wasn't issuing a recall. "We’ve concluded that the strollers currently for sale are not at risk to be affected by this rare issue," Emily Herring, a spokesperson, wrote.

The CPSC declined to answer CR's questions about the agency's investigation.

On social media, reactions from owners of the Mockingbird single-to-double stroller are mixed. Many thanked the company for its transparency. Others who had issues with Mockingbird strollers breaking in the past praised the customer service department for quickly replacing them, though some also said they were afraid to use the replacements they had received.

But many others were frustrated and confused, pointing out that Mockingbird's statement raised more questions than it answered. For instance, the company told customers to inspect the frame of their stroller for visible cracks but didn't say where exactly to look. What if they were using their stroller to carry one child, not two? Should they also be concerned? Was the company going to change the weight limits for the seats? Some commenters asked for photos or diagrams, which the company didn't provide.

"Who's to say it will show cracks before breaking?" wrote one customer. "Accidents happen, but head injuries aren't pleasant either."

Others commented that they, too, had experienced sudden breaks of their Mockingbird stroller during regular use. "As someone who has been personally impacted by a defective stroller (sending the front seat face first into the cement), this message comes far too late," wrote Ashley Hopkins in a comment to Mockingbird's Instagram post. "This unfortunately just happened to ours," wrote someone else. "It completely split in half." Yet another said, "Today my stroller snapped in half."

Parents are discussing two types of breaks most often. One is the more dramatic: when a part of the frame suddenly snaps off at a joint on the side, causing the entire stroller to collapse (and in some cases, sending the front seat and the child in it to the ground). The other common break involves a small support bar above the bottom basket that snaps off the side of the frame. The photos below demonstrate each of these cases.

Photos: Courtesy of Ealeal Ginott Photos: Courtesy of Ealeal Ginott

In response to CR's questions, Mockingbird said it was only alerting customers to look out for cracks on the side of the frame, referring to the first problem. "While the bottom crossbar contributes to smoother strolling, it is not critical for the stroller's structural integrity," Herring wrote. "However, we take any report of an issue involving our strollers seriously, evaluating it thoroughly and, if needed, taking appropriate action."

Mockingbird declined to say how many broken-frame incidents it's aware of but said the reports have been limited to the single-to-double stroller.

But some parents commenting on the company's statement on social media said they had similar problems with the Mockingbird single stroller. "I reported that my single snapped literally on its 3rd use & never even heard back," wrote someone in response to Mockingbird's Twitter post, adding that it "hasn't been usable since." A Mockingbird stroller owner named Caroline Hubbard made a TikTok video of yet another type of break that happened to her single stroller. The front axle snapped off after she’d been using the stroller for only five weeks, she said.

CJ Chellin, a mother of two in Brooklyn, N.Y., who had three Mockingbird strollers break, one after the other, wasn't impressed with Mockingbird's public statement. "My stroller didn't have a crack, it snapped in half," she says. "The stroller needs to be recalled."

Photos: Courtesy of CJ Chellin Photos: Courtesy of CJ Chellin

Update Original