Plenty of parents love BOB strollers. The three-wheeled design is great for jogging or just walking to Starbucks, and they're small enough to be allowed under the new stroller restrictions at Disney parks.
Millions of kids have taken rides in BOB strollers, but some parents who've sworn by them are growing concerned, especially if they've bought a stroller made before 2015. Earlier this week The Washington Post reported that there have been hundreds of crashes (injuring adults and kids) due to the sudden failure of the quick-release front wheel on the popular three-wheeled jogging strollers.
If you've got a BOB and are concerned about the safety of your child's ride. don't panic just yet, mama.
Here's what you need to know about the controversy surrounding the BOB stroller:
The strollers in question are the pre-2016 Revolution SE, CE, and Stroller Strides. According to the Post, between 2012 and 2018 the Consumer Product Safety Commission received 200 reports of wheels falling off BOBs, and in 2017 staff at the commission asked Britax, the maker of the BOB, to issue a voluntary recall for half a million strollers.
The company said no, and in 2018 the Commission sued Britax in a quest for a recall, according to the Post. Then the leadership of the Commission changed under the Trump administration, the suit was settled, and the recall never happened.
Under the terms of the settlement, Britax launched an Information Campaign on January 10, 2019 "via BOB Gear's website and social media channels," the company noted in a news release. The following Instagram post went up that day.
In social media comments parents are expressing concerns because while a recall would have triggered consumer notifications and news coverage, a social media info campaign can more easily go unnoticed.
Motherly reached out to Britax, but as of this writing the company has not offered an interview. It did, however, post a statement on its website this week.
It reads, in part: "At Britax, we take safety very seriously and regret any injuries that may have occurred while using our products. It's unfortunate the Washington Post article characterizes the pre-September 2015 BOB jogging stroller settlement as simply politics. We worked with the article's author to provide our perspective on the case. We explained that the reason we did not agree to a recall of the pre-September 2015 jogging strollers is that they are not defective and are safe when used as instructed...[T]he quick release design on our pre-September 2015 BOB jogging strollers has been used successfully around the world for decades in other products (e.g. bicycles)."
On a recent BOB Instagram post one mother described her issues with her older model stroller, and her feelings after being injured.
"I've run hundreds of miles with my daughter (and now my son) in my Bob and we've had the wheel come off mid-run. Luckily no babies were hurt, but my knees have gotten bloody," she wrote. That mama is mad that the public wasn't more aware of the issues with the BOB front wheels.
If you have a pre-2016 BOB stroller, check out this YouTube video to make sure it is installed properly.
BOB Strollers - Quick Release Wheel Installation for Revolution SE, CE, and Stroller Strides
For more information, check out bobinfocampaign.britax.com or call customer care line at 1-888-427-4829.