“Consumer Reports” Rates Best, Worst Strollers: Heidi Klum’s Gets Bad Marks
(NEW YORK) -- Supermodel Heidi Klum's baby stroller has been listed as a "Don't Buy," cited for a safety risk by Consumer Reports.
Klum's Truly Scrumptious Travel System TR252BQR stroller was the only one dinged with a "Don't Buy" warning of the 100 strollers it tested, Consumer Reports said. One side of the stroller's buckles released intermittently on three samples in Consumer Reports' tests. The travel system, which retails for about $220, includes a Truly Scrumptious Travel System Stroller and a Safety 1st onBoard 35 infant car seat and base.
The stroller is one of Klum's line of baby products sold exclusively at Babies "R" Us. The stroller is made by Dorel Juvenile Group, under Canadian company Dorel.
Julie Vallese, spokesperson for Dorel, said the company's testing with internal and independent third-party test lab accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) contradicts Consumer Reports' findings.
"Additionally, we have no reports or complaints consistent with the findings described to us by CR staff," Vallese's statement read. "While we were not afforded the opportunity to observe the tests and procedures used by Consumer Reports, the careful description by its engineers and the inconsistent test results support our conclusion that there are flaws in the test methodology that include improperly securing the buckles."
Consumer Reports says the Truly Scrumptious car seat and its restraint system "performed well in our separate car-seat tests."
"For the stroller seat restraint, we applied 45 pounds of force at each harness attachment point, based on the voluntary safety standard for strollers," the magazine explained. "Our tests found no issues with the attachment points that don't involve the buckle. But when we applied force where the harness attaches to the buckle itself, the buckle's right side released 10 out of 15 times on three separate samples—three times during five tests with one sample, in two of five tests with a second sample, and in all five tests with a third sample."
Consumer Reports said it urges mandatory safety standards for strollers to be enforced. The 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act calls for the CPSC to set mandatory standards for products like infant bath seats, swings and walkers, but not yet for strollers.
The magazine tells consumers that if you already own Klum's Travel System stroller, "you can continue using the car seat in the car and on the stroller, since it doesn't rely on the stroller's restraint system." Consumer Reports points out that the car seat is available by itself as the Safety 1st onBoard35, which the magazine rates as a "Best Buy" for $100.
"But don't use the stroller on its own," Consumer Reports said. "And do consider asking Babies 'R' Us for a refund on the entire travel system."
Consumer Reports' seven stroller categories include travel systems like Klum's, single traditional strollers, single combo stroller, and double side-by-side strollers.
Here are Consumer Reports' top 10 travel system strollers, their ratings and retail prices:
1. Graco Stylus | Score: 86, $245
2. Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System | Score: 83, $330
3. Graco UrbanLite Travel System | Score: 80, $260
4. Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger Travel System | Score: 80, $325
5. Eddie Bauer Adventurer | Score: 77, $210
6. Graco Modes Click Connect Travel System | Score: 76, $370
7. Safety 1st SleekRide Premier Travel System | Score: 75, $245
8. Safety 1st SleekRide LX Travel System | Score: 74, $250
9. Evenflo Journey 200 Travel System | Score: 72, $160
10. Britax B- Agile Travel System | Score: 72, $400
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio