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Online retailers still selling banned cribs

Consumers have the right to purchase products that have been thoroughly tested for safety and that are free from defects, which can cause personal injuries or death. This consumer right is very important in the context of products that are designed for infants. When a product designed for babies is a defective or dangerous product, the results can be catastrophic.

According to a recent story in USA Today, many people are selling used drop-side cribs over Internet sites. However, virtually all of these drop-side cribs have been banned, and these listings violate federal consumer protection laws.

This June, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enacted new safety standards for drop-side cribs in response to the deaths of about 32 infants. Many of those deaths happened because hardware on the defective products failed, causing infants to be entrapped in the broken hardware.

Under the CPSC's new safety standards, only cribs that have improved mattress supports and stronger hardware can be sold. Traditional stores have programs in place to remove recalled or banned products. However, USA Today's recent review of eBay and Craigslist found thousands of illegal cribs for sale.

After the CPSC contacted eBay about the issue, the online retailer agreed to shut down its used cribs auctions within a few weeks. Craigslist, however, has drawn the ire of the CPSC by allowing users to moderate listings on the site. Instead of taking down the crib listings directly, Craigslist has updated its list of prohibited products.

Multiple studies and investigations found that drop-side cribs failed because of weak hardware, and these cribs continue to fail during ordinary use.

Source: USA Today, "Illegal used cribs still for sale on Craigslist, eBay," Jayne O'Donnell and Oliver St. John, Aug. 7, 2011

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