For at least five years, popular stroller company Maclaren knew that children had been losing fingers in their stroller hinges, but the UK-based company did not inform the public or issue a recall until federal regulators all but forced it to do so. At least twelve children have had fingers cut off by Maclaren strollers, and earlier this week the company announced a "voluntary recall" of all their strollers sold since 1999. But the Consumer Products Safety Commission [CPSC] may still come down hard on the company.

Maclaren could be hit with a fine of $1 million or more because federal law requires companies to "report to CPSC immediately on learning of a problem with a product that makes it a substantial hazard or poses a potential hazard," according to CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson, who tells the Post, "12 fingers is 12 too many. We highly, highly encourage people to take advantage of this recall."

In July 2004, 23-month-old Connecticut toddler Carlos DeWinter lost his right pinky, according to court papers obtained by the tabloid. The "traumatic amputation" occurred when his mom was shopping for a Maclaren stroller and was testing the one-handed folding/unfolding mechanism. As she was about to lock the stroller open, Carlos put his pinky in the hinge, and despite multiple surgeries, the finger could not be reattached.

The family sued, and Maclaren argued that the mother's "own negligence" was to blame; it was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Robert Moro, an engineer and former compliance officer with the CPSC, testified that the stroller, which was designed and manufactured in China, violated federal guidelines intended to prevent a gruesome "scissoring effect." He tells the Post, "Maclaren had a legal obligation to report this. It's extremely unfortunate a lot of little kids had to get their fingers amputated."