VAUDE has initiated a voluntary product recall for its Cushion Frog accessories for child carriers. We have determined that products sold between February 2015 and March 2020 included a fabric with increased levels of a harmful substance (polyaromatic hydrocarbons PAH). The concentration limits of Germany’s REACH regulations were exceeded.
Voluntary Product Recall of Cushion Frog – FAQ for Consumers
• What is the reason for the recall?
We discovered that the Cushion Frog child carrier attachments sold from February 2015 to January 2020 included a fabric with increased levels of contaminants. This fabric was used on the back of the cushion. When the carrier is used as intended and expected, the chance of direct skin contact between this part of the cushion and the child is unlikely. The person carrying the child also comes into very brief contact with
this part of the cushion only occasionally, for example, when removing the cover to wash it. Nevertheless, we have decided to voluntarily recall this product.
What substance was found?
Elevated levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found.
• How do PAHs enter into textiles?
According to a 2016 background report by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, the PAH group of substances is a natural component of fossil raw materials, specifically coal and petroleum. Tar oils and specific oils from petroleum refining can be added as softeners to rubbers and plastics. The largest portion of the PAHs that reach consumers comes from these applications. In our case these substances were found in a neoprene fabric.
• Why are they such a concern?
According to the BfR Opinion Nr. 032/2010, 26 July 2010, PAHs are an alarming group of substances for humans and environmental organisms. Many PAHs are carcinogenic, mutagenic and/or toxic for reproduction.
• Is there an immediate danger to customers’ health?
This fabric was used on the back of the cushion. When the carrier is used as intended and expected, the chance of direct skin contact between this part of the cushion and the child is unlikely. The person carrying the child also comes into very brief contact with this part of the cushion only occasionally for example, when removing the cover to wash it. There is therefore no immediate danger for customers.
• Which carriers were affected?
The Cushion Frog, (Art. No. 11861) is the only product affected. This cushion was supplied with the Shuttle Premium (Art. No. 11778) and was also sold separately.
• What quantity / time period is affected?
All products sold from February 2015 to March 2020 are affected.
• Is my child carrier safe?
The child carriers themselves are not affected by this problematic fabric. The functionality, quality and safety of VAUDE child carriers are fully guaranteed.
• How long have you known about this problem with the Cushion Frog?
At the end of February 2020, we received test results indicating an increased level of hazardous substances, which prompted us to immediately take measures to protect consumers.
• How can this happen?
The problem stems from a fabric that was resourced down the supply chain. PAHs in
products with skin contact are regulated by legal requirements as well as by the
VAUDE RSL and Germany’s TÜV GS safety seal. VAUDE regularly monitors compliance
with these requirements during the production process, including random sampling.
As part of VAUDE’s quality assurance management program, the PAH contamination
of the back of the Cushion Frog came to light.
• Will this product continue to be produced?
Yes, the Cushion Frog will continue to be produced. The fabric used for the back of the Cushion Frog is being replaced. All materials used to make the Cushion Frog will continue to be closely monitored.
• What has VAUDE learned from this incident?
We are continuously evaluating and improving our internal processes. As a result of this recall, all our production-related quality requirements, documentation and processes will be reviewed and reformed if necessary.
• Will VAUDE replace the cushions?
VAUDE is offering a free replacement for the Cushion Frog.
• What should I do with my Cushion Frog?
Anyone who has a VAUDE Cushion Frog is requested to return it immediately if the Cushion Frog was purchased between February 2015 and March 2020. The voluntary recall is being carried out by official VAUDE retailers. These retailers have been informed accordingly to ensure smooth processing.
• Can I dispose of the cushions myself?
Please do not dispose of your Cushion Frog child carrier accessory yourself, but return it to us via your retailer. This is the only way we can analyze the incoming products and identify further potential for improvement.
• What will VAUDE do with the returned products?
VAUDE will dispose of the cushions appropriately.
• Who will answer my additional questions?
Contact information for consumers:
Telephone: 01805-08283300 (Monday to Friday 9:00 – 17.00)