If you’re buying items online, our 5-On-Your-Side investigation is a must see. We are uncovering dangerous and potentially deadly items being sold on a daily basis.
Recalled products are being found all over Northeast Ohio and across the country. In fact, it’s such a huge problem we teamed up with ABC News investigators.
We all found lots of items posted on Craigslist that have a dangerous history behind them.
“The holidays are extremely hard. His birthday is extremely hard,” said mother Jennifer Irwin who will never hold her baby boy Ayden again. “The doctor came in and lifted and turned his neck and said ‘See what happened?’ And that’s when it hit me what happened. You could see the marks around his neck.”
Six-month-old Ayden was strangled by a dangerous baby monitor cord. The Consumer Product Safety Commission worked with the company Summer Infant Inc. to issue a recall on the monitor after two children including Ayden died.
Irwin told us she mounted everything according to the instructions.
“I relied on what they said to keep my child safe. I spent all this money to keep my child safe. And in the end it ended up killing him,” said Irwin.
Our team of investigators found a baby monitor being sold on Craigslist that part of the same recalled monitors that killed Ayden. Undercover video shows us buying it in a parking lot.
Our searches on Craigslist found numerous dangerous items. A Lane Cedar Chest was being sold through a consignment shop called Prosellers Inc. out of North Ridgeville.
The chest is part of a nationwide recall after children have died inside the chests.
The problem with the chests is with the locks. Kids get inside the chests and there’s no way to get out. Owner of Prosellers Inc. Doug Cook said he had no idea about the recall.
“I would never knowingly put out a product that certainly might take a child’s life or anything like that,” Cook told newsnet5.
Our search also took us to Akron after we found an Oeuf Sparrow Crib being sold there at a business.
The secretary showed us the crib, and sure enough, it’s the same model where spindles and top railings detach from the crib and create a hazard for babies. The seller took the item off of Craigslist.
Dangers to children were a big theme in our search. We found a lot of Baby Einstein jumpers on craigslist.
One was being sold at a woman’s house on Cleveland’s west side. She said she didn’t know about the recall. The item is no longer on the site.
“It is illegal to sell a recalled item,” said Elliot Kaye who is the Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that issues recalls.
He told newsnet5 his agency has a very difficult time convincing Craigslist of the recall problem.
“They have a responsibility to members of the public who are using their websites,” said Kaye. “Craigslist has certainly benefited from it financially. I think as a sense of civic responsibility they should step up and join their safety partnership.”
In fact, Kaye told us just last year the CPSC had 9,000 products taken off of online sites. That’s about one every hour of every day. And he said Craigslist was not helpful.
The company ignored our request for an interview, but did issue a statement saying in part it, “…provides a system whereby users can flag postings advertising recalled items for removal…” and that it had “productive talks” with CPSC six months ago.
Meanwhile, our searches continue to find recalled items popping up all the time on the site. That is a troubling situation for people like Irwin who worries about problem products hurting the ones you love.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss (Ayden),” she said with tears in her eyes.
Chairman Kaye told us one of the problems with recalls is that businesses, in general, need to put the same kind of resources and marketing that they use to sell a product into getting the product back if there’s a threat to someone’s safety.