Sorelle crib recall by Albee Baby reveals dark secret of Simplicity

Simplicity crib recall with different brand name.A small crib recall of the Sorelle brand Prescott model by Albee Baby revealed a disturbing and potentially dangerous problem: the cribs were actually made by the most infamous manufacturer of children's furniture -- Simplicity.

The now-defunct Simplicity is notorious for cheap, poorly made cribs -- sold at retailers everywhere -- that have led to the deaths of at least 12 babies. Even though Simplicity, which imported its cribs from China, has been out of business, recalls of its products continue as the sheer scope of its sales and its disregard for product safety has been increasingly apparent.

What was most alarming in this instance is the cribs carried the Sorelle label, which was actually pasted over the disgraced Simplicity name. It wasn't immediately clear how that came to be.

"The CPSC has, of course, been working very hard when Simplicity was in business and since they went out of business, to untangle the web of all their juvenile products," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told Consumer Ally. "It's part of an open investigation at this point."

Officials with Sorelle and Albee Baby, the online retailer that issued the recall, did not immediately respond to requests to explain the situation. These particular cribs were sold from July-October 2009, just before another Simplicity recall that involved this style. Without knowledge this was a Simplicity crib, those who purchased it would have no idea their children were in danger.

Child product safety advocate Nancy Cowles was fuming when she saw the Simplicity brand had been obscured.

"How's a consumer to trust these manufacturers? I'm sure many of the families would have made a different choice if they had known they were buying a Simplicity crib," Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, told Consumer Ally.

The fixed-sided, oak-finish convertible cribs were sold for about $200. They have tubular metal mattress-support frames that can be bend of come off, leading the mattress to drop and leave a space that can trap infants or cause them to fall through.

It is not unusual to see different brands made by the same manufacturer. In addition to selling those cribs under its own brand, Simplicity also made them under several other names, including Graco.

If you have one of these cribs, you are urged to stop using it immediately.

The CPSC said C&T international -- owner of the Sorelle brand -- are trying to track down owners of the recalled cribs to replace them or provide either a store credit or refund.

Consumers can contact Albee Baby at (877) 692-5233 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
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