WASHINGTON — More than 2.1 million drop-side cribs by Stork Craft Manufacturing are being recalled — the biggest crib recall in U.S. history — following reports of four infant suffocations.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said late Monday that the recall involves 1.2 million cribs in the United States and almost 1 million in Canada, where Stork Craft is based. Sales of the cribs being recalled go back to 1993.
Nearly 150,000 of the cribs carry the Fisher-Price logo.
The CPSC said it is aware of four infants who suffocated in the drop-side cribs, which have a side that moves up and down to allow parents to lift children from the cribs more easily.
The Stork Craft cribs have had problems with their hardware, which can break, deform or become missing after years.
CPSC said there can also be problems with assembly mistakes by crib owners. These problems can cause the drop-side to detach, creating a dangerous space between the drop-side and the crib mattress, where a child can become trapped.
The commission is urging parents to stop using the cribs until they receive a free repair kit from Stork Craft.
The cribs, which were manufactured and distributed between January 1993 and October 2009, were sold at major retailers including BJ's Wholesale Club, Sears and Wal-Mart stores and online through Target and Costco.
They sold for between $100 and $400, and were made in Canada, China and Indonesia.
Calls to Stork Craft were not immediately returned.
This is the second big recall this year for the company. It recalled about 500,000 cribs in January because of problems with the metal brackets that support the mattress. Some of the same model s in the earlier recall were also part of Monday's announcement, CPSC said.
Consumer advocates have complained for years about drop-side cribs. More than 5 million have been recalled over the past two years alone — recalls that were associated with the deaths of a dozen young children.
ASTM International, an organization that sets voluntary industry safety standards for everything from toys to the steel used in commercial buildings, approved a new standard last week that requires four immovable, or fixed, sides for full-size cribs — essentially eliminating the manufacture of drop-side cribs.
The CPSC is also considering new rules for making cribs safer and could adopt the ASTM voluntary standard as a mandatory one, outright banning the cribs.
Toys "R" Us started phasing out drop-side cribs earlier this year and will no longer carry them next month.
In the Stork Craft recall, the manufacture date, model number, crib name, country of origin, and the firm's name, address and contact information are on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board. The firm's insignia ''storkcraft baby'' or ''storkling'' is inscribed on the drop-side teething rail of some cribs.
Consumers can call the company at 877-274-0277 to order the free repair kit, or log on to www.storkcraft.com.