Graco announced one of the largest child car seat recalls ever earlier this month when it said it would offer fixes for nearly four million seats. Though the recall is historic in its size, it’s actually much less than what government safety regulators initially requested, meaning the recall fight might still continue on.
The recall announcement came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which said that Graco had agreed to recall 11 of the 18 models of child car seats that regulators had asked the company to investigate. The total number of seats recalled comes to 3.7 million, a huge number, but actually 1.8 million less than what the NHTSA was hoping for.
The NHTSA commended Graco on launching the recall, but it made clear that the agency’s investigation of the matter would continue until it had conducted further review of the other 7 models that had not been included. The current recall is the fourth largest in history for car seats and would have been the largest ever had the company agreed to recall all 18 models.
According to Graco's website, the recalled models include the following toddler convertible car seats: the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70 and Smart Seat. The NHTSA has said that the seven models that were not included in the recall are the Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35, and Snugride Click Connect 40. Though no formal recall has been issued for these models, Graco says any customers experiencing trouble with the buckles can still get a replacement harness for free.
Graco has said that the recall impacts car seats made between 2009 and July of 2013. The problem appears to be that the red button at the center of the car seat’s harness, which is used to unlatch the belt, can become stuck. This sticking problem can make it difficult if not completely impossible to get a child out of the seat quickly in the event of an emergency. According to Graco, the problem can be exacerbated by food or drink particles that drip down into the harness and harden over time.
To fix the issue, Graco says that it has created a new harness buckle that it says will not become stuck. According to the NHTSA, parents with affected seats should consider buying or temporarily using a different car seat until the Graco seat can be repaired.
If your child has been harmed by a dangerous or defective product, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured or marketed the device accountable for their actions by filing a civil claim for compensation. Read the following article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.
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