Defective child seat are being recalled
Almost 3.8 million child safety seats are being recalled by Graco, due children being able to be trapped by the buckles that may not unlatch. The company say they may also include another 1.8 million rear-facing car seat designed for infants to be recalled by the Graco Children's Products Inc. of Atlanta.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has issued a warning, stating that the problem has been involved with difficulty of removing a child from the restraint that may pose as a possible risk increase in the event of a vehicle crash, such as fire or other emergency. The NHTSA also criticized Graco stating that the recall excluded infant car seats with the same buckles.
"Some of these consumers have had no choice but to resort to the extreme measure of cutting the harness straps to remove their child from the car seat," said NHTSA.
The NHTSA agency wanted Graco Inc, to identify the total number of seats that were potential to the defects.
Graco is a division of an Atlanta-based company, Newell Rubbermaid. A test was conducted and found that food or beverage can make the the harness buckles more difficult to use, resulting in making the child seat sticky and harder to use over time. The company has promised to send replacements for free to those who register their seats.
However, owners who did not register their seats, but want a free replacement buckle has the option to call the company's consumer hotline (-345-4109) or visit their website.
Rear-facing child seats are not being recalled, with a statement from Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey, saying that infants do not get food or drinks on their seats. Mowrey said that Graco will send replacement buckles to rear-facing infant seats if they are requested by the owners.
The company has been issuing cleaning tips for the buckles, said Mowrym and has began sending replacement buckles to owners since last summer, alongside with instructions and a video on their website how to properly install the new buckles.
Graco estimated that less than 1% percent of the seats involved in the recall only had buckles that were stuck or difficult to unlatch from. Mowrey said there have been so far no reported injuries due to the defect. The NHTSA documents filed last year said they received 80 complaints about the seats.
Source: WFAA "Graco recalling nearly 3.8M child car seats". Staff, February 12, 2014