Graco, a major car seat and baby accessory manufacturer, has recalled 3.8 million car seats in 11 different models sold between 2009 and 2013. This is the fourth largest recall of car seats in American history, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The massive recall was prompted by concerns over the harness buckles of the recalled car seats becoming impossible to rapidly unbuckle in times of emergency. The latching problem was worsened when the seats had food and drink spilled on them over time. There have been no deaths or injuries linked to the recalled car seats, but there have been reported instances where children’s car seat straps had to be cut off them when their buckles would not unlatch properly.
It is important to note that the recalled items include only child car seats, NOT infant seats. The NHTSA has strongly recommended that seven models of infant seats be included in the recall, in addition to the eleven car seat models which have already been recalled. The NHTSA has demanded that Graco investigate the issue more thoroughly and explain to its consumers why only car seats were included in the recall and not the infant seat models.
Despite the Graco recall, car seats should definitely still be used, as they are far safer than the alternative. Infants and children should always be put in seats that fit them and which are age-appropriate. Fuller & Fuller, an accident and injury law firm in Tacoma and Olympia, encourages everyone to use car seats for their children and infants.
Graco has provided a buckle repair kit at no cost to consumers affected by their recall, and also stresses that cleaning the harness buckles can fix the unlatching issue in most instances. Readers who are concerned that their child’s seat could fall within the recall can follow this link to Graco’s recall announcement for further information.