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Graco Finally Agrees to Record-Breaking Recall of Dangerous Infant Car Seats
In February, we brought you news of a massive recall of upward of 3.8 million child safety seats made by Atlanta-based Children's Products, Inc. for use by toddlers. Company officials admitted that buckles on certain safety seat models could get stuck, trapping children using them. After a push by federal safety officials and reports of the death of at least one toddler, the company recalled an additional 403,222 toddler car seats the very next month. But a heated debate continued as Graco steadfastly refused safety officials' insistence of an expanded recall of nearly 2 million safety seats designed for use by infants.
Fortunately, that's now changed. Under due pressure, Graco has recalled 1.9 million infant car seats, making for the largest child safety seat recall in American history. Over the course of a five-month feud between Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Graco admitted that buckles on both the infant and toddler seats can get gummed up by spilled food and drinks, making it difficult to unlatch the buckles. But the company maintained that the infant and toddler seats are used differently and that in an emergency, an adult can simply remove the entire infant seat rather than using the buckle. In an effort to appease federal officials and complaining parents, Graco did agree to send replacement buckles to owners of infant seats upon request.
NHTSA officials didn't buy Graco's argument, maintaining that the issue increases the risk of injuries or even death in emergencies involving the infant car seats. The agency continued to accuse Graco of releasing incomplete and misleading documents regarding the recall and threatened civil penalties. Finally, in a June 27 letter to NHTSA, Graco conceded that further investigation of the issue showed a "higher than typical level of difficulty" in unlatching the infant seat buckles.
To date, the full recall affects 6.1 million child safety seats including these infant seat models manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013:
- SnugRide Classic Connect 30
- SnugRide Classic Connect 35
- SnugRide 30
- SnugRide 35
- SnugRide Click Connect 40
- Aprica A30
If you own one of the recalled seats and your child has not been injured, visit www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or call 877-766-7470 to request a free replacement buckle. However, if your child has been injured as a result of using one of the faulty infant or toddler safety seats, know that you may be due compensation for your child's medical costs and other losses. Keep the seat intact and contact a personal injury and product liability attorney with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995.