Graco Children’s Products has announced a recall of more than 403,000 child safety seats in addition to last month’s recall of nearly 4 million car seats because of faulty harness buckles.
The company came under scrutiny by government watchdog National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when it issued the first recall. NHTSA alleges that it has received thousands of complaints from consumers having to resort to extreme measures to unlock their children from Graco’s safety seat harnesses because they’ve become stuck. Often the harnesses would become stuck because food and beverages can make the harness buckles in the children’s seats sticky and therefore harder to unlatch over time.
Graco has maintained that only 1% of its seats are affected, but the NHTSA wants Graco to add an additional 1.8 million seats to its recall. According to the company though, this recall does not include rear-facing infant seats because infants likely do not get food or drinks on their seats. Yet this is the only explanation the company gave as to the reason why it did not call infant seats. Graco has until March 20 to formally explain to NHTSA why it did not include infant seats in the first recall.
The 403,222 seats added to the previous list of recalled child safety seats include models: Argos 70 Elite, Ready Ride, Step 2, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Size 70, Head Wise 70 with Safety Surround, Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Plus, and Smart Seat with Safety Surround. These include all models manufactured between 2006 and 2014.
Graco confirmed it will send replacement buckles to owners of infant seats upon request. The company also has issued cleaning tips for buckles as well as instructions on how to replace the buckles (including posting a video to its website) for customers who requested a replacement buckle for their child’s seat.
NHTSA said that parents should check seat buckles and contact Graco for a free replacement, and that people should in the meantime get another safety seat for their child until the seat is fixed by Graco. In addition to Graco seats, NHTSA has since last month, begun investigating four models of Evenflo child safety seats which have a design that is similar to the recalled Graco seats, and potentially uses buckles from the same manufacturer, AmSafe Commercial Products Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana.
This the third serious child product recall in the past year, and the second for Graco in only two months. In January 2014, Playtex issued a safety recall of 1.4 million pacifier holders over concerns that small children could choke if a part of the clip broke off. The clips are used to connect a pacifier to clothing, diaper bags, strollers, and have the potential to crack and cause a small part to break off. Just before the recall was issued, the company had received 99 reports of the holder cracking-though the company has yet to receive any reports of injuries because of the defect.
Product manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe for consumption and use, and do not pose a risk for serious injuries to those who use them. Currently, there are a number of different baby products on the market and the reality is that many baby products may pose a threat to the health and well-being of children who come in contact with them. When companies fail to ensure their products are safe, it becomes their responsibility should a consumer be injured.
At the law offices of Altman & Altman LLP, our Boston Products Liability Attorneys have decades of experience handling all types of personal injury and products liability cases, and have a track record of achieving successful settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. If your child was injured because of a defective product, call or email our office to speak to an attorney and schedule your free initial consultation. Upon review of your case we will determine whether you qualify for a Products Liability Lawsuit and proceed to file for damages against the responsible parties so that you receive the compensation you deserve. We stand ready to assist you through this difficult and confusing time, and we are available around the clock to answer any and all questions you have regarding your case.
Read original article by USA Today