Graco Children’s Products, one of the nation’s biggest car seat manufacturers, recently issued an emergency recall of 3.8 million of its seats.
Starting in 2012, many parents told the federal government about incidents where they had trouble removing a child from a car seat, and had to cut the straps in order to get the child out safely. One parent claimed it took her 45 minutes to safely remove her child from a seat.
Graco initially claimed that the problem wasn’t its fault, and that the buckles had simply become gummed up with food and drink. Graco also said the problem didn’t make the car seats any less effective in a crash.
But federal regulators concluded that the problem could make it very difficult for parents to remove a child quickly in the event of a fire or an accident. In one case, a two-year-old apparently died in a car fire while buckled into one of the seats at issue.
Recently, federal safety officials threatened the company with legal action if it doesn’t recall an additional 1.8 million seats with similar buckles.
Regulators are also investigating other seat makers to determine if their products are unsafe for the same reason.
If you own a Graco car seat, you’ll probably want to contact the company to find out if yours is one of the seats affected by the recall.
In general, when buying a car seat, it’s important to make sure it fits your child properly, fits your vehicle correctly, and is properly installed. In many towns, a car-seat check can be performed at the local police or fire station.
If you’ve experienced an injury or loss, call us at 864.233.7200 or 1.800.903.8101 for a free telephone consultation.