Product Liability Issue: Graco Car Seats in Major Recall

In our previous blog, we stressed the importance of car seat use and the legal community and parents’ common goal of child safety and decreased child fatalities. However, when a company fails to provide adequately safe car seats and places a defective product ( )in the marketplace, parents unknowingly put their children in danger. Consumers rely upon products on the shelves for sale, such as car seats, to be helpful for a child’s safety and abiding by regulations. Instead, defective products do just the opposite and mislead consumers to unknowingly purchase something that could place their child in harm’s way.

According to an article by CNN, one of the biggest recalls in child safety products is currently occurring, with Graco responsible. After pressure from the government, the company has finally agreed to recall 3.7 million child car seats, but they still disagree with the government request to recall 1.8 million more. Why child safety should lose to pride in an unwillingness to recall products is astounding. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the company is voluntarily recalling 11 of the 18 models that the government requested to be recalled. That means that seven of the models still remain at issue and may require a mandatory recall if Graco does not comply. Right now, this ranks as the fourth largest car seat recall, but if the government successfully recalls all 18 models at issue, this would rank as the largest recall in history.

Reports state that this recall affects consumers who have purchased a Graco car seat manufactured between 2009 to July 2013. The function of the car seats at issue is the harness buckle on the convertible car seats and the harnessed booster seats. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the red release button on the harness can become stuck or difficult to unlatch. As a result, it could be impossible to release the child from the seat promptly in the case of an emergency. It is not uncommon for children to have a bottle, juice, snacks, etc. while in the car, and as well all know, children commonly have drips and spills. Such drips and spills that dry on the harness buckles make them difficult to open and can cause them to become stuck. Being a manufacturer of child products and familiar with child habits, this appears to be an issue that Graco should have considered and taken extra steps to ensure proper buckling and release.

The same article quotes the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration as urging parents and guardians to obtain an alternative car seat for their children until Graco remedies this issue. As of now, Graco has reported no injuries directly associated with the seats. The recall would affect the following models: the Comfort Sport, the Cozy Cline, My Ride 65, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 70, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Smart Seat, Head Wise 70, Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite, and Argos. The seven models that are still at issue between Graco and the government are the infant eats Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Snugride Click Connect 40, and Tuetonia 35. Graco has not recalled these models even though they have been asked to do so.

Our attorneys firmly believe that safety should come first, especially considering children who cannot protect themselves from dangers and rely on their caregivers to provide safety products to keep them from harm’s way. We urge parents and guardians to discontinue use of defective products, but if your child is injured as a result of the use of a defective and dangerous product, you may be able to file a products liability lawsuit to hold negligent manufacturers liable. You have rights under the law to be safe and hold those who make dangerous products accountable under the law. Call our firm today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your case with you.

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