Graco, a division of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, agreed to a voluntary safety recall to replace the buckles of nearly 3.8 million child car safety seats.
Although the recall happened in February 10, 2014, the original investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) began a year earlier.
The ODI opened the investigation in February of 2013 based on 25 reports from consumers that stated they had problems unlatching the harness buckle on their child seat purchased from Graco Children’s Products, Inc. *
One customer complaint found on the safercar.gov website said, “After almost 5 minutes of fighting with the buckle it finally released. After returning to the car i was not comfortable putting my grandson back in the car seat but figured we would get him out. Our next store we stopped at proved us wrong after 15 minutes and a very upset boy i finally had to cut him out of the straps to get him out of the car seat.”
The child seats for model years 2009 through mid-2013 that were investigated and included in the buckle recall are:
- Cozy Cline
- Comfort Sport
- Classic Ride 50
- My Ride 65
- My Ride w/ Safety Surround
- My Ride 70
- Size4Me 70
- Nautilus Elite
- Argos 70.
Although the infant models listed below represent an additional 1.83 million child car seats that were a part of the initial ODI investigation, Graco did not include them in this recall.
- Snugride 30
- Snugride 32
- Infant Safe Seat-Step 1
- Snugride 35
- Snug Ride Click Connect 40
- Snug Ride 22
Graco has been monitoring the performance of buckles, fabricated by AmSafe Commercial Products, Inc., Elkhart, IN, since 2009. They have dealt with these issues by supplying cleaning and operation instructions or replacement buckles.***
It is ODI’s understanding that there were two pending lawsuits alleging the buckles of the subject seats were difficult to unlatch or would not unlatch. **
- Class action suit: Long v. Graco Children’s Products, Inc., Case No. 13-1257, United States District Court, Northern District of California
- Wrongful death suit: Ramirez v. State of California, et. al., Case No. BC494065, Los Angeles County Superior Court
In the February 11, 2014 NHTSA stated in it’s response to Graco’s Part 573 report that it did not agree with the scope of the recall or the exclusion of the infant car seats.****
Graco’s website which links to information on another site about the recall and claims that “infant car seats are excluded from this recall because they are uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed.
The NHTSA “intends to proceed with the agency’s normal process, including an Initial Determination and public hearing, to compel Graco to recall the appropriate population of rear facing infant car seats which use the Subject Buckles. “ ****
NHTSA is works to keep our families safe. Learn more about the NHTSA
Photo source: Safercar.gov slider March 2014
Learn more about the Graco Harness Buckle Recall – 2014 Announcement
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Learn more about this recall
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