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Millions of Graco child car seats are recalled

Almost one year ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating claims that child safety seats manufactured by Graco have a defective buckling mechanism. Given that utilizing defective children’s products can cause children grave injury and even death, these kinds of investigations are generally thorough and are taken very seriously.

Last month, the NHTSA informed Graco that it would best serve public safety by recalling 18 specific child safety seat models. Graco is only opting to recall 11 models. In total, over 3.7 million of these seats are currently being recalled so that consumers may have the models’ buckling mechanism replaced. This recall effort is so large that it is being classified as the fourth-largest recall of child or infant car safety seats in history.

Graco insists that the buckling mechanisms are potentially dangerous because they can become stuck and difficult to unlatch after liquid or food has spilled onto the buckling harness and dries. Given that children frequently and messily eat and drink while harnessed into safety seats, this is a real concern. However, the NHTSA insists that a safety defect is inherent in the latches and that the danger has nothing to do with food or drink drying on the harnesses.

If your child uses a Graco child safety seat, please check to see whether his or her safety seat model has been recalled. In addition, please check to see whether his or her seat model has not been recalled, but should be recalled according to the NHTSA. All of the non-recalled models that the NHTSA continues to have concerns about are rear-facing models used by infants.

Source: ABC News, “Graco Recalls 3.7 Million Child Car Seats at Request of NHTSA,” Carmen J. Cox, Feb. 11, 2014

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