Graco recalling nearly 3.8M child car seats due to buckle issue - FOX 32 News Chicago

Graco recalling nearly 3.8M child car seats due to buckle issue

Posted: Updated:

By TOM KRISHER and DEE-ANN DURBIN
AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) - Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can get trapped by buckles that may not unlatch. But the company has drawn the ire of federal safety regulators who say the recall should include another 1.8 million rear-facing car seats designed for infants.

The recall covers 11 models made from 2009 through 2013 by Graco Children's Products Inc. of Atlanta. It's the fourth-largest child seat recall in U.S. history, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's road safety watchdog.

The agency warned that the problem could make it "difficult to remove the child from the restraint, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a vehicle crash, fire or other emergency."

The seats in the recall are the 2009 to 2013 model years of the:
- Cozy Cline
- Comfort Sport
- Classic Ride 50
- My Ride 65
- My Ride with Safety Surround
- My Ride 70
- Size 4 Me 70
- Smartseat
- Nautilus
- Nautilus Elite
- Argos 70

NHTSA also criticized Graco in a sternly-worded letter dated Tuesday, saying the recall excludes seven infant car seat models with the same buckles. Both the company and NHTSA have received complaints about stuck buckles on the infant seats, the agency said.

"Some of these consumers have had no choice but to resort to the extreme measure of cutting the harness straps to remove their child from the car seat," the NHTSA letter said.

The agency wants Graco to identify the total number of seats that potentially have the defect and explain why it excluded the infant seats. NHTSA, which began investigating the seats in October of 2012, said the investigation remains open. The agency said it could hold a public hearing and require Graco to add the infant seats.

Graco, a division of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, told The Associated Press that its tests found that food or beverages can make the harness buckles in the children's seats sticky and harder to use over time.

Rear-facing infant seats aren't being recalled because infants don't get food or drinks on their seats, Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said. But Mowrey said Graco will send replacement buckles to owners of infant seats upon request.

Mowrey said the company has issued cleaning tips for the buckles, and began sending replacement buckles to owners last summer. Graco is also sending instructions for how to replace the buckles and posting a video on its website to show parents how to replace them.

In documents sent to NHTSA, Graco estimated that less than 1 percent of the seats involved in the recall have had buckles that were stuck or difficult to unlatch.

Mowrey said there have been no reported injuries due to the defect.

Parents should check seat buckles and contact Graco for a free replacement, NHTSA said. The agency also said people should get another safety seat for their children until their Graco seat is fixed.

NHTSA, in the letter to Graco, also accused the company of soft-pedaling the recall with "incomplete and misleading" documents that will be seen by consumers. The agency threatened civil penalties and said that Graco should delete from its documents "any statements that may lead the public to discount the seriousness of the safety risk presented by this defect."

In addition, NHTSA said that last month, it started investigating four models of Evenflo child safety seats, which have a design similar to the recalled Graco seats and may use buckles made by the same manufacturer, AmSafe Commercial Products Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana.

"NHTSA is also in contact with AmSafe to identify any additional child seat manufacturers that use harness buckles of the same or similar design," NHTSA's statement said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • What's HotMore>>

  • The rudest drivers, state by state

    The rudest drivers, state by state

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:10 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:10:50 GMT
    A new survey by the website, Insure.com, reveals the states with the rudest drivers.
    A new survey by the website, Insure.com, reveals the states with the rudest drivers.
  • Caught Red Handed: Mom Catches Adorable Daughter Stealing Lipstick

    Caught Red Handed: Mom Catches Adorable Daughter Stealing Lipstick

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:58:05 GMT
    If you're a parent, you want to believe that your kids are honest about everything. So, how can you tell when your child is lying?Sometimes, it's just written all over their face! Take a look at one little girl who enjoys lipstick.
    If you're a parent, you want to believe that your kids are honest about everything. So, how can you tell when your child is lying?Sometimes, it's just written all over their face! Take a look at one little girl who enjoys lipstick.
  • Vikings bring back Peterson despite abuse charge

    Vikings bring back Peterson despite abuse charge

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:31:23 GMT
    The Minnesota Vikings are reinstating Adrian Peterson this week after he was charged with child abuse and say he will play on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
    The Minnesota Vikings have seen the details. They have seen photos of the injuries that Adrian Peterson's 4-year-old son suffered at the hands of the star running back. They have a history of punishing players who have...
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices