On behalf of Mike Clancy
Parents want to do what they can to keep their children safe. Where cars are concerned, a child safety seat helps them accomplish this goal. That is, of course, if the safety seat has been installed property and works as it should. Half of this is within a parent’s control, but the other half really isn’t.
We have to trust that the manufacturers of these products have created them without defects, but what happens when they break that trust? Graco Children’s Products Inc. recently recalled about 3.8 million child safety seats that were found to contain a defect that could hinder the ability to “remove the child from the restraint, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a vehicle crash, fire or other emergency.”
In this case, it was the buckle that was to blame in the millions of seats manufactured from 2009 to 2013 and recalled in February. When food particles or liquid fell on the buckle, it could cause it to get stuck.
The problem for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was that out of the 11 models that were recalled, infant seats with the same buckle weren’t included.
The NHTSA ordered the company to explain why it didn’t include the 1.8 million infant seats that could contain the defect as well. This isn’t just a lighthearted request either. The company will face an additional $7,000 fine for each day that the company does not answer with an explanation.
The company did note in February that some of the rear-facing models were not included in the recall for the sole fact that infants don’t eat food or consume drinks.
Source: Quincy Herald-Whig, “Government orders Graco to explain recall,” March 7, 2014