Car seats by Graco, one of the leading manufacturers of infant products, have been purchased by parents across the country wishing to give their children the highest standards of safety protection. These so called "child-safety seats", however, have proven to be far from safe.
Last week Graco announced a recall of almost 3.8 million car seats, making it one of the largest recalls of its kind to date. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Graco has not gone far enough and is urging the company to make a further recall of 1.8m additional seats.
The recall was announced following a growing number of instances where infants became trapped in the seat due to a fault in the buckle. The product's defect lies in the red-release button found on the buckle, which can be difficult or impossible to unlatch. Many instances were reported where parents were forced to cut the safety straps in order to release the child from the seat. With a crying, hungry or tired child this defect proves impractical. In an emergency, however, being unable to remove a child from a car seat could result in a serious injury, if not a fatality.
The defective buckle has been used on a wide range of Graco's toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats. Those involved in the recall are the 2009-2013 models of the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, Head Wise 70 with Safety Surround, Ready Ride, Smart Seat, Smart Seat with Safety Surround, Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite, Nautilus Plus, Argos 70, and Argos 70 Elite.
Despite being urged to do so by the NHTSA, Graco did not recall the following models: Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Snugride 35, Instant Safe-Step 1, Tuetonia 35 and Snugride Click Connect 40. Graco's reluctance to recall these models is yet another example of the all too familiar attitude of Corporate America putting profits before safety standards.
If your child has been injured due to a defective car seat, we at Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP can assist you in getting the compensation you and your child deserve.