Graco Fined Up to $10 Million Over Problems with Child Car Seats

Graco Car Seat Recall

Written by Faith Anderson on March 27, 2015
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Graco Fined Up to $10 Million Over Problems with Child Car Seats

The NHTSA will fine Graco for failing to issue a recall of nearly six million child car seats with defective harness buckles.

One of the largest makers of child car seats and other children’s products faces a fine of up to $10 million for failing to report nearly 6,000 consumer complaints involving problems with its child car seats. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), certain child car seats made by Graco may contain defects that prevent the buckles from properly releasing, a problem that could cause children to become trapped in the event of an emergency. If you believe your child has suffered injuries caused by a defective children’s product, such as a crib, stroller or car seat, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with an attorney who has experience handling product liability claims.

Graco Child Car Seat Recall

The NHTSA announced its decision to impose a $3 million fine against Graco Children’s Products in a press release issued on March 20, and warned that the manufacturing company could face an additional $7 million in fines if it fails to spend at least the same amount of money addressing the product defects. The fines, which could reach up to $10 million total, stem from an on-going investigation by the NHTSA into numerous problems with Graco car seats, including the company’s failure to warn consumers in a timely manner about faulty seat buckles, an issue that resulted in the largest child car seat recall in history last year.

Risks Tied to Defective Graco Car Seats

The NHTSA’s battle with Graco began in October 2012, when the agency became aware of numerous consumer reports indicating that certain Graco car seats had child safety harness buckles that were becoming stuck, preventing children from being easily removed from the car seats. In some cases, parents actually had to cut through the harness straps in order to remove their children from the car seats, a defect that poses a serious safety risk in the event of a fire, car accident, or another emergency. The NHTSA confronted Graco about the issue with its products, and requested that the company recall the car seats in order to avoid additional incidents, but Graco refused to comply.

Graco Accused of Failure to Warn

On February 11, 2014, Graco finally issued a recall of 3.7 million child car seats with defective buckle designs, but when the NHTSA further investigated the customer complaints, the agency discovered that the same issue affected certain rear-facing car seats. Graco initially refused to acknowledge the hazard and issue a recall of the defective products, but in July 2014, the company finally expanded the recall to include an additional two million rear-facing car seats. The NHTSA launched an investigation in December 2014, into Graco’s timeliness in reporting problems with nearly six million recalled car seats, and the investigation has finally resulted in a fine against Graco of up to $10 million.
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Source: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2015/Car-seat-maker-Graco-fined-$10-million[/box]

Posted Under: Dangerous Products, News, United States
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