Graco Children’s Products has agreed to pay $10 million to settle claims that it failed to appropriately recall about four million child car seats with defective buckles.
According to the New York Times, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Graco would pay a $3 million fine and spend $7 million developing safety programs as a part of the settlement.
It was reported that parents told regulators that they had issues freeing children from the car seats in emergency events due to the buckles, with some complaining that they had to cut straps to free children. Due to the number of complaints filed with the NHTSA about the problem, in January 2014, the agency demanded a recall of several models.
At first, Graco denied there were defects with the buckles, but a month later, it relented and allowed a recall to take place. The NHTSA reportedly received complaints from parents dating back to 2009.
“Parents need to know that the seats they trust to protect their children are safe,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement following the news of the settlement. “[And] that when there’s a problem, the manufacturer will meet its obligations to fix the defect quickly.”
Remember, if you ever have concerns that you may have a recalled child seat, you can visit SaferCar.gov by clicking here. At this website, you can find current information about specific brands and models.
Aside from this issue, as we reported last year, parents with Graco strollers should be aware that the company has recalled more than 4.7 million devices after amputations were reported due to defects in several models.
The fact that parents allegedly had to cut children out of car seats in emergencies is frightening. Sadly, it is not uncommon for children’s products, including strollers, car seats and high chairs, to experience recalls.
Remember, if a defective product injures your child, it may be wise to speak to an attorney, as you may be entitled to damages. This money can be used to pay for physical therapy and rehabilitation, or other forms of medical care associated with an injury.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.