The Largest Child Seat Recall in American History

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With the recent recalls plaguing the auto industry in record numbers, on Tuesday, Graco Children’s products recalled 1.9 million infant car seats due to increasing demands from U.S. safety regulators making this recall the largest seat recall in American history, according to Tom Krisher (Graco gives in, agrees to recall infant car seats). The announcement comes after a five month spat between Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company earlier this year recalled 4.2 million toddler seats because of catchy harness buckles, however it refused to recall the infant seats in accordance with agency demands. The buckles issue was also debated as the NHTSA believed the buckles increased the risk of injury in emergencies with some parents having to cut their children out of the harness and  Graco arguing that the infant seats could be removed as a whole rather than using the buckle. In February when the recall was announced by Graco, the NHTSA issued a stern letter asking why the infant seats were not included when parents had filed complaints with them and the company about the stuck buckles. In addition, the letter accuses the company of downplaying the recall using incomplete and misleading documents that would be seen by consumers. As a result, the agency threatened civil penalties. However Graco, a division of Atlanta based Newell Rubbermaid Inc., told the Associated Press that the rear facing infant seats weren’t recalled because infants do not get food or drink on their seats. Graco did agree, however, to replace buckles upon request. In a June 27 letter to NHTSA, Graco did admit upon further investigation that there was a “higher than typical level of difficulty” in unlatching the infant seat buckles. The company spokeswoman, Ashley Mowrey, said that Tuesday move, which brings the recall to 6.1 million seats, comes after months of sharing data and research with NHTSA. The company said the recall “is in the best interest of consumers and underscores our shared commitment to child passenger safety.” According to NHTSA, the infant-seat models covered by Tuesday’s recall include the SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect (including Classic Connect 30 and 35), SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40, and Aprica A30. They were manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013, according to NHTSA. Graco will replace the buckle for free and offers to send free replacement buckles to any customer even those not a part of the recall. Krisher reports that the company says owners can check to see if their seats have been recalled by going to www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or by calling (877) 766-7470.

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