In the largest car seat recall in U.S. history, Graco is being fined for not disclosing defects in over six million car seats. Defects in children's car seats are a safety hazard and a product liability. Parents put their confidence in the car seat manufacturers to ensure that the car seats are safe and reliable. Knowing about a defect and not alerting consumers in a timely manner is a product liability and the manufacturer should be held responsible.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation in December 2014 due to a high volume of complaints that the latch on their car seats are too hard to unlatch. The defect has been connected with one death in California and has stemmed over 6,000 complaints.
NHTSA reported that Graco knew about the defect and were slow to tell consumers and recall their car seats. Federal regulations state manufacturers are required to report defects within five days of discovering them. They fined Graco $3 million to be paid immediately to the U.S. Treasury and are required to pay $7 million if they do not spend the same amount over the next five years to improve the safety of their car seats.
The affected recalled car seats were manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013. That is almost three years of car seats and children of various ages that were put at risk. Initially, only toddler seats were recalled, leaving over one million infant car seats still in consumers' households. After pressure from NHTSA, they included the affected infant car seats in their recall as well.
Putting infants and children at risk is not acceptable. Graco knew about the defect in the latch and did not recall the car seats in a timely manner. When they did recall the car seats, they neglected to recall affected infant car seats as well. This left over one million infants at risk for not being able to have an adult get them out of the car seat in the case of an emergency. Even though Graco has accepted the fine, they still knowingly put infants and children at risk by not alerting consumers to the defect sooner.
If you have a Graco car seat that has been recalled or were unable to release the latch of the car seat, contact a Chicago product liability attorney today. Call the law office of [[title]], at [[phone]] for a free case consultation.