Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys on Massive Recall of Graco Car Seats


March 28, 2014

Parents trust car seats to secure their most valuable cargo – their children. However, this type of vehicle safety device can provide a false sense of security when a car seat is compromised by manufacturing, design or labeling defects. A massive recall by Graco of child safety restraints with buckles that are alleged to be defective provides a recent example. The recall could become the largest car seat recall ever. When Graco initially announced the recall in February, it covered 3.8 million car seats. Graco has now added another 403,000 car seats to the initial recall, which currently makes it the fourth largest recall in history. However, the car seats covered by the recall may well expand even further.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated that the agency has received 6,100 reports from consumers complaining that the buckles can be difficult or even impossible to unlatch. Some consumers report that they have had to resort to cutting the shoulder straps to free their child. While it might be more intuitive for parents to fear that a defective buckle could become unlatched during a collision, a buckle mechanism that cannot be disengaged at the scene of a crash presents its own dangers, especially in the event of a vehicle fire.

The NHTSA has received at least one report of a child suffering fatal burns because the child's parent could not free the child which claimed the life of the child in a car fire. A lawsuit has been filed in a California court naming Graco as a defendant alleging that the extreme difficulty in unlatching the buckle of the car seat caused the child's wrongful death.

The federal agency also has asked the manufacturer to provide an explanation for why the additional car seats added to the recall were not included in the original recall because they reportedly have the same type of buckle mechanism. Further, the NHTSA is asking the Graco to expand the recall even further to include another 1.8 million car seats because of the same issue. If the disputed car seats are added to the recall, the car seat recall would be the most extensive recall of car seats in history.

Graco contends that the problems are attributable to food and juice being trapped in the buckle mechanism and "gunking" up the latch so the problem is one of "perception" and "frustration" rather than a defect in the mechanism according to the company. Consumer that have complained about the latch jamming contend the problem is a much more serious issue than jamming caused by spilled beverage and food items.

There are a wide range of potential defects that can make car seats unsafe, which include faulty latches, defective webbing, inadequate installation instructions, insufficient padding and more. Parents who are involved in car accidents might have a legal claim based on Georgia product liability law if their child suffers injury related to defects associated with the car seat.

Montlick and Associates – Advocates for Children Injured by Defective Products for Over 30 Years

If your child suffers more severe injury because a car seat fails to perform as expected, one of our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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