Car Seat Safety Issues Spark Recall and Design Concerns


March 25, 2011

Children are precious. When a child is injured because of a defective product, it can be a heart-wrenching tragedy for a family. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) is recalling more than 794,000 child safety seats due to defective harness locking and release buttons that do not always return to a locked position.

A locking and release button that fails to return to the locked position places a child at risk of suffering serious, even catastrophic, injuries in a car accident. The child’s energetic movement can cause the harness adjustment strap to slip back through the adjuster resulting in a loose harness that vastly increases the risk of the child being injured if there is an auto accident.

This defect can also create the dangerous false impression that a child is safely secured analogous to a similar defect with vehicle seat belts called “false latching.” The term refers to the appearance that a buckle is fully engaged which creates a false belief that the buckle of the seat belt or safety restraint system is fully engaged. During the force of an impact, the seat belt or child safety restraint system may become easily unlatched because the buckle is not completely engaged.

If your child has been injured in a Georgia car accident, your child may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. The compassionate and committed Atlanta auto accident lawyers of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, will work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. We have been helping those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death throughout Georgia for over 27 years.

Many children suffer serious injuries or death each year on Georgia’s roadways, in driveways and in parking lots. In some cases, no car seat would prevent injury, but sometimes injuries are caused or made worse by a defective car seat design. It is not uncommon that auto and car seat manufacturers will attempt to avoid responsibility by blaming parents for injuries actually caused by defective child safety restraints. Defects in child safety restraint systems may be linked to failing to conduct adequate crash testing or prematurely rushing the product to market. A few common types of child safety restraint defects include:

  • Detachable Child Safety Seats: A growing number of child safety restraint systems are designed so that the seat can be detached from the modular base, which is attached to the seat in the vehicle. While this design offers the advantage of convenience, some of these seats have defects that may result in them becoming detached in the impact associated with an auto accident.
  • Buckles That Fail: Buckles that fail during a collision are one of the most dangerous car seat defects because the defect leaves the child completely unprotected so that the child may be ejected from the car seat and even from the vehicle in a collision.
  • Inadequate Padding: The plastic or shell that makes up a car seat is extremely hard and unforgiving. If the padding that protects a child is not adequate a child may be seriously injured when the child’s body impacts the hard shell of a car seat.
  • Inadequate Instructions or Warning: Some car seats are not designed to fit properly will all types of vehicle seating configurations. Many parents do not realize that the poor fit of the car restraint system in their vehicle results in their child not receiving the full measure of protection. Other times installation of the safety restraint system can be complicated and consumers are not provided with sufficient instructions to install the child car seat properly.

The compassionate attorneys at Montlick and Associates understand the pain and anguish that accompany injury to one’s child. Our team of attorneys and staff will work closely with parents whose children have been injured. We will take care of the legal and insurance issues so that you can focus on what is most important – your child’s healing. If you or someone you know has a child who has been seriously injured or suffered wrongful death due to a defective child safety seat, we would be happy to provide a free consultation and explain how our Atlanta, Georgia auto accident and product liability attorneys can help. Montlick and Associates zealously represents the best interests of those injured in auto accidents throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

The Georgia auto accident attorneys of Montlick and Associates are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and 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: Personal Injury

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.