July 1, 2014 — After months of fighting federal safety authorities, Graco has finally agreed to recall approximately 1.9 million infant car seats because parents reported having problems opening the buckles.
Recalled Graco infant car seats include:
- SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect
- SnugRide 30, SnugRide Classic Connect 30
- SnugRide 35, SnugRide Classic Connect 35
- SnugRide Click Connect 40
- Aprica A30
Graco has been in a dispute with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the infant car seat recalls for months. In February and March, Graco recalled 4.2 million child car seats and booster seats after finding that food and dried liquids can make some buckles progressively more difficult to open or stuck in the latched position. In a car accident, vehicle submersion, fire, medical problem, or other emergency, it could be impossible to remove a child from the car seat.
Graco resisted recalling the infant car seats, even though they had the exact same buckle as the child seats. Instead of removing the infant from the seat, Graco argued that the entire seat could be removed from the car by un-latching a buckle at the base of the seat that is attached to the vehicle.
The NHTSA disagreed. In May, they ordered a series of tests to determine how long a malfunctioning buckle would delay freeing an infant in an emergency.
Graco did not say whether these tests resulted in today’s recall, but they did say that parents reported having difficulty removing infants from car seats with stuck buckles.
Graco says no injuries or deaths have been linked to the seats, but they agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a 2 year-old girl who died in a vehicle fire in a Graco car seat. The child’s mother and a bystander were unable to remove her from the car seat and sustained injuries in the attempt.
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