March 13, 2014 — Graco Children’s Products has announced (.pdf) a recall of 403,222 additional car seats for toddlers and booster seats, bringing the total number of recalled car seats to 4.2 million.
The buckles can get sticky by food and drinks, making it difficult or impossible to remove a child from the car seat in an emergency. In some cases, parents have had to cut the straps to remove their child.
They are defying the U.S. government’s demand to recall 1.8 million infant car seats with the same buckle. In February, Graco recalled 3.8 million child car seats with a faulty harness buckle.
Graco has until March 20 to tell the NHTSA why last month’s recall did not include infant seats. According to a statement from the company:
“Graco SnugRide infant car seats are excluded from this recall because they are uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed.”
Car seats added to the recall (model years 2006-2014):
- Argos 70 Elite
- Ready Ride
- Step 2
- My Ride 65 with Safety Surround
- My Size 70
- Head Wise 70 with Safety Surround
- Nautilus 3-in-1
- Nautilus Plus
- Smart Seat with Safety Surround
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Graco are in a dispute about the safety of the infant car seats. The infant seats have the same faulty buckle as the child car seats, but Graco insists that they are safe because a parent could still remove the whole seat from the car. They would have to unclip the buckle that is attached to the vehicle, rather than unclipping the buckle on the infant.
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