As a mom, safety is my number 1 priority, so I was shocked to hear about this latest baby product recall earlier in the week! This is actually the largest recall of car seats the nation has ever seen, so naturally I had to find out more. Child car seats are essential for every growing family – in fact, hospitals won’t even let you leave with a new baby if there isn’t an infant car seat set up in your vehicle. As your baby grows, child car seats keep them safe during car rides while adapting to their growing bodies. But what happens when these safety standards aren’t met? Companies – Graco, in this case – are forced to pay the (very high) cost for their actions. Here’s what you need to know about this $10M recall!
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As reported in the New York Times, he $10 million fine imposed on child car seat maker Graco comes after the company failed to give a timely notice of car seats with defective buckles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Under law, the company should have informed them within five business days. The fine that Graco Children’s Products Inc. has agreed to pay is comprised of $3 million now and $7 million in the future, which Graco will spend on efforts to improve child safety.
So what was the issue with these defective car seats? Apparently the Graco car seats’ buckles would get stuck in the latch position, which poses an enormous risk if there is an emergency where the child needs to be taken out of the car quickly. Scary stuff! More than 4 million Graco car seats were recalled in February of 2014, and another 2 million last June. At issue in the February 2014 recall were the following: 2009 to 2013 model years of the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smartseat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite and Argos 70. And at issue in the June 2014 recall were the following infant models: Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35 and Snugride Click Connect 40.
The company is now creating a plan to address the problem and improve child car seat safety in the future, which will make worrying moms like me very happy. Some ideas that they have come up with are efforts to boost parent registration when buying a car seat so they can be easily contacted during a recall or a campaign to raise parents’ awareness on child safety in general. If the company doesn’t use all $7 million for safety improvements in the company, Graco will pay the remainder of the fine to the U.S. government over the next five years. Definitely a sticky situation for Graco!
As a mom and a blogger who has spent hours creating demo videos on child car seats for all of you, including Graco models, this whole situation comes as a shock to me. I have trusted these products in the past so I am quite surprised by this Graco car seat recall story. I still believe that most of their products are of superior quality but I will definitely keep my eyes and ears open for new stories like this before buying such important baby products like a child car seat. And, as always, I’ll do my best to keep all of you Moms and Dads informed, too! When it comes to the safety of our children, one can never be too careful, am I right?
For more on the Graco story, click here!
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