Graco Issues the Largest Infant Car Seat Recall in History
byKaitlin StanfordJul 02, 2014
After giving in to the demands of U.S. safety regulators, Graco Children's Products — one of the most popular American car seat manufacturers to date — announced a recall of 1.9 million infant car seats this morning. The recall, which comes after a tense five-month dispute between the car seat manufacturer and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is now officially the largest recall of its kind in history.
The company also came under fire earlier this year when it was forced to recall 4.2 million toddler seats, due to a problem with the harness buckles getting stuck. At the time, the company held off on requests for a similar recall of the infant seats, but it has finally relented.
The main issue, as with the toddler seats, revolves around the harness buckles, which often get stuck in place after little ones spill food or drink. The resulting "gunk" leaves a stickiness that makes it incredibly hard to remove a child quickly — something that can be life-threatening in the event of an emergency. In fact, in several cases parents reported that they had to actually cut their child out of the seat by taking a scissor to the harness itself.
According to reports, Graco received a very "sternly worded letter" from the NHTSA back in February, asking why the infant car seats weren't also included in the initial recall. The letter also allegedly claimed the company was "soft-pedaling" the recall with incomplete and "misleading" information to customers, and threatened civil penalties.
After months of contesting the NHTSA's questions, Graco relented after its own round of rigorous testing. The manufacturer has since admitted that they did find a "higher than typical level of difficulty” in unlatching the buckles of these infant car seats, as well. Luckily, no injuries have been reported as a result of the problem.
Wondering if your Graco car seat is included in the recall? The following models, made between July 2010 and May 2013, are affected: the SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect (including the Classic Connect 30 and 35), SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40 and the Aprica A30.
If your Graco car seat is listed above (or even if it's not one of the models affected), the company has agreed to replace your buckles for free. You can learn more at GracoBuckleRecall.com or by calling (877) 766-7470.