After Graco issued a recall on 3.8 million of their car safety seats last month due to faulty seat buckles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now ordering the company to explain why the recall didn't include 1.8 million infant seats too, according to the NY Times.
Graco is reportedly complying with their request, and will be fined $7,000 a day if their response to the safety agency’s request is late or insufficient.
The February 11 recall included these Graco car seat models: 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. The buckles on the seats for those models may not unlatch, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat, increasing the risk of injury in a crash or fire.
At the time of the recall, announced by the NHTSA, Graco had not recalled their seven similar infant seat models.
Graco identified that "food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.” They also stated at the time that Graco SnugRides and SnugRide infant seats were not included in the recall, saying that the infant seat has been “uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed.” However, if you have had issues with your infant seat, you can get a free replacement.
At the time of the recall, the NHTSA received over 80 reports about the seats, and have now received complaints about buckles on the infant seats, although no injuries have been reported.
If you own the recalled car seats, Graco is offering an improved replacement harness buckle to affected consumers at no cost. The company said in a statement, “Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child.” The recall includes 11 different models sold from 2009 to 2013.
Did you stop using your Graco infant seat when you heard about the recall?