Graco recalling nearly 3.8M child car seats - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Graco recalling nearly 3.8M child car seats

Posted: Updated:
By TOM KRISHER and DEE-ANN DURBIN
AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) -- Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can get trapped by buckles that may not unlatch. But the company has drawn the ire of federal safety regulators who say the recall should include another 1.8 million rear-facing car seats designed for infants.

The recall covers 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013 by Graco Children's Products Inc. of Atlanta. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration warned that the problem could make it "difficult to remove the child from the restraint, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a vehicle crash, fire or other emergency."

But NHTSA also criticized Graco in a letter dated Tuesday, saying the recall improperly excludes infant car seats with the same buckles. Both the company and NHTSA have received complaints about stuck buckles on the infant seats, the agency said.

"Some of these consumers have had no choice but to resort to the extreme measure of cutting the harness straps to remove their child from the car seat," the NHTSA letter said.

The agency wants Graco to identify the total number of seats that potentially have the defect and explain why it is pushing for the smaller recall.

Graco, a division of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, told The Associated Press that its tests found that food or beverages can make the harness buckles in the children's seats sticky and harder to use over time. The company will send replacement buckles for free to owners who registered their seats. Owners who didn't register their seats but want free replacement buckles can call the company's consumer hotline at 800-345-4109 or visit its website.

Rear-facing infant seats aren't being recalled because infants don't get food or drinks on their seats, Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said. But Mowrey said Graco will send replacement buckles to owners of rear-facing infant seats upon request.

Mowrey said the company has issued cleaning tips for the buckles, and began sending replacement buckles to owners last summer. Graco is also sending instructions for how to replace the buckles and posting a video on its website to show parents how to replace them.

In documents sent to NHTSA, Graco estimated that less than 1 percent of the seats involved in the recall have had buckles that were stuck or difficult to unlatch.

Mowrey said there have been no reported injuries due to the defect.

NHTSA, in documents filed last year, said it received 80 complaints about the seats.

In one complaint from October of 2011, a parent wrote that they tried to get a 20-month-old boy out of a My Ride seat, but the center release button on the buckle couldn't be depressed. The parent was able to loosen the straps from the rear of the seat enough to free the child.  "My biggest concern is that if this happens during an emergency, where we need to get him out quickly, we won't be able to without cutting the belt material," the parent wrote.

Two months before that, a family with a Graco MyRide 65 car seat told NHTSA that Graco wouldn't replace a sticking buckle on their car seat, but offered them $40 toward a replacement seat.

NHTSA does not identify people who file complaints to the agency, but it posts complaints on its website.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Crist wins Florida Democratic primary for governor

    Crist wins Florida Democratic primary for governor

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:27 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:27:10 GMT
    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist addresses supporters in Fort Lauderdale.Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist addresses supporters in Fort Lauderdale.
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist won the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday, marking another step in an unlikely political comeback four years after leaving the GOP.
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist won the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday, marking another step in an unlikely political comeback four years after leaving the GOP.
  • Hurricane Cristobal gains, heads toward Bermuda

    Hurricane Cristobal gains, heads toward Bermuda

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:45 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:45:37 GMT
    ?SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hurricane Cristobal hurled heavy rains across Atlantic and Caribbean islands on Tuesday as it headed toward Bermuda, and officials said the storm had caused at least five deaths.
    ?SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hurricane Cristobal hurled heavy rains across Atlantic and Caribbean islands on Tuesday as it headed toward Bermuda, and officials said the storm had caused at least five deaths.
  • Elderly woman robbed at gunpoint in Miami

    Elderly woman robbed at gunpoint in Miami

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:31 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:31:30 GMT
    MIAMI  -- An elderly South Florida woman was robbed by two armed men while she was taking out the trash.
    MIAMI  -- An elderly South Florida woman was robbed by two armed men while she was taking out the trash.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.