Child safety seats have been marketed as products that can prevent injuries or deaths in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, we have troubling news for parents who use these products.
Some child seats are not as safe as parents assume and many have been recalled for defects. If you use child safety seats, we encourage you to continue reading so you can be informed on how to protect your children. Finding information on recalls is a simple process due to laws on reporting defects.
Once defects have been identified by manufacturers, they are required under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) within five days so a recall can be issued. However, there are cases where manufacturers have been untimely in reporting recalls. In 2014, Graco recalled six million defective child safety seats over a defect that posed a risk to the safety of children.
Graco’s defect was horrifying because it was exceptionally difficult for parents to spot. If children were to spill sticky drinks or food onto the harness buckles, the seats could fail to open during an emergency. All parents know that children are messy eaters, and many were put at risk by Graco’s safety seats.
If an accident were to occur and the harness became stuck, it would be extremely difficult to remove a child from the vehicle. This means if a vehicle caught fire after an accident, a parent might be unable to remove his or her child from the safety seat. A NHTSA investigation revealed Graco had been untimely in reporting the defect and ordered the company to pay a $10 million fine.
Checking for Child Safety Seat Recalls is Easy
If you have children and use safety seats while driving, it is highly recommended that you regularly check for recall information. In addition to recall information, you can also access complaints from other consumers and investigations involving manufacturers. NHTSA operates www.safercar.gov, a website where parents can receive expedient information on child seat recalls and investigations.
After arriving at the website, simply select the manufacturer of the safety seat you wish to check for defects and the model number. For example, if we enter safety seats made by Graco and the model number or make (Cozy Cline in this case), we receive a list of recalls, investigations, complaints and messages from the manufacturer.
In this case, Graco’s Cozy Cline seat has been the subject of one recall and four investigations. Search results also display why the seat has been recalled and information on prior or existing investigations.
Future blog updates will go into more detail on previous lawsuits and cases involving child safety seats, so we encourage you to follow us on Twitter.
The product liability lawyers at Mike Love & Associates, LLC can assist families who have been harmed by negligent companies.