Finally bowing to demands from U.S. safety regulators, Graco Children’s Products has announced that they are recalling 1.9 million infant car seats, the largest infant seat recall in U.S. history. The recall comes following a five-month spat between Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The issue: Buckles on the certain Graco infant car seats can get gummed up by spilled food and drinks, making it difficult to remove children. In some cases, parents have had to cut the harness to get their child out. The agency says that buckle defect increases the risk of injuries, especially in emergencies. Graco argued that the seats are used differently and that an adult could remove the entire seat rather than using the buckle. Graco recalled 4.2 million similar toddler seats because of troublesome harness buckles earlier in the year, but had been resisting the NHTSA’s demand to recall the infant seats.
Last month, Graco officials admitted that further investigation showed “a higher than typical level of difficulty” in unlatching the infant seat buckles. Ashley Mowrey, a Graco spokesperson, says the recall was issued “in the best interest of consumers, underscoring our shared (with the NHTSA) commitment to child passenger safety.”
The combined recalls now include 6.1 million seats.
Infant car seat models that have been recalled are SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect including 30 and 35, SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40, and Aprice A30. They were manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013.
Graco will replace the buckles at no charge, and says that owners can check to see if their seats are included by going to the website www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or by calling 877.766.7470.