Graco is adding more than 403,000 car seats to last month’s recall of 3.8 million car seats because of a potentially deadly problem with the harness buckles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says this recall doesn’t go far enough. The NHTSA wants 1.8 million rear-facing infants seats added to the recall because they have the same buckles. Graco said it didn’t include the infant seats because in an emergency parents can remove the entire car seat from the car.
In a written statement, The NHTSA advises parents to use "an alternative infant seat for transporting children until their Graco car seat is fixed."
The problem with the harness buckles is that they can be difficult to nearly impossible to unlatch in certain situations, including emergencies.
In at least one case, parents allege that the buckle caused the death of their child. The company was named the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in California, in which the plaintiff said that a Graco Nautilus car seat was extremely difficult to unlatch after a car accident, and that two-year-old Leiana Ramirez died in an ensuing car fire.
Graco says that the reason the buckles may not unlatch is that dried juices or food can stick in the buckles causing them to malfunction.
Last summer, the company began sending “enhanced” cleaning and operating instructions along with replacement buckles to consumers. It also offers an online video describing how to replace the buckles.
For a complete list of the recalled car seats and instructions on how to receive replacement buckles, you can go to www.gracobaby.com, and click “Recall Notification”.
Source: Pete Bigelow, http://autos.aol.com/article/graco-recalls-400-000-additional-car-seats/