Graco Investigated for Delayed Reporting of Car Seat Defect

Most parents who spend a great deal of their time driving their children from place to place put a high value on the child safety seat in which they’ve invested for the safety of their children. As parents, we trust that the car seats we buy for our children will help to reduce the risk of death and injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

As many parents may recall, earlier last year Graco issued a recall notice in which over six million defective car seats were recalled. Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcedit was opening its investigation into Graco’s handling of this child seat recall, the largest such recall in U.S. history.

The buckles on the car seats were at the heart of the issue in the Graco recall. The buckles may prove difficult to unlatch, making it difficult to quickly remove the child in the event of an emergency. Under the law, Graco was required to notify the NHTSA within five days of discovering that its car seats suffered from a safety-related defect.

Graco, however, initially contended that the issue with the buckles was not the result of a safety defect, but rather was the result of spilled food or liquid. Regulators, however, continued to press for a recall, noting that spilled food and drink was a foreseeable circumstance in this case, and could not be used as an excuse.

What are the potential consequences of the investigation? If the NHTSA finds that Graco was untimely in reporting the defect, the company faces up to $35 million in fines. As U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox notes in a statement, “The Department is committed to ensuring that parents have peace of mind knowing that the car seat in which they are placing their child and their trust is safe and reliable. Any delays by a manufacturer in meeting their obligations to report safety issues with the urgency they deserve, especially those that impact the well-being of our children, erodes that trust and is absolutely unacceptable.”

If you or a loved one have suffered from a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, a competent attorney will help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have a question about a recall or injury, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.