Graco Recalls 1.9 Million Infant Car Seats
Westport Connecticut Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyer
Earlier this month, the popular baby and children products manufacturer, Graco, announced a recall of over 1.9 million infant car seats. The voluntary recall came amidst pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is considered the largest car seat recall in American History.
The recall came to the surface after five months of communication between Graco and the NHTSA. In February of this year, Graco also recalled 4.2 million forward-facing toddler seats because the harness buckles can get stuck.
The recalls stem from the finding that the seat buckles can get gummed up by food and drinks, which can make it difficult to remove a child from the seat. In some instances parents reported they had to cut the harnesses to remove their child. The NHTSA says this increases the risk of personal injuries in emergencies such as car accidents. Graco explained that in the event of an emergency the entire seat can be removed from the car, but did admit in a letter to the NHTSA written on June 27 that further investigation showed a higher than typical level of difficulty in unlatching the infant seat buckles.
According to the NHTSA, the Graco car seat models effected by this massive recall include: the SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect (including Classic Connect 30 and 55), SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40 and Aprica A30-manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013.
You can also determine whether or not the buckle on your Graco infant car seat is recalled by entering the model name and date of manufacture on the following website: GracoBuckleRecall.com. According to Graco’s website, you can order a replacement buckle by completing and submitting an online order form, and the company will ship you a replacement kit at no cost during the summer of 2014. However, Graco will also offer a free replacement buckle to any consumer who has an infant car seat not included in this recall, but would like to update their buckle to Graco’s current buckle design.
Connecticut Child Passenger and Car Seat Safety
While it is crucial to keep up with the latest product recalls to ensure your car seat is up to safety standards, it is equally important to familiarize yourself with proper car seat installation practices.
According to Safe Kids Connecticut, four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly. Car seat fitting stations can be found throughout the state of Connecticut, many of them located in local police and fire departments. The fitting stations have all of the necessary materials to check child safety seats as well as certified personnel to demonstrate the proper installation techniques. Westport, Connecticut’s car seat fitting station is located at the local police department. Safekids.org found that when installed and used correctly, child safety seats and safety belts can prevent personal injuries and save lives. Child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years old.
Connecticut Child Passenger Safety Laws
Additionally, according to safekids.org, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among children ages 1 to 19 years old. Connecticut has several laws and recommendations in place to help prevent severe personal injury and death for infants and children involved in Connecticut car accidents.
According to Connecticut Public Act No. 05-58 the following statutes are in place to help protect infant and children passengers:
- Infants must remain rear-facing and in their car seat until they are a minimum of both 20 pounds and one year old.
- Toddlers must be in a car seat and children should remain in a car seat until they reach the weight or height limit of their car seat, which is usually 40 pounds or more. Additionally, it is not safe to continue using a car seat that has been in a crash or has expired.
- Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they reach 60 pounds and they reach 7 years old. Children who ride in a booster seat must use a lap and shoulder belt. It is also recommended that children should continue to ride in a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly.
- Children and teens must be in a seat belt wherever and whenever they ride in a motor vehicle. Additionally, children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old. All people and objects should be properly restrained wherever they are in the vehicle.
- Individuals who violate Connecticut car seat laws can face fines and be required to attend educational car seat classes at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Westport Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
If your child has been injured due to a faulty car seat or you or someone you know has been injured in a Connecticut car accident contact Westport personal injury lawyer Richard H. Raphael. With over 30 years of legal experience, Raphael understands the impact that serious injuries due to car accidents or faulty products can have on his clients and their families. He has helped numerous individuals injured in car accidents secure full and fair compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Call 203-226-6168 for a free initial consultation of fill out the online contact form.