On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Defective Products on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
Infant and children’s products are among the most strictly regulated products available on the market. As a result, many potentially dangerous and defective products are recalled annually for relatively minor risks of harm to infants and children. It is therefore perplexing that a potentially deadly defect present in certain infant restraint seats is not being addressed by two influential manufacturers, despite the federal government’s urging that they institute a recall.
Both Evenflo and Graco are currently recalling more than five million child safety restraints total for a buckle defect that could make it difficult or impossible for parents, caregivers and first responders to free children in the event of an emergency. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that these manufacturers should recall infant restraint systems that utilize a buckle with the same design as the recalled child restraint buckle. The companies are refusing to recall affected infant seats.
The manufacturers have rationalized that because infant safety restraints are rear-facing that they do not need to be recalled. They insist that in the event of an emergency, adults can simply detach the infant seat from its base and free the child from a vehicle in that manner. However, not all emergencies involve needing to simply free an infant from a vehicle. If an infant is choking or begins seizing, bleeding or vomiting, the child will need to be unbuckled for an adult to respond to the situation.
Evenflo and Graco’s refusal to recall affected infant buckles could lead to infant injury and even death in certain situations. Parents, please check to see if your baby’s car seat should be recalled. And if your child experiences harm as a result of the affected buckle, please alert an attorney and government regulators. Putting pressure on Evenflo and Graco in this way may be the only solution to the manufacturers’ failure to act.
Source: New York Times, “2nd Car Seat Maker Cites Buckle Flaw in a Recall,” Christopher Jensen, April 4, 2014
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