It started with a recommendation.
When the government first heard that some Graco car seats might be unsafe, they contacted the company and asked for additional information. Parents were reporting difficulties getting their children unbuckled and out of the car seat in a reasonable amount of time. The government also recommended that Graco recall the car seats voluntarily if there was any indication the car seats were unsafe. Graco refused, claiming the seats were in fact completely safe.
Six months later, the government was forced to again become involved, but this time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t stop with a recommendation. They required Graco to recall five million car seats, the largest recall in the history of car seats.
Sadly, in those six months a lot of things went terribly wrong with the product, despite the federal requirement that Graco report any potential safety issues immediately. Problems included:
- Children being trapped in the car seat in unsafe conditions after accidents
- Parents being forced to use scissors to cut their children free
- Children being trapped in car seats during the hot summer months
- Parents being forced to call 911 to have emergency personnel remove their frightened children from these seats
Recalls of this magnitude are always terrifying, simply because of the scope of the potential problem. Thousands and thousands of children could have been adversely affected by these car seats before the company finally issued a recall. If your child has been injured because of a defective product, please don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. If more parents had acted quickly, it is possible it wouldn’t have taken six months for the NHTSA to move from a recommendation to a requirement.