A huge recall of baby equipment could wind up in court and get even bigger. Graco is recalling 3.8 million child car safety seats, but this may just be the beginning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating seven other Graco car seat models to see if they should be recalled as well. The seats are being recalled because children could become trapped in them -- the buckles may not unlatch. And if you're stuck in an emergency situation, like an accident or a fire, that could be extremely dangerous. Here's everything you need to know about this car seat recall so far.
The recall is for the following 11 models sold between 2009 and 2013:
Classic Ride 50
My Ride 65
My Ride With Safety Surround
My Ride 70
Size 4 Me 70
If you own any of these car seats, contact Graco at 1-800-345-4109 (toll-free) or 1-330-869-7225. You may also want to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA says it has received over 80 complaints from consumers who had to use "excessive force" to unlatch the harness buckle, some having to cut the straps to free their children.
Graco says its infant seats are not part of the recall because they are "uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed." They acknowledged that they had identified that:
... food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position. Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child.
Fortunately, no injuries have been linked to the recalled car seats yet. But the NHTSA has sent the company a sternly worded letter for excluding seven other models with similar buckles. We'll keep this recall on our radar in case it's expanded to include those other seats.
What would you do if you couldn't unlatch the buckle of your child's car seat?
Image via Graco