Graco Children’s Products Inc. is recalling more than 25,000 car seats that might not adequately restrain children during a crash. The recall affects eight different models of the “’My Ride 65’” convertible car seats which were manufactured between May and August 2014. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the webbing in these car seats failed to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
The NHTSA May 10, 2017, recall Child Seat Webbing may Tear Under Load/FMVSS 213
Graco Children’s Products Inc. (Graco) is recalling certain Graco My Ride 65 convertible child restraints, models 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334. In the event of a crash, the child seat webbing may not adequately restrain the child. As such, these car seats fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.”
In 2014 the NHTSA announced that it was investigating the timeliness of Graco reporting a safety defect in child seat buckles. The defect involved buckles on child and infant car seats that stuck or became stuck in the latched position, creating an unreasonable risk to a child’s life in case of an emergency. Graco paid a $3M fine to the federal government for being too slow to report problems with the car seat buckles. Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, once a manufacturer knows or should reasonably know that an item of motor vehicle equipment, such as a car seat, contains a safety related defect, the manufacturer has a maximum of five business days to notify the agency. The NHTSA also instructed the company to improve child seat safety, including better programs to notify owners of safety problems. The estimated cost was $7M.
ConsumerAffairs.com tells us that a study reported in the journal Pediatrics found more than 66,000 children under the age of three are treated for injuries related to nursery products, such as cribs, car seats, and baby carriers, each year. When product failures occur, such as those with the Graco car seats, they may be attributable to mechanical failures, design defects, improper maintenance, etc. When allegations of product liability arise, the question arises as to whether the manufacturer is liable or whether the consumer used the product in a way it was not designed for. Product liability lawsuits require an expert witness who is knowledgeable in the technical issues of the specific product. Product liability expert witnesses are trained to evaluate the evidence and give an unbiased opinion on the safety and performance of the consumer product in question.