Graco has recalled more than 3.7 million car seats after the red release button in the center of the harness was found to be difficult to unlatch, or can become stuck. Which can make it difficult or impossible to remove the child quickly in an emergency.
Graco said that the problem with the harness buckles can be caused by an accumulation of food and dried liquids.
Thankfully, the company said it has not received any reports of injuries associated with the problem.
The car seats being recalled are the 2009 to 2013 model years of the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smartseat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite and Argos 70.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday that Graco is voluntarily recalling 11 of 18 model seats that the government agency had asked it to recall an additional 1.8 million seats because they use the same buckles.
“NHTSA’s investigation will remain open pending its evaluation of the Graco recall and until the agency’s consideration of the review of the 7 remaining sea models is completed,” the department said.
The car seats currently not being recalled are the rear-facing models used for infants. They are the Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35 and Snugride Click Connect 40.
Graco has insisted that those seats do not need to be recalled because if a buckle jammed, the seat containing the infant could be detached from the base, which is anchored to the vehicle.
In a statement, Graco said the voluntary recall affects “harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013.”
“This is not a new issue for us,” Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said, noting that all products sold since July don’t have the same problem. “We’ve been working to help consumers for some time now.”
Graco will be offering new and improved replacement harness buckles to those who have a recalled product, at no cost. They say if you are experiencing difficulty with the harness after cleaning, please contact the Graco customer service team at 800-345-4109 (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graco offered some advice in cleaning the harness buckles.
Cleaning Tips for Harness Buckles:
•To clean your buckle, turn the restraint over and push the retainer through the harness strap slot. Place the buckle in a cup of warm water and gently agitate the buckle, pressing the red button several times while it is in the water.
•Do not submerge the harness webbing and do not use soaps or lubricants, only rinse the harness buckle with warm water.
•Shake out the excess water and allow the harness buckle to air dry.
•Reattach the harness buckle into the same slot and re-check harness for correct installation according to the car seat manual before use.
Graco Car Seat Recall
Graco is recalling 11 out of the 18 models manufactured between 2009 and 2013 after complaints of the harness buckle sticking in the lock positions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns the problem could make it difficult to get a child out of the seat during an emergency.
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