After a five-month spat with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Graco is recalling 1.9 million infant car seats.
Earlier this year, Graco recalled 4.2 million toddler seats because the harness buckles can get stuck, but at that time, didn’t recall infant seats.
When Graco announced the initial recall in February, NHTSA questioned why the infant seats weren’t included. The agency said parents have filed complaints about stuck buckles on the infant seats.
Graco argued that infant seats are used differently, and in an emergency, an adult can remove the whole seat rather than using the buckle.
The NHTSA disagreed stating that “the hazards and risks involved in the delay of extricating a child from a rear-facing infant car seat in any emergency situation are significantly increased and rise to the level of unreasonable risk when the harness buckle is difficult to open or is stuck in a latched condition.”
On Tuesday, Graco announced that they have agreed to conduct a recall of harness buckles used on certain infant car seats made between July 2010 and May 2013. This will bring the recall to 6.1 million car seats and is now the largest seat recall in American history.
Michael Polk, Newell Rubbermaid’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We are pleased to have reached a resolution of the infant car seat buckle investigation with NHTSA, consistent with the financial assumptions we communicated with our first quarter earnings announcement. We remain focused on growing the Graco brand and driving the Growth Game Plan into action to transform Newell Rubbermaid into a larger, faster growing, more profitable and more global company.”
Infant-seat models covered by Graco’s recall include the SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect (including Classic Connect 30 and 35), SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40 and Aprica A30.
Graco will be replacing the buckle in all of the seats free of charge to customers. The company says owners can check to see if their seats are included by going to www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or by calling (877) 766-7470.