Graco Car Seat Recall Impacts 3.7 Million Harness Buckles

Roughly 3.7 million Graco car seats are being recalled due to a risk that the harness buckles may jam and trap children in a car during an emergency.  

The Graco recall was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on February 11, following an investigation prompted by multiple complaints that suggested the buckles may become difficult to unlatch over time.

Although no injuries have been reported to date, the defective Graco car seat buckles may pose a serious risk in the event of an emergency. The manufacturer acknowledges that food and liquids may become lodged in the buckle’s groove, making it difficult to unlatch by pressing the red release button. If this occurs, it can make removing the child from the seat problematic or even impossible in the event of an emergency.

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The Graco car seat models included in the recall are Toddler Convertible car seats, Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat, Nautilus 3-in-1, and Nautilus Elite and Argos models.

The affected models were manufactured under the Graco brand name and sold nationwide from 2009 through July 2013, with a suggested retail prices between $99.00 and $399.00.

According to the NHTSA, Graco declined to recall seven other models of car seats that may pose the same hazard, rejecting a formal request by the federal safety agency that they be added to the recall. Those models include Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35, and Snugride Click Connect 40. Although Graco is not recalling those car seats, the NHTSA is advising customers with these models to still report any adverse events that may occur.

Graco announced in the recall that regular cleaning of the belt buckles will help prevent the chances of the buckles becoming stuck. Placing the buckle in a cup of warm water and pressing the red release button may help to dislodge any dried particles.

Graco also announced the potential problems for the buckle to unlatch does not in any way prevent the effectiveness of the car seat or the restraining of the child. However, the NHTSA has advised for parents to find an alternative car seat with restraints until a replacement or repair kit is provided.

Customers with affected car seats should contact Graco at 800-345-4109 or by email at consumerservices@gracobaby.com to receive a “new and improved replacement harness” at no cost.

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