Some businesses try to avoid recalling products by informing consumers of ways to circumvent a product defect, such as obtaining a spare part or taking it in for repair. However, if the defect is likely to cause an accident or injury, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that consumers should not need to take any addition measures when using a product. Furthermore, using a product in a non-standard way in an emergency situation is incredibly dangerous.
For example, Graco, the manufacturer of car seats for small children, refuses to recall its faulty rear-facing car seats. The seats have a defective buckle. If sticky food or drink is spilled on the buckle, which happens often with small children, then it is very difficult to release. The seats in question include 2009-2013 models with a buckle labeled “Signature”, “QT” or “QT3”.
WHEN IS A PRODUCT RECALL NECESSARY?
A recall is necessary if a product is hazardous to a consumer. Graco has seen the error in its ways before and recalled previous products. Graco agreed to recall 4.2 million of its front-facing car seats for a similar defect but refuses to recall its 1.8 million rear-facing car seats. Parents attempting to extricate their children from the front-facing car seats claimed to have to cut the straps on the seat to free their children.
Graco says that a recall is unnecessary for the rear-facing car seats because parents can remove the entire seat in an emergency situation. Despite Graco’s claim that the removing the entire seat is a sensible solution to the rear-facing car seat problem, that is absolutely incorrect. For example, a child burned to death in a car in 2011 because she could not be freed from her rear-facing car seat.
The NHTSA “believes 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.” Furthermore, emergency situations are stressful enough, and parents should not be expected to try alternative measures to get a child out of a seat after an accident due to a defect.
FIND A NASHVILLE DEFECTIVE PRODUCT ATTORNEY
A defective car seat can result in serious injury or death to a small child. Parents trust that safety equipment will work properly and protect their children, not harm them. Our firm encourages anyone with a rear-facing Graco seat matching the model and buckle listed above to contact the company and discontinue use of the seat. If your child has been harmed by this or another defective product, an experienced defective product lawyer can help you stand up to a large corporation.
The law firm of Stanley A. Davis has been faithfully defending Tennessean victims of corporate negligence since 1997. We have dedicated our professional career to serving the community and helping those in need. For more information, do not hesitate to reach out to us; we would be glad to speak with you.