Graco Children's Products recalled 3.8 million child car seats in February due to defective harness buckles. On March 13,the company added 403,000 more seats to that number. But this may not be all - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pressuring Graco to recall another 1.8 million seats for the same faulty buckles. Graco is an Atlanta-based company, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, and has 1,500 associates worldwide.
Any parent who has had a toddler in a car seat understands how the buckles can get junked up with chunks of food, beverages, or small pieces of trash. This can make it difficult to unsnap the buckle to remove the child from the car seat. The The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that the problem with buckles getting stuck can be unsafe, especially if the child needs to be removed quickly in case of an emergency. Additional Graco seats have this problem and should be recalled.
According to NHTSA documents, the 403,222 seats added to the recall include 2006 through 2014 car seat models:
Argos 70 Elite
My Ride 65 with Safety Surround
My Size 70
Head Wise 70 with Safety Surround
Smart Seat with Safety Surround'
The additional 403,222 seats weren't included in the original recall last month because Graco explained that the infant seats are different from toddler seats. Infant seats are easily removed from a vehicle in their entirety - an adult can simply unhook the seat belt securing the infant seat to the car and lift out seat with the infant in it. A toddler seat is much larger and isn't easy to lift out of the vehicle in this manner.
According to USA Today, "Atlanta-based Graco, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, has until March 20 to explain why last month's recall didn't include infant seats." When all 4.2 million child seats are recalled, this particular recall will be the largest recall of child seats in American history. Read the full recall announcement on Graco's website here.