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Huge Car Seat Recall: What would you do if you couldn't unlatch the buckle of your child's car seat?

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM
  • 6 Replies

Huge Car Seat Recall: The Details You Need to Keep Your Child Safe

by Adriana Velez

graco car seatA huge recall of baby equipment could wind up in court and get even bigger. Graco is recalling 3.8 million child car safety seats, but this may just be the beginning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating seven other Graco car seat models to see if they should be recalled as well. The seats are being recalled because children could become trapped in them -- the buckles may not unlatch. And if you're stuck in an emergency situation, like an accident or a fire, that could be extremely dangerous. Here's everything you need to know about this car seat recall so far.

The recall is for the following 11 models sold between 2009 and 2013:

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

Argos 70

If you own any of these car seats, contact Graco at 1-800-345-4109 (toll-free) or 1-330-869-7225. You may also want to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA says it has received over 80 complaints from consumers who had to use "excessive force" to unlatch the harness buckle, some having to cut the straps to free their children.

Graco says its infant seats are not part of the recall because they are "uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed." They acknowledged that they had identified that:

... food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position. Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child.

Fortunately, no injuries have been linked to the recalled car seats yet. But the NHTSA has sent the company a sternly worded letter for excluding seven other models with similar buckles. We'll keep this recall on our radar in case it's expanded to include those other seats.

What would you do if you couldn't unlatch the buckle of your child's car seat?

by on Feb. 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM
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Replies (1-6):
Fields456
by on Feb. 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM
2 moms liked this
Loosen the straps all the way and slide him out. And if it was an emergency use a seatbelt cutter just like if my seatbelt got stuck
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kcm710
by Member on Feb. 12, 2014 at 10:23 AM

This has happened to my daughter myride 65. I've had to loosen the straps all the way just to get her out. This is her second seat it has happened to, so I'm glad they've recalled it. My son has the same seat, but luckily this has never happened to his. I'll be calling to get the replacement part.

SuperMommy22
by on Feb. 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Yep this. I had to do it once, and it wasn't even one of these seats. lol I also have a multi tool in my vehicle that cuts seat belts.

Quoting Fields456: Loosen the straps all the way and slide him out. And if it was an emergency use a seatbelt cutter just like if my seatbelt got stuck
Saharra
by on Feb. 12, 2014 at 10:27 AM
I would do as most others have said. Loosen as much as you can and then cut them if necessary. We do have the Nautilus seat for my son, and used it for two babies with no problems. I'm done having kids now, so I'm not worried about it! Lol.
MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Feb. 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Pull the seat out and get some scissors or a knife to cut the straps.

TheHare
by on Feb. 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

My mom sent me this recall. It seems to be a problem of food getting in the lock and jamming it, and while they are issuing new buckles for peace of mind the primary prevention tip is cleaning the car seat regularly. This doesn't seem like an actual manufacturing error to me, this seems like user error.

I don't blame Graco for issuing a recall, but I think it's a shame that the childcare industry has to act out of fear like this when it's just not justified. If your child pukes pudding on the buckle and himself and you do not clean it off and let it dry and gum up the buckle, that's not Graco's fault.

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