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Parents affected by Graco recall may file product liability claim

A car seat is usually one of the first items that a child in California uses outside of the hospital. Car seats are particularly important for small children, who may be some of the most vulnerable in the event of a car crash. It's possible that some parents may choose to bring a product liability claim against Graco, the manufacturer of a car seat that produced and distributed car seats with a faulty buckle.

In Oct. 2012, some of Graco's car seats and bucklers were investigated following multiple complaints from customers. By Jan. 2014, the number of parents complaining to Graco about the buckle rose to 6,000. Apparently, the buckle on certain car seat models would stick, forcing some parents to have to cut the seat's straps just to get their child out. Despite these complaints, Graco initially denied responsibility and instead blamed its customers, stating that the buckles stuck because of dried food or liquid.

This was apparently untrue, as Graco later filled out and submitted a Defect Information Report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and then recalled nearly six million car seats. Due to the role that child car seats play in protecting children in vehicles, the NHTSA requires that manufacturers notify the agency within five days of becoming aware of a defect in a motor vehicle or related equipment. Because of the delay between the 2012 complaints and the 2014 recall, Graco is being investigated for potentially delaying the recall on purpose.

From not texting while driving to always wearing a seatbelt, safety on the road is one thing that most people in California are extremely familiar with. When a product that is meant to protect is defective, injury or even death can become a tragic possibility. While Graco is being investigated by the government, parents who have had children become stuck or injured by a safety buckle on a car seat may choose to pursue a product liability claim. The successful litigation of such a claim can not only provide critical recourse to the family affected, but may also encourage others who have been similarly affected to explore their options.

Source:, "Feds to investigate Graco child seat recall", Matt Hosford, Dec. 2, 2014

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