Injury Law Blog

Graco faces major fines for delaying car seat recall

You may remember Graco’s massive recall last year of nearly 2 million car seats because of a potentially defective buckle that could make it difficult for a child to be removed from his or her seat in an emergency situation. If not, we discussed it in this post.

At first, the global child-products maker fought regulators on the issue, claiming that the buckles didn’t need to be recalled. But Graco finally gave in to regulators’ demands to remedy the situation and what resulted was the largest ever recall of car seats.

Now it has been reported that the company is has agreed to pay a $10 million fine for dragging its feet in the matter and taking far too long to notify parents of the potentially defective car seat buckle.

The agreement closed an investigation that was kicked off last year when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had concerns that Graco did not alert regulators or parents soon enough about the problematic buckles.

In a recent statement, the U.S. Transportation secretary said that parents need to feel confident that manufacturers will let them know right away if there is a problem that could potentially put their children at risk and offer a quick solution to the problem.

The secretary said that the fine against Graco “reinforces that responsibility in a way that will make our kids safer for decades to come.”

This isn’t the first time an auto manufacturer has been slow to acknowledge a defect with its products. Even though the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires manufacturers to report safety defects to the government within five business days of discovering them, this often doesn’t happen.

Instead, some manufacturers decide to keep quiet about potential safety problems until it is too late and numerous people have been injured or killed.

When this happens, manufactures can face serious repercussions, not only from federal and state regulators, but also from those who were affected in products liability lawsuits.

To read more about the fines imposed on Graco and the company’s response, see this article from Bloomberg Business.