Recall delay leads to $10 million fine for Graco

Washington residents may be interested to learn that Graco, a major manufacturer of car seats, was hit with a $10 million fine for delaying the issuance of a recall for defective child car seats, potentially placing millions of children in danger. The fine follows the conclusion of the company’s completing the largest car seat recall in U.S. history.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, the first $3 million is due from the company immediately. The remaining $7 million must either be paid in over the next five years or the company must spend an equal amount on safety improvements. The recall involved four million child and booster seats and two million rear-facing infant carrier seats, all of which had defective safety buckles.

Reportedly, the company had delayed the recall despite numerous parent complaints about defective safety buckles on the car seats. The recall was not conducted until NHTSA pressured the company into proceeding with it. A part of what the company will be required to do is come up with a strategy to encourage the return of a greater percentage of recalled seats. Although 75 percent of recalled vehicles are subsequently repaired, the agency indicated only 40 percent of the defective car seats have been.

Defective products can lead to serious injury or even death. People who use a product and who do so with an ordinary expectation of its safety may still be at risk, especially if a company along the products supply chain is negligent. When a manufacturer negligently ignores a safety hazard, failing to correct it, those who are injured by that defect may have the basis for a products liability claim. People who believe their injuries resulted from a defective product may thus want to seek a consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Source: CBS, “Graco fined $10 million over recall delay,” Mitch Lipka, March 20, 2015

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