• Fri, Mar 14 - 1:55 pm ET

Graco Stupidly Still Refuses To Include Infant Seats In Their Massive Recall

B005WHQKG4_1-200x200Last month, Graco did the most massive recall of car seats ever – recalling 3.8 million to replace a faulty harness buckle. They’ve just added an additional 403,000 seats to the recall. They still haven’t agreed to recall their infant seats – which use the same harness system. I sense another article in my future.

The buckles are faulty because if they get grimy from dirt, dried liquid or food particles they can become stuck – making it impossible to free children from the seats quickly in case of an emergency. Some parents reported having buckles so stuck they needed to cut the belts to free their children. This is not okay.

Graco found that additional toddler and harness booster seats need to be recalled. “The 403,222 seats added to the recall include 2006 through 2014 Argos 70 Elite, Ready Ride, Step 2, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Size 70, Head Wise 70 with Safety Surround, Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Plus, and Smart Seat with Safety Surround, according to NHTSA documents.”

Graco still refuses to recall the infant seats, because the company insists they are used differently than the toddler seats. They argue that infants don’t snack or drink things in their seats that would soil the buckles and that if an emergency arose you could release the whole seat from the base. This reasoning is ridiculous as far as I’m concerned. You can’t guarantee the cleanliness of a seat – and where is the logic in claiming that parents can just eject the whole seat? Really? That’s your answer? You think it’s acceptable that an infant may have to be cut from a seatbelt that has a faulty harness? What if a parent isn’t using the base? In cities it’s common to travel without one when using public car services. From USA Today:

In its letter to NHTSA, Graco said it didn’t include the infant seats because they are used differently than the toddler seats, and because in an emergency, an adult can remove the whole seat from the car rather than unlatch the buckle.

“Graco looks forward to further discussions with the agency to resolve any remaining issues relating to those additional car seats,” the letter said.

This whole thing is just leaving a bad taste in my mouth. If the products are unsafe they need to be recalled. Period. I can’t believe Graco is arguing these points. It’s nonsense.

(photo: Amazon)

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  • A Mom

    I have a vomiter. I guarantee that if I had a Graco infant seat, there would be all types of dried liquid and food particles in his buckle. Luckily I have a Chicco.

  • pixie

    Ok, so I clearly know nothing about car seats BUT what if you had a very small toddler? Would they use an infant car seat, or are toddler seats made small enough? If a very small toddler had to use an infant seat, then yeah, the child would probably be snacking.

    There’s also other things that could cause it to get grimy. Spilled milk if you’re trying to feed them while they’re in a car seat, vomit, drool, accidentally spilling something on it (hopefully when the baby’s not in it). It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, too.

    • airbones

      Yes, this. I have a very small toddler who snacks in her infant seat – very rarely – but sometimes.

    • Lindsey

      Convertible seats fit babies at 5 lbs. So, this really isn’t an issue.
      But regardless, the whole bucket can get removed, baby and all, in an emergency.

    • personal

      Yes. My 14-month-old still sits in his Infant seat when he’s in his dad’s car. He’s been using it since birth. And BOY does he eat. PS It’s not a Graco.

  • SA

    This just reminds me, I still haven’t received the buckle replacements they are supposed to be sending me.

    • Jessica

      That was actually going to be my question. I saw on another Facebook page that a huge percentage of people that ordered the replacement haven’t gotten them. The could take up to 9 weeks apparently?

    • Newmom

      I have two of the recalled seats and registered them both within days of purchase. I haven’t gotten a single email, letter, or phone call from Graco. Glad I bother filling out and mailing in those cards that are specifically intended to be used when there’s a recall.

  • PrairieCoast

    “What if a parent isn’t using the base?” If they are not using the base, the car seat is strapped in with the vehicle’s seat belt. Either way the whole seat can easily and quickly be removed from the car. Unless the vehicle’s seat belt is faulty, but that wouldn’t really be Graco’s concern. If an infant had to be cut out of their seat after being removed from the car, would it really be so terrible? I’m assuming at that point you’d tell Graco what happened and the would send you a replacement.

  • Rachel Sea

    Bugger emergencies, how about being stranded without a carseat because you just had to cut your spitup-prone infant out of the belts?

    In the event of an accident you are supposed to replace the whole seat, so whatever, might as well cut the belts, but a lot of the complaints are from people who have not been in a wreck, and yet still want their kid out of the carseat at some point.

  • KT

    My infant car seat is on the list of options you can get a replacement buckle for. I don’t know all of the types, but it looks like many of the infant car seats can at least have the buckle replaced, even if they aren’t a part of the official recall.

  • Bria

    You can still order a replacement buckle for free for any of their carseats even if they haven’t been recalled. I just ordered a new one for my infant seat yesterday.

  • Newmom

    I think it’s a joke to say that if there’s an emergency, you just could just pull the kid out with the infant seat. I had a Graco Snugride 35 when my guy was little. He was over 20 pounds at 6 months, and we could barely buckle him in anymore (so, the 35 pounds weight limit is a joke), but beyond that I could barely lift him in out while he was in his seat anymore. It was just too heavy. I can’t imagine if we were in an emergency where he had to come out quickly – what if I were injured, or we were underwater, or whatever could happen – there’s no way I could have pulled him out with that seat.

    I have two more Graco seats, and I’m not honestly not that concerned about the buckles. Graco hasn’t sent new buckles and both my seats are registered in case of recall – in fact, I haven’t heard a thing from Graco. I’m not gonna hold my breath waiting.