The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into whether a manufacturer of child safety seats failed to promptly carry out a safety recall and therefore violated a federal safety regulation. According to a news report, the investigation is aimed at Diono, formerly known as Sunshine Kids Juvenile based in Sumner Washington. The agency said in a statement posted on its website that Diono may have failed to report a noncompliance in a timely manner.
Delay in Reporting Product Defect
Under federal law, once a manufacturer is aware of a safety issue, it must inform NHTSA of its plan for a recall within five business days or face a civil fine. The action involves a recall last fall of almost 520,000 child restraints because they might not properly protect a child in a crash. The agency says information provided by Diono shows it knew there was a problem in June after conducting its own crash tests as part of the company’s internal quality check. However, it did not inform NHTSA of the need for the recall until September. The company has said it is not aware of any injuries linked to the recalled car seats.
The problem with these seats is that a child using only the lap belt without the top tether could be at increased risk of chest injury in an accident, according to NHTSA. In addition, occupants over 65 pounds using the harness could be at an increased risk of striking the interior of a vehicle during a crash. The agency is also concerned about whether Diono’s plan to repair the seats is adequate. It involves giving owners a chest clip and additional “energy absorbing pads,” which the company claims, will fix the problem. The recalled models include the Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT; Olympia, Pacifica and Rainier.
Why Timely Recalls are Necessary
As parents and caregivers, we count on child harnesses and safety seats to keep our children safe in cars and in the event of a crash. When a child safety seat is defective, it is not only important that the manufacturer inform consumers right away, but also offer a remedy or fix so the faulty products can be repaired or replaced. When consumers are not informed in a timely manner, there is the danger of children suffering tragic injuries that could have been prevented. If you have been injured as the result of a defective product, you may be able to hold the manufacturer accountable. Contact an experienced product defect attorney to obtain more information about your legal rights and options.