Car seat manufacturer Recaro has agreed to issue a defective product recall for its child safety seats, which could potentially detach during a car accident.
According to a news report in The New York Times, Recaro resisted the recall for 18 months and battled the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) before agreeing to recall 173,000 faulty car seats.
This case follows another major child seat recall involving Graco Children’s products that was also fought by the company.
NHTSA discovered the problem in late 2013 and early 2014 during routine crash tests to test the products’ compliance with federal safety standards.
The agency discovered a serious problem. They found that a part that helps keep the top of the child seat secure could break during a crash allowing the top of the seat to fly forward.
Federal regulators determined that this violated a federal safety standard and warranted a recall.
However, the company disagreed. In November 2014, Recaro filed a formal petition with regulators arguing that a recall was not required because there was no serious safety problem.
Recaro argued that its owner’s manual cautions against relying on the child seat’s tether strap, which broke during testing for children weighing more than 52 pounds. Recaro said heavier children should be buckled up with the seatbelt.
But regulators were not satisfied.
They held that advice in the owner’s manual did not replace the manufacturer’s responsibility to meet federal safety standards. NHTSA also rejected Recaro’s assertion that having a part of the seat break away may actually be “beneficial.”
Recaro eventually caved in and issued the safety recall. The company said no incidents or injuries have been reported as a result of this issue.
The models involved in the recall include the Recaro Performance ride and the Recaro ProRide.
If Your Car Seat Has Been Recalled
If your child’s car seat has been recalled please use a different car seat. If you have registered your car seat, you should receive a recall letter. If you haven’t, check Recaro’s website. Recaro said it would send owners a kit with a new strap and installation instructions.
If your child has been injured as a result of a defective car seat, please preserve the seat so an expert can examine it for defects, malfunctions and design flaws.
Contact an experienced product liability attorney who will help you file a product liability claim against the manufacturer and help hold the negligent car seat maker accountable.
The best product defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.