While car accidents are among the leading causes of death for children in the U.S., faulty manufacturing of car seats may, unfortunately, play a significant role in these tragedies. Despite parents’ best efforts to protect their infants and toddlers by placing them in a car seat, child safety seat defects and recalls may thwart their good intentions. While a properly functioning car seat can save a life, one that is defective can result in tragic consequences.
If your child has suffered due to a malfunctioning car seat, then contact a Houston automotive defects attorney at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500. You may never recover all that you and your child have lost due to a car seat manufacturer’s carelessness, but we can help you obtain the compensation that will help you move forward with life.
Child Safety Seat Defects and Recalls in the News
Today’s headlines sadly tell the story of the frequency of child safety seat defects and recalls. For example, well-known manufacturer Britax recalled more than 200,000 car seat models in early 2016 after 74 reports cited their poorly constructed handles, which developed fractures, cracks, and even complete breaks. Sold for up to $250, these faulty seats came to the public’s attention for their poor construction when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported about them. In fact, one infant received a bump on the head when the defective carrier fell to the ground.
A year earlier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that Graco Children’s Products would pay $10 million to settle claims that it failed to recall about four million child safety seats with a defective buckle. According to federal regulators, this made it difficult to remove a child from the seat in the event of an emergency. The company at first tried to blame the malfunctioning on children spilling food and drinks on the buckle. This attempt to shift blame, however, proved irrelevant when considering that parents found they needed to cut the seat’s straps to release their child from it. Graco Children’s Products originally refused to issue a recall, but ultimately relented, especially since investigators could trace complaints about the seat buckle back to 2009.
Child Car Seat Safety Issues
As The New York Times reported in 2015, NHTSA’s increasing vigilance in its oversight of the automobile industry led to the recall of more than 62 million vehicles in 2014. Similarly, this resulted in the agency’s more rigorous monitoring of car seats to avoid safety issues, which its website documents for products less than 10 years old. Moreover, CPSC reported nearly one million car seat recalls from 2007 to 2013, yet another reason to pay careful attention to these products.
In addition to faulty buckles like those in the seats Graco Children’s Products developed, common malfunctions include faulty adjusters that make it difficult to adjust seat straps, use of flammable materials that can result in severe burns, and weak frames that fail to provide protection.
Contact Houston Car Accident Lawyers for Help
Car seat manufacturers are trusted to design safe, reliable models to transport infants and toddlers when riding in a vehicle. While owners are encouraged to regularly check the model and make of their car seat using the NHTSA database to learn of a possible recall, the simple truth is that this may not take place before a car accident proves just how faulty it is. The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can protect you and your rights in the event of child safety seat defects and recalls.
Call us at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a free consultation if your child has been hurt because of this kind of negligence.