Safe Removal of Child in an Accident: Hazardous Car Seats

In the event of a traffic accident, the time it takes to rescue passengers from a vehicle can make the difference between life and death, especially if victims are children. In a tragic case, a mother was unable to quickly remove her child from a car seat after the vehicle caught fire. The child died in the accident and investigators have blamed a faulty buckle on the Graco car seat. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is performing tests on the car seats to determine if they should be recalled.


If you have small children in car seats, it is important to make sure they are functioning properly and that your child can be quickly extracted in the event of an emergency. Car seats, like many safety features and advancements, can prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, when they are not working properly, they can do more harm than good.

Our Greenville car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of accidents and injuries recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation. In addition to helping victims and their families in the event of an accident, we are also committed to raising safety awareness to prevent accidents, injuries and wrongful death.

According to a New York Times, the NHTSA is pressuring Graco to recalling approximately 1.8 million car seats that are suspected to be faulty and potentially hazardous. Currently, the agency is performing a series of tests to determine how long it would take to remove a child from the seat in the event of an emergency. The tests have been ordered since numerous consumer complaints indicate that faulty or malfunctioning seatbelts kept children locked in car seats. One mother reported having to cut her child out with scissors as the belt would not unlatch.

Earlier this year, Graco recalled over 4 million front-facing child seats with similar malfunctioning belt buckles. The agency is determining whether rear-facing child seats with similar malfunctioning belt buckles pose the same risks to children. Representatives from the company assert that the seats work properly and children can be detached from the base quickly without having to use the buckles. NHTSA suspects that the buckles do pose serious risks and hazards if children cannot be quickly and safely removed from a car seat in the event of an accident or emergency. The agency has not yet ordered a recall, but it is possible once the tests are concluded.

Currently Graco is working with industry experts to determine the best course of action regarding the malfunctioning buckles. It has settled a lawsuit involving the young child who was killed in the fire after her mother could not free her child from the car seat. The company did not admit fault, but the case was sealed for confidentiality reasons. If you have children in car seats, be wary of the potential risks of a faulty belt, especially if they are Graco rear or forward-facing seats. Check the buckles to ensure proper functioning and be wary of product recalls that could impact the life of your child.

Contact the Greenville car accident attorneys at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

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Understanding Your South Carolina Auto Insurance Rights, April 1, 2014, Greenville Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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