Evenflo Recalls 450,000 Car Seats Due To Fall Hazard

If you have a Evenflo Embrace

Infant Car Seat/Carrier you should immediately stop using the product as a carrier for your baby, because the handle could unexpectedly release, “causing the seat to rotate forward. When this happens, an infant inside the carrier can fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries.” Evenflo has received 679 reports of the handle on the car seat/carriers unexpectedly releasing, resulting in 160 injuries to children—including a skull fracture, and two concussions.

The company is sending a repair kit out to all registered owners of the car seat. The seat is still safe to use in the car, but do not use the handle until you get your kit. For additional information, contact Evenflo at (800) 490-7497 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the recall Web site at http://www.embracehandle.com.

The recall involves Evenflo Embrace

Infant Car Seat/Carriers made before April 8, 2006. The recalled car seat/carriers have model numbers beginning with 317, 320, 397, 398, 540, 548, 549, 550, 556, 597, 598 or 599. The model number and production date information can be found on a white label on the bottom of the carrier and on the top of the convenience base. Models beginning with “5” are units sold with the travel system (compatible stroller). “Evenflo” is on the carrying handle and car seat base. Embrace

infant car seat/carriers made on or after April 8, 2006 are not included in this recall. —MEGHANN MARCO

Fall Hazard Prompts NHTSA, CPSC and Evenflo to Announce Recall of Embrace

Infant Car Seat/Carriers [CPSC]

Comments

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  1. scoobydoo says:

    Weird, I don’t understand how a kid could fall out if correctly buckled into the seat. I mean, these things are supposed to keep the kid in, even during an accident. Unless of course, some parents don’t buckle the kid in correctly…

  2. Tush says:

    That is really scary.

  3. grandaardvark says:

    I’m pretty sure they mean when carrying the baby, in which case they might not be strapped in. It would really suck to be walking down the street and your carrier suddenly flips your baby out…

  4. Daytonna says:

    @Scoobydoo

    Yea your kid can’t fall out of the seat if he/she is correctly buckled in, it is a 3 point harness, and is very secure.

    So I am sure some of the injuries were from infants being carried, while not buckled in. Although suddenly having 20 pounds of weight shift in your hand as the handle looses lock could very easily be quiet difficult to hold onto. thereby causing the person carrying the infant to drop the whole thing.

    Either way they really should of done a recall after the first few reports.

    (wife and I used one of the recalled models for a year, thankfully no issues, but makes me a bit grumpy)

  5. Moosehawk says:

    It took 679 reports and 160 injuries before the finally decided it was time for a recall?

  6. Ah, yes, the “eject baby onto pavement!” feature of carseat/carriers.

  7. cgmaetc says:

    The injuries are not from kids falling out the seat, but from the seat falling off it’s handle.

    Kid buckled in seat. Pick up seat by handle. Handle breaks. Seat and kid hit ground.

    It’s amazing how we try to blame the consumer when the corporation is clearly in the wrong.

  8. etinterrapax says:

    I don’t know about other people, but carrying the baby or traveling in the car, mine was always strapped into the seat. And I’m hardly the most safety-paranoid parent. So I have kind of a hard time feeling sorry for people who are using this without bothering to harness the baby. I had no idea doing that was so widespread.

  9. juri squared says:

    @Daytonna:

    I agree. I could easily see some poor parent dropping the whole thing if the handle unlatched. Those things are heavy and awkward – I can’t even imagine what’d happen if all its weight suddenly shifted on me. Heck, even if I was able to protect my baby, it would probably snap my wrist.

    Babies should always be buckled into the car seat, whether it’s in the car, being carried, or just sitting on the floor. You just never know what might happen.

  10. CiQuat says:

    Great! My daughter is only 5 months old and this is the 2nd recall I’ve had to deal with with products we’ve purchased for her. First it was her Slingrider carrier and now the carseat we got for her grandparents to carry her!

    *sigh*

    If the manufacturers keep this up, I’m going to have to return/fix just about everything large we’ve purchased on her behalf – if she doesn’t end up injured first.

  11. CiQuat says:

    Just noticed on the recall site, they have the cajones to proudly display their trademark: “Best for Baby”.

    Not quite the best if your defective product had to cause two concussions and a skull fracture before you recalled it…

  12. scoobydoo says:

    @cgmaetc: That is now what the recall says. It says the handle will release and tip forward. It does NOT say the handle comes loose from the seat.

    Once again; I fail to see how any child could fall out of the seat if it tips forward.

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    But the article doesn’t mention whether dropping infants would result in a tiny percentage of them gaining mutant powers. Which would be awesome!

  14. scoobydoo says:

    As a tip for all parents here: signup for the CPSC recall emails: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.asp

  15. CiQuat says:

    @scoobydoo: Thanks for that. I didn’t know about those mailing lists.

  16. K-Bo says:

    @grandaardvark: “I’m pretty sure they mean when carrying the baby, in which case they might not be strapped in.”

    It’s a very bad idea to carry a baby not buckled in. I’m sure people do it, but if you have ever carried a baby in one, you probably noticed it’s not very balanced, and it would only take a tiny shift of weight (the baby moving, you other child grabbing it from underneath) to put it in a position that the baby would fall out if not buckled.

  17. arelys521 says:

    Easy way to avoid this problem: Don’t have babies! Done!

  18. How did our ancestors ever managed to raise their offspring when there wasn’t any baby carriers?

    http://www.tian.cc/

  19. 0x12is18 says:

    When my daughter was 2 or 3 days old, I had her in an infant carrier and was packing her down the stairs when the handle came unlatched and flipped forward. If I hadn’t been so anal (as most new parents are) about making sure she was always buckled, she would have tumbled all the way down the stairs.

    I was lucky enough to be able to compensate for the sudden shift in the weight so that we both weren’t thrown down the stairs. Needless to say, at that moments I loaded her in the car and took the seat back to the store. When I returned it, they didn’t have the same model in stock (which I would not have wanted anyway).

    They didn’t want to take it back without a receipt until I told them I would be taking my daughter anywhere without an infant seat to ride in.

  20. Hirayuki says:

    @Tian: They didn’t buy baby carriers–just like we didn’t. We don’t like these “baby buckets” and opted instead for a carseat that stays buckled into the backseat of our car (no minivan for us, either). Not that those kinds of carseats aren’t also subject to recall, of course.

  21. dotorg greg says:

    I tried graphing out the data from the CPSC recall notice. With very conservative assumptions, it looks like around 85% of all the babydumping and injuries occurred after Evenflo recognized the problem and started a redesigned, non-catapulting version in the pipeline.

    They kept on making & selling: 250k more defective carseats. And it took 1-yr+ from the fix before CPSC announced a recall.

    Overall, it seems like they treated it as a low risk/non-urgent defect; maybe because of the “use the damn buckle” aspect of the incidents, or the relatively minor/rare injuries, who knows? But everyone involved sure took their sweet time telling parents about it.

  22. John Markos O'Neill says:

    Not only that, if you follow Daddy Types, you’ll notice that there have been two other recalls, for similar reasons.

    http://daddytypes.com/2007/05/18/consumer_reports_car_seat

    http://daddytypes.com/2007/05/12/heckuva_job_cpsc_12_milli

    With our first kid (now almost two), we did appreciate the ability to carry him around in his baby seat, which was not an Evenflo and which never dumped him on his head. With our soon-to-be born second, that’s not an option. She’ll have a Britax Decathalon (a supersized car seat that you don’t haul around) from birth.

  23. John Markos O'Neill says:

    @scoobydoo: Too bad the CPSC hasn’t heard of RSS yet.