Graco Agrees To Pay $3M Fine For Delayed Reporting Of Car Seat-Buckle Complaints

After Graco recalled about six million car seats last year in two sets of recalls because the harness’ buckles could get stuck, the company has now agreed to shell out $3 million to the government for being slow to report complaints about the tricky buckles.

Along with that payment, Grace has to spend $7 million on measures to improve child seat safety, reports the Associated Press.

This means a better way of registering seat owners so that if there’s a safety problem, they can be notified quickly and easily. It also has to work on better procedures to identify issues and make recalls happen faster.

Last year a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation looked into Graco’s behavior during what was the biggest child seat recall in the U.S. to date.

The trouble started when Graco announced it was recalling 4.2 million toddler seats in February 2014. But what about infant car seats? asked NHTSA in a letter to the company accusing it of playing down the recall with “incomplete and misleading” documents for consumers. Then in July, Graco gave in and issued a recall for 1.9 million car seats with the same sticky buckle situation.

Friday’s fine “uses NHTSA’s enforcement authority to not only hold a manufacturer accountable, but to keep our kids safe,” Mark Rosekind, the agency’s administrator, said in a statement.

The president of Graco Children’s Products said in a statement that Graco is sorry it fell short of NHTSA’s expectations when it came to gathering data about the recalls and spreading the word to customers.

“We accept this fine and the additional funding requested by NHTSA for a joint venture involving child passenger safety initiatives in the future,” said Laurel Hurd.

Graco fined for delayed reporting of seat-buckle complaints [Associated Press]

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