Back in February, our blog discussed how millions of parents across the nation were understandably perplexed following the announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the children's product manufacturer Graco was voluntarily recalling 3.7 million car seats.
This massive recall was centered around the release buttons located on the harness crotch buckles of the affected car seats, which can become encrusted with both dried food and dried liquid over time making them increasingly difficult to open.
"In some cases, the buckle becomes stuck in a latched condition so that it cannot be opened by depressing the buckle's release button," said the NHTSA, which warned that this could become especially dangerous in the event of an emergency.
While parents with little ones were likely hoping this problem would be confined only to Graco-brand car seats, this has unfortunately not proven to be the case.
Last Friday, another manufacturer, Evenflo, announced that it had agreed to recall 1.37 million of its car seats following the opening of an investigation by the NHTSA.
The recall covers both convertible and booster car seats made between 2011 and 2014, including the following models: Chase, Maestro, Momentum 65, Secure Kid, Snugli Booster, Snugli All-In-One, SureRide DLX, Symphony and Titan 65.
It should be noted, however, that while the company's rear facing infant seat, the Embrace 35, is not included in this recall, this does not mean that it has been formally cleared by the NHTSA.
As with the Graco recall, the problem appears to be dried food and drink making the release button difficult to unlatch over time.
"This condition may make it difficult to remove a child from the restraint, increasing the risk of injury in the event of an emergency situation where prompt exit of the vehicle is necessary," the company wrote to the NHTSA.
Thus far, Evenflo has indicated that it has received .13 percent of consumer complaints concerning the release buttons on the affected car seats.
This new recall plus the previous Graco recall brings the total number of recalled car seats for sticking buckles to over 5 million. Given the breadth of this recall, it's likely that parents who own car seats made by other manufacturers will want to keep their eyes open for any announcements in the near future.
In the meantime, if a dangerous or defective children's product has caused your family immeasurable harm, remember to consider speaking with a legal professional to learn more about your options.
Source: The Detroit News, "Evenflo recalls 1.37 million child seats for sticking buckles," David Shepardson, April 4, 2014