What you need to know:
3.8 million Toddler car seats included in the voluntary recall:
2009 to 2013 model years of the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smartseat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite and Argos 70
1.8 million Infant car seats which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is insisting be included in the recall:
Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35 and Snugride Click Connect 40
Strap buckles get stuck–making it hard to free a child from the seat.
According to the New York Times:
Graco told regulators that the problems with the buckles stemmed from contamination with “foreign material such as food or dried liquids.” But investigators dismissed that explanation, saying that buckles getting dirty with food and drink was “completely foreseeable,” and not an excuse.
Graco also maintains that the problem with the buckles “does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child. And a car seat is always the safest way to transport your child.”
I don’t generally freak out over recalls, but if there is one piece of gear you need to be able to count on, it had better be your car seat. The idea that buckles which trap a child in the seat do not “in any way affect the performance of the car seat” is not only ridiculous but totally terrifying.
If you have one of the Graco car seats included in the recall, Graco will provide new buckles for your seats (please do not use your car seat until then!) Contact our Graco customer service team at 800-345-4109 (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.) or email@example.com. I assume that the phone lines will be pretty insane and that email is your best bet.