Most parents put a lot of thought into the car seat that they purchase for their children, wanting to choose the safest option possible. In many cases, parents end up choosing car seats manufactured by well-known brands such as Graco, because they believe they can trust these manufacturers.
However, parents may not feel this way about Graco anymore after a report was issued last week stating that the company has been fined up to $10 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation for failing to notify the public in a timely manner about defects in millions of its car seats.
The fines are in connection with Graco’s massive car seat recall last year after there were concerns that that buckles were getting stuck, potentially making it difficult to remove children in emergency situations. Car seats that were manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013 were recalled.
But the investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began last year after it was suspected that Graco was slow to report the problematic buckles to regulators.
Graco was fined $3 million, and could face another $7 million “unless they spend at least the same amount on new steps to improve child safety,” the DOT reported.
Thankfully, it appears that the problematic buckles were caught and recalled before a child was seriously injured or killed as a result. But Graco could have caused a disaster by dragging its feet any longer.
Sadly, all too often manufacturers refuse to acknowledge defects with their products until it is too late and many people have already been harmed, as was the case with the faulty ignition switches that were belatedly recalled General Motors.