Graco will be paying $10 million in fines to the U.S. government as a result of failing to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about its buckle safety issues last year; the buckle tongues were getting stuck in the buckles, causing release issues. We have blogs on the initial recall here, NHTSA’s reaction here, and the infant seat recall here for further reading. Graco has to pay $3 million outright to the government and spend an additional $7 mil on programs to improve child safety. Graco hasn’t yet outlined what those safety measures are.
Response from Graco:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded its investigation of Graco’s reporting of consumer complaints about difficulty opening car seat buckles. While we evaluated the issue in a timely manner and were cooperative with NHTSA’s investigation, we regret that we fell short of NHTSA’s expectations for data evaluation and reporting procedures. We accept this civil penalty and the additional funding requested by NHTSA for a joint venture involving child passenger safety initiatives in the future. We are eager to work with NHTSA and pleased with their decision to focus this money on children’s safety.
As part of our continuous improvement process, we have already taken concrete steps to further update our compliance evaluation and reporting process. We will use the insights from this investigation to further this mission, and assure our consumers that we remain committed to the safety of our products.