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Saturday, December 6, 2014

U.S. probes Graco recall of 6.1 million child seats

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Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation into whether Graco Children’s Products Inc. delayed a recall of 6.1 million child seats — the largest in U.S. history and the latest example of the stepped-up posture of the auto safety agency.

“The department is committed to ensuring that parents have peace of mind knowing that the car seat in which they are placing their child and their trust is safe and reliable,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Any delays by a manufacturer in meeting their obligations to report safety issues with the urgency they deserve, especially those that impact the well-being of our children, erodes that trust and is absolutely unacceptable.”

Graco could be fined up to $35 million if the agency determines it failed to recall the seats in a timely fashion. The White House wants Congress to raise the maximum fine up to $300 million per incident.

“There is no excuse for delaying a recall to address any safety-related defect,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. “If Graco delayed in protecting children and infants from this defect, we will hold them accountable.”

In July, under government pressure, Graco agreed to recall about 1.9 million infant car seats built between July 2010 and May 2013 that have buckles that could become difficult to open, expanding its callback to more than 6.1 million seats.

Graco agreed to...

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