200,000 Evenflo Car Seats Recalled for Buckle That Sticks
All parents throughout the state of Texas should always secure their child with a car safety seat whenever their child is in the car, whether the trip is long or short. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when parents and other caregivers use car seats, the risk of death to infants is reduced by 71 percent, and the risk to toddlers ages 1 through 4 is reduced by 53 percent. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that one of the most common cause of child fatalities is auto accidents.
However, sometimes the best effort of parents is undermined by manufacturers, when they make a child safety seat that is defective.
At the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates car seats, Evenflo has announced that it has issued a voluntary recall of a few models of Embrace 35 infant car seats because of a problem with the harness crotch buckle, which has a tendency to become more difficult to unlatch over time, especially when food and drink are spilled on them. This could make it very difficult for parents to take their child out of the car seat. The current recall effects 200,000 models.
Included in the current recall are the following models, which were manufactured between December 1, 2011 and May 31, 2013, are the following:
30711365, 31511040, 31511323, 31511400, 3151198, 3151953, 31521138, 46811205, 46811237, 48111200, 48111215, 48111215A, 48111218, 48111234, 48111235, 48111235A, 48111462, 48411391, 48411391D, 48411392, 48411504, 48411504D, 52911307A, 52921040, 55311138, 55311238, and 55311292
The company notes that they have not used these buckles on Evenflo car seats since May 31, 2013.
The recall was announced after Evenflo received what it characterized as “a small number of complaints” about the buckle becoming stuck over time. The company is asking that parents who purchased the seat contact the company to receive a free “remedy kit,” including a replacement buckle, as well as detailed instructions for installing the new buckle.
They also caution parents to not stop using the car seat while they wait for the repair kit. They note that most parents tend to remove the entire car seat assembly when they remove their child from the vehicle anyway, so the buckle issue will mostly be a minor problem at best, because they won’t have to unbuckle the harness in an emergency, anyway. The NHTSA disagrees with that position, of course, just as they disagreed with it earlier this year, when Evenflo has issued a recall for approximately 1.4 million other car seat models because of latches that could become stuck. The NHTSA position is that stuck latches could make removing the child from the car more difficult in an emergency.